Bullpup Assault Rifle
The Pindad SS3 is intended to replace the relatively new SS2 family of firearms and utilizes a bullpup arrangement.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
With growing unrest in the Southeast Asia part of the world, it is only natural to see growing militaries. The nation of Indonesia has long relied on foreign suppliers to stock its military inventory but has since moved to take advantage of its burgeoning defense network. Case in point, the Indonesian government secured a purchase for several thousand Belgian Fabrique Nationale FN FNC assault rifles. This then turned to become a license-production effort of the slightly revised "SS1" line which, in turn, became the improved SS2 family of automatic weapons. Additionally, the Indonesian military relied on the M16 assault rifle as well. All were gas-operated firearms chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO standard cartridge. Operational use and production of said systems naturally allowed Indonesian engineers to formulate their own ideas for improving on the assault rifle concept "in-house".
With the SS1 now an outgoing commodity and the SS2 slowly replacing it in number, PT Pindad has moved ahead with developing the SS2 into a "bullpup" configured assault system. The bullpup configuration is the latest firearms craze and has seen consistent growth in various military applications since. The bullpup arrangement essentially relocated the magazine feed to the rear of the weapon and is integrated into the stock. The resulting design is often times shorter than a traditionally-designed assault rifle while still being able to retain a full-length barrel within a more compact housing. Experts point to the benefits of the bullpup automatic weapon as improving on several concepts not inherent in traditional rifle designs. One such benefit is the portability and relatively lightweight nature of bullpup firearms. The operator also can manage the weapon close to his/her body and this improved close-quarters combat to an extent. However, purists argue that automatic fire suffers from noticeable muzzle climb and the ejection port is placed dangerously close to the operator's face in most cases, largely favoring right-handed shooters. In any case, the bullpup configuration is seeing more and more widespread use throughout the militaries of the world - a definite shift from the firearms norm begun during the latter years of World War 2.
With that said, the SS3 bullpup is intended as a standard assault rifle and is currently in the late stages of its development. Limited production has begun as of 2012 and the SS3 largely retains the functionality of the SS2 series before it. It is chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO standard round and utilizes a gas-operated, rotating bolt function while feeding from STANAG-type magazines. A Picatinny rail system has been implemented along the top of the receiver for the use of accessories and scopes. Traditional adjustable iron sights are standard however. It remains to be seen the level of exposure and success that the SS3 will have within the Indonesian military and the export market as a whole.