Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle)

Assault Weapon Prototype

United States | 1989

"The AAI ACR was one of several prototype weapons trialed during the U.S. Armys ACR program - none fulfilled the requirement."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/12/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle) was a trials platform for the United States Army's ACR program of the 1980s. The program proceeded along three major phases which began with Phase I in February of 1986. AAI Corporation was contracted alongside Ares, Colt, Heckler & Koch, McDonnell Douglas and Steyr-Mannlicher to develop a successor to the storied, but limited, M16 Assault Rifle. The overall goal of the program was to find a weapon system of increased "first hit" probability - attempting to better the results of the M16A2 model specifically. Phase III of the program involved only AAI, Colt, H&K and Steyr.

The AAI submission became a refined form of its earlier flechette-firing rifle chambered for a sabotted 5.56x45mm cartridge (the flechette was 1.6x41.27mm). The flechette approach reduced recoil but muzzle blast and the noise footprint generated by the weapon when fired was such that the company was forced to add a flash hider/sound suppressor at the weapon's business end. A three-round burst feature was the standard, and only, mode of fire with the internal makeup of the gun believed to have a triple-chamber breech unit - allowing three rounds to be fired off in succession and thus increasing first-hit probability.

One of the major drawbacks of the AAI submission was the chamber able to accept regular 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges which, when coupled to the very different gas settings of the gas operated action, could lead to disastrous results for the gun and operator alike. As such, the magazines in question had to be proprietary to avoid loading the wrong type into the weapon and the magazines were further developed to only accept the intended cartridge. However, individual rounds could still be loaded into the chamber manually which still supported the issue.

On the whole, the weapon sported a traditional appearance, more conventional than its competitors, and held very clean lines at the receiver. The detachable box magazine was curved forward in the usual way and inserted ahead of the trigger group and action. Over the receiver was fitted standard iron sights but a quick-release optical set was also supported. The shoulder stock was solid and fixed at the rear of the weapon.

From 1989 to 1990 trials of the prototypes were held but none of the presented products fulfilled the 100% first hit probability requirement in full. The program was ended in April of 1990 and paved the way for the "Objective Individual Combat Weapon" program which followed. Similarly, this program failed to net an M16 successor at the cost of hundreds of millions of American tax-payer dollars.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The physical qualities of the AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,016 mm
40.00 in
O/A Length
7.78 lb
3.53 kg
Gas-Operated; Three-Chamber Breech
5.56x45mm Flechette
30-round detachable box magazine
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics.
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
2,000 ft
609.6 m | 666.7 yds
4,600 ft/sec
1,402 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
Notable series variants as part of the AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle) Assault Weapon Prototype family line.
ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle) - Base Series Name
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): AAI Corporation - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (cancelled) ]
1 / 1
Image of the AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle)
Image showcasing the AAI ACR assault rifle prototype.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The AAI ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle) Assault Weapon Prototype appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)