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Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)


Bullpup Assault Rifle


Australia | 1988



"The F88 Austeyr is nothing more than the successful Austrian Steyr AUG bullpup assault weapon with changes made to suit Australian Army needs."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/04/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The F88 Austeyr is the Australian Army equivalent of the Austrian Steyr bullpup assault rifle (AUG A1) used the world over. The automatic weapon utilizes the same form and function save for a few changes to suit Australian Army needs. The weapon retains the universally identified Steyr AUG "bullpup" arrangement in which the action and feed are concentrated aft of the pistol grip. In this way, a more compact silhouette is achieved, allowing the weapon to make use of a full-length barrel in the process. Construction is of heavy-duty metals with lightweight plastics to ensure a sound, portable weapon system for the Australian frontline warfighter. The F88 is the standard service rifle for the Australian Army, having been selected over the competing Bushmaster M17S semi-automatic bullpup rifle detailed elsewhere on this site. F88s are manufactured locally under the Thales Lithgow Small Arms Factory brand label.

The F88 differs from its Austrian counterpart in several ways: it has improved support for the NATO-standard SS109 and M855 cartridges through barrel rifling mimicking that as found on the American M16A2 series and also features a full-automatic disabler, support for bayonet mounting (by way of an integrated lug) and a 1.5x power optics set over the receiver (the support structure for the optics doubles as the carrying handle).

Original F88 production marks were designated as "F88 Austeyr" to which then followed the F88C which was a carbine assault model with a 16" length barrel. The F88S-A1 brought about use of a Picatinny rail section over the top of the receiver, effectively replacing the standard 1.5x power sight and allowing broader use of non-standard optics and accessories. The F88S-A1C was the carbine version of the F88S-A1 with the Picatinny rail and retaining the 16" barrel length. The F88 GLA became a grenadier model fitted with the American 40mm M203 Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) unit complete with sighting equipment while lacking the bayonet support of the original. The F88T became a .22 caliber variant intended for infantry shooter training. The F88S-A2 appeared in 2009 as an overall improved F88 form complete with improved gas operation, a lengthened Picatinny top rail section, broadened forend accessory support, a larger ejection port for improved case clearance, and a new desert-color barrel scheme to differentiate the type.

As it stands, the F88's replacement may already be underway. The "Enhanced" F88 (EF88) is a component of the "LAND 125 Soldier Combat System" program which is currently evaluating a modern successor to the F88 (though based on the F88-A2 itself). Various component changes have been implemented to improve the weapon's tactical value, reliability, weight and accuracy. The export derivative of the EF88 is marketed under the "F90" designation with support from Thales Group. The F90 has been mentioned as a replacement for the French Army's FAMAS line.

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Physical
The physical qualities of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
790 mm
31.10 in
O/A Length
508 mm
20.00 in
Barrel Length
7.94 lb
3.60 kg
Weight
Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt; Select-Fire
Action
5.56x45mm NATO
Caliber(s)
32-round detachable box magazine
Feed
Optics Support.
Sights
Performance
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
980 ft
298.7 m | 326.7 yds
Max.Eff.Range
700
Rounds-Per-Minute
Rate-of-Fire
3,180 ft/sec
969 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr) Bullpup Assault Rifle family line.
F88 Austeyr - Base Series Designation; original models based on Steyr AUG A1.
F88C - Carbine form with 16" barrel
F88S-A1 - Introduction of Picatinny rail section over receiver.
F88S-A1C - Carbine form of F88S-A1
F88 GLA - Grenadier model with underslung 40mm M203 grenade launcher; sans bayonet support.
F88T - Trainer variant in .22 caliber
F88S-A2 - Modernized F88S-A1; improved gas system; improved support for U.S.-originated ammunition; enlarged ejection port; increased over-receiver Picatinny rail section; forend accessories support.
EF88 ("Enhanced F88") - Proposed F88 replacement as part of the LAND 125 Soldier Combat System program.
F90 - Export designation for EF88 development
F88 DSTO "Advanced Individual Combat Weapon" - Prototype assault weapon based on F88; integrated 40mm grenade launcher; development ceased.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Thales Lithgow Small Arms Factory - Australia
National flag of Australia National flag of the Philippines

[ Australia; Philippines ]
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Image of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Lithgow F88 (Austeyr)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
AUTOMATIC FUNCTION
ASSAULT RIFLE
Recognition
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 Lithgow F88 (Austeyr) Bullpup Assault Rifle appears in the following collections:
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