Fabrique Nationale Herstal (French for: National Factory Herstal), self-identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN, is a leading firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium, and is owned by the holding company Herstal Group which is owned by the regional government of Wallonia. It is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe.
FN Herstal is a member of the Belgian Herstal Group, which also owns U.S. Repeating Arms Company (Winchester) and Browning Arms Company. FN America is the American subsidiary of FN Herstal; FN America was formed by the merger of FN's previous two American subsidiaries: FN Manufacturing and FNH USA. FN Manufacturing, located in Columbia, South Carolina, was the manufacturing branch of FN Herstal in the United States, producing firearms such as the M249 and M240 machine guns and the M16 rifle, among others. FNH USA, located in McLean, Virginia, was the sales and marketing branch of FN Herstal in the United States. After the merger, the facilities in South Carolina and Virginia remained, but with integrated management.
Firearms designed and/or manufactured by FN include the Browning Hi-Power and Five-seven pistols, the FAL, FNC, F2000 and SCAR rifles, the P90 submachine gun, the M2 Browning, MAG and Minimi machine guns: all have been commercially successful. FN Herstal's firearms are used by the militaries of over 100 countries.
1913 FN motorcycle with four-cylinder in-line engine and shaft drive
FN Herstal originated in the small city of Herstal, near Liège. The Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre (French for National Factory of Weapons of War) was established in 1889 to manufacture 150,000 Mauser Model 89 rifles ordered by the Belgian Government. FN was co-founded by the major arms makers of the Liège region, with Henri Pieper of Anciens Etablissements Pieper being the driving force and the primary shareholder of the new company. In 1897 the company entered into a long-lasting relationship with John Moses Browning, a well-known firearms designer. FN was an important manufacturer of motor vehicles in Belgium, a development championed by Alexandre Galopin as managing director. Cars were produced in Herstal in the early 1900s until 1935. Production of FN motorcycles continued until 1965, and production of trucks until 1970. In 1973, FN changed its name to reflect a product line diversified far beyond just "weapons of war", adopting the current name of Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal.
One of Fabrique Nationale's handguns, a Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol in 9×17mm (.380 ACP) (serial number 19074) was one of four weapons that were taken from the assassins of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, although it is unknown which of the four weapons fired the fatal round.
John Moses Browning began development of the Browning GP35 'High Power' (sometimes written as Hi-Power) pistol, the GP standing for Grande Puissance or "high power" in French. However, the weapon was finalized by Dieudonné Saive and did not appear until nearly a decade after Browning's death.
The FN Manufacturing LLC plant in Columbia, South Carolina is part of the military division of FN. It is primarily responsible for the production of U.S. military weapons, such as M16 rifles, M249 light machine guns, M240 machine guns, and M2 machine guns.
FN Herstal weapons
United States sailor fires an M240B
, a U.S. version of the FN MAG
, adopted for infantry use in the 1990s
- Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle .22 LR, .22 Short. Takedown rifle. Production began in 1914 and continued through 1974 in Belgium.
- FN CAL: Carabine Automatique Légère, 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle.
- FN F2000: 5.56×45mm NATO bullpup assault rifle, part of a system with a computerized sight and 40mm grenade launcher or 12 gauge shotgun.
- FN FS2000: Semi-automatic sporting version of the F2000 rifle.
- FN FAL: Fusil Automatique Léger, 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifle. One of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by over 90 nations.
- FN FNAR: Semi-automatic rifle chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO.
- FN FNC: Fabrique Nationale Carabine, 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle.
- M16: 5.56×45mm NATO rifle (produced under licence by Colt Defense via a U.S. Government contract since 1991, by FNH USA).
- M4A1: 5.56×45mm NATO rifle (produced under contract from the U.S. Government since 2013 by FNH USA).
- Mle 1930: Belgian variant of the Browning M1918, chambered in 7.65×53mm Belgian Mauser.
- FN Model 1949: Semi-automatic rifle / selective fire automatic rifle chambered in .30-06 Springfield, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 7.62×51mm NATO, and 7×57mm Mauser.
- PS90: Semi-automatic sporting carbine version of the P90 submachine gun.
- FN SCAR: SOF Combat Assault Rifle, modular assault/battle rifle system with dedicated versions in 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62×51mm NATO.
- FN BRG-15: Experimental heavy machine gun chambered in 15.5×115mm.
- M2 Browning: .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) heavy machine gun produced under licence.
- FN MAG: Mitrailleuse A Gaz, 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun. Used by more than 80 nations, and made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- FN Minimi: Mini Mitrailleuse, 5.56×45mm NATO light machine gun. In service in over 75 nations and used in the United States as the M249 SAW.
- Mk 48 machine gun: Variant of the M249 light machine gun. Chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO, and developed to meet a United States special forces requirement.
- FN BAR Model 1930 BAR: Licence-built version of the M1918 BAR, rechambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge.
- M3 (FN M3M/GAU-21 and FN M3P): A belt-fed heavy machine gun which is a modernized form of the M2 Browning .50 caliber heavy machine gun. It is intended for vehicle, watercraft and aircraft mounting.
Helicopter and aircraft weapon systems
- FN HMP250: Heavy Machine Gun Pod. It is a system featuring a .50 cal FN M3P machine gun, a 275-round ammunition box, and a links and cases collector.
- FN HMP400: Heavy Machine Gun Pod. It is a system featuring a .50 cal FN M3P machine gun, a 400-round ammunition box capacity, and a links or links and cases collector.
- FN RMP: Rocket Machine Gun Pod. It is system comprising a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) FN M3P machine gun, a NATO Standard 2.75inch/70mm 3-tube rocket launcher and a 400-round machine gun ammunition box.
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