Singapore's locally designed SAR-21 assault rifle has been picked as one of the top five high tech guns for the next-generation infantry, according to Popular Mechanics. This is certainly a far cry from the first assault rifle produced by CIS (now ST Kinetics) in 1978, the crappy SAR80 which was supposed to replace the M-16 but failed miserably. The SR88 was next but because it was simply tweaking the already bad SAR80 which it was based on, it didn't fare any better. However, when the SAR-21 assault rifle was first demonstrated publicly in 1999, it got people's attention (at least mine). When I got the opportunity to fire the weapon during the Army Open House, it certainly scored high for me as compared to the M16 we've been handling in NS. It's bullpup design with integrated laser aiming device and ambidextrous handling plus many other fine features certainly made it a far superior weapon to the M16. I certainly liked the special ops modified versions which looked way cooler than the standard issue ones.
So I'm certainly glad the world is sitting up and taking notice. Other than the SCAR which has probably seen some action, me thinks the other three in the top five are still in the developmental stages. The SAR-21 is the only weapon that has already been deployed and put into use by the Singapore Armed Forces. Yet it is labeled here as a next-generation weapon. The future is 'NOW' :) Let's hope some company makes them in 1/6 scale (like the saying goes, "hope springs eternal")