ROBOTECH Technical Files
by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker, Chris Meadows and Robert Morgenstern


AR-21 5.56mm Assault Rifle

RDF Seal
Southern Cross Seal
AR-21 Rifle
ArmorWeapon Separator

Rick Hunter with AR-21
An RDF recruit crawls with an AR-21 rifle during a training exercise.

The AR-21 was developed in the years after the arrival of the SDF-1, to serve the new United Earth Government in the capacity of a replacement for the multitude of 5.56mm NATO rifles. The AR-21 was often overshadowed in development by innovative bullpup designs, but was found to be the most accurate, rugged, and light by the appropriations board. The AR-21's most interesting features include a magazine that lies flush with the trigger grip, easing fire while prone. To accommodate this, the ammunition in the magazine points upward, rather than forward, requiring a unique rotating feed mechanism. Though some parties considered the AR-21 overcomplex, it was a popular rifle, and served with distinction until replaced by the Wolverine in the 2020s.

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Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Chris Meadows and Rob Morgenstern
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Copyright © 2006, 1999, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker