GIAT Industries FA5 5.56mm Carbine

ROBOTECH Technical FilesFA5 5.56mm Assault Carbine

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

edited by Tim Wing


  • FA5 reference file
  • FA5 gallery

Designation: GIAT Industries FA5 5.56mm Carbine

  • Year Introduced: 2014
  • Designer: GIAT Industries
  • Acquiring Military: French Army, UN Spacy, UEDF-GMP
  • Capacity: 20 or 30 round magazines
  • Rate of Fire: 600rpm
  • Weight: 3.7kg
  • Length: 75cm

As popular as the M-55 Wolverine carbine was with the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF), it did not meet the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF). Although 5.56mm caseless ammunition used by the M-55 was superior in weight and ballistics, the early UEDF preferred to remain with the more traditional 5.56mm NATO cartridge, especially in light of the enormous stockpiles available from its use as NATO’s standard caliber. Though the UEDF could have adopted the excellent MP25A1, a carbine derivative of the AR-25, which also ran a former NATO cartridge in the form of the 7.62x51mm round, it chose the FA5 due to its preference for the smaller 5.56mm round. For anti-personnel use, the UEDF considered the 5.56mm caliber more desirable because its lighter weight meant that, kilogram for kilogram, more rounds could be carried by individual soldiers. Anti-armor use was not a consideration for the Southern Cross’s needs at that time, which chiefly involved putting down poorly-equipped human and micronized-Zentraedi insurgencies. A slug-firing carbine was seen primarily as a stopgap until the RRG’s research projects could make an arsenal of man-portable energy weapons available.
FA5 5.56mm Assault Carbine 3The French industrial combine GIAT Industries designed the Fusil Automatique 5 (FA5) in
the post war period to replace their own FAMAs in French service. The UN Spacy, which
also had a history with the iconic FAMAS, later adopted the FA5 as its standard infantry carbine, supplementing the AR-21 assault rifle. The FA5 was a very short carbine; offering a full-length stock with a barrel even shorter than that on many submachine guns. Because of this, accuracy was rather limited, but this weapon was still popular with the Tactical Corps special purpose troops and Global Military Police (GMP). Longer barrel and gas-tube kits were developed that allowed quick conversion of the weapon to a full assault-rifle (and even sniper-rifle) configuration. The FA5 was a significant improvement over the FAMAS in either configuration, having addressed many of the complaints concerning the older rifle which included trigger action (described by some as “long and gross” and as having a “break like a jelly donut”). Although it briefly saw service in all the armies serving on Earth, with the introduction of the Southern Cross’ plethora of energy weapons, only the GMP—especially in remote facilities like the Tokyo Robotech Research Center—kept it in service through the Second Robotech War.



Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Megazone 23 (R) is the property of A.D. Vision and studios AIC, Artland & Tatsunoko. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Shinji Aramaki, Toshihiro Hirano, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Yasuomi Umetsu and Hiroyuki Kitazume

Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication. 

Images from – unknown

Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Chris Meadows and Rob Morgenstern, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2006, 1999, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing