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The EMERK is an assault rifle currently in standard issue in Myanmar as the EMER
K-1 and EMERK-3. The EMERK-1 is a 5.56x45mm bullpup rifle roughly based on the I
sraeli Galil assault rifle with an AKM receiver.
Before 1988, the standard Myanmar infantry weapon was the 7.62x51mm-NATO BA-63 a
ssault rifle, a locally-produced version of the early-model German Heckler & Koc
h G-3 battle rifle; the machineries were of German origin, and were sold to the
Myanmar government by Myanmar Fritz Werner Industries,ltd.
Later during the 1970s and 1980s,the Myanmar Armed Forces decided to introduce t
he 5.56x45mm-NATO cartridge along the 7.62x51mm NATO in standard infantry servic
e, and thus had to re-design their individual weapons; as platoon level support
weapon was retained (and still is nowadays) the locally-manufactured 7.62x51mm g
eneral-purposes machine-gun: an indigenous clone of the Rheinmetall MG-3 GPMG.
The new weapon system to enter in service obviously had to be obtained with the
machineries already in Myanmar .What the engineers at Myanmar Fritz Werner Indus
tries,ltd. and EMEC (Electrical and Mechanical and Engineering Corps of Myanmar
Army) come out with was a local version of the HECKLER&KOCH HK 33 assault rifle
system, obviously simplified in construction to fit with the means and the resou
rces available.
Both the MA-11 and MA 12 are feed from M16-Style STANAG magazines,
From the beginning of 2002, 7.62x51mm BA-63 and BA-72 series rifles are graduall
y being replaced by a new series of 5.56x45mm MA-series automatic assault rifles
in Myanmar Army's frontline units. This series of weapons (MA-1) is different f
rom the MA-11/MA-12, and might be the result of some agreements between the Myan
mar government and Israeli IMI consultants who visited the Country as early as i
n the year 1990s. The new MA series assault rifles are similar to the Israeli 5.
56x45mm GALIL rifles, again re-engineered to fit the local manufacturing techniq
ues and capabilities. With the introduction of EMERK-3 (MA-1) as service rifle f
or the Myanmar Army the MA-11 / MA-12 are being armed to the Myanmar Police Forc
e; considerably an upgrade from its WW-II vintage .303 rifle.
EMERK-1 is manufactured by EMEC and Myanmar Heavy Industries(MHI) . Before this,
a Chinese company called NG CHUNG-KEUNG, subsidiary of NORINCO, had shipped to
Myanmar under the governmental request some exemplars of the new NORINCO QBZ-97
5.56mm bull-pup assault rifle for evaluation. The Myanmar engineers were positiv
ely impressed by this weapon, but the communist Chinese government didn't really
wanted to sell firearms to an extreme right-wing dictatorship, and thus the shi
pment of the new QBZ-97 rifles to Myanmar were halted and further ones completel
y canceled.