Israel Arms Industries (IWI) initially attempted to develop a shortened version of the TAR-21 bullpup assault rifle (described elsewhere on this page) called the "MATR-21". However, when attention turned to an entirely new branch of the "X95" rifle, the move was eventually abandoned. The weapon is a very compact version of the original known as the "Micro-Tavor".
Design started in 2003 and it was commissioned in 2009.
Bullpup allows gunmakers to use a full-length barrel with little sacrifice in accuracy and range, while promoting a more compact gun profile because the action is located behind the pistol grip and trigger assembly. The result was a well-balanced weapon and a concept that became increasingly popular among front-line service rifles (the Austrian Steyr AUG of the late 1970s was one of the earliest examples of a bullpup assault rifle that was widely accepted).
The X95 has followed and has become a widely accepted new addition to the Tavor family of rifles.
Internally, the gun has a pneumatic rotating bolt action, and chambers vary by model, from the ubiquitous 5.56x45mm NATO intermediate cartridge to the popular 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge (although the latter version is a recoil closed bolt action). The X95 accepts the standard 30-round STANAG detachable magazine (the 9mm format uses a 32-round magazine).
Externally, the weapon has a traditional bullpup form, with the pistol grip centrally below the rifle's frame. At the back is the oversized shoulder rest, which bolts in place and accommodates the firing action. The front end is short and ribbed, and the grip is firm. A tactical vertical fore grip can also be installed below this section for better two-handed grip.
The barrel is mostly wrapped by the front end and receiver, but only slightly protrudes forward and is covered by a slotted flash hider. Accessory rails are located above the receiver and are used to attach optics and laser sights as required.
Similarly, the vertical fore grip can be exchanged for accessories (such as a tactical flashlight) along the available lower rail section.
The main form of this gun series is the X95, which has a 5.56x45mm chamber caliber and fires a 13-inch barrel. On the submachine gun (SMG) model, the weapon holds the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge while relying on the same barrel length as the X95 base. The X95S is another SMG model with an integrated silencer for stealth work and a compact 10.8" barrel. The full-length rifle is the X95L, chambered in 5.56x45mm, with a 15", 16.5" or 26.4" long barrel.
The X95R is another compact model with a 13-inch barrel length for the carbine. Development of a true NATO rifle caliber is underway and is expected to support the full power 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge.
Other notable models include the locally produced Ukrainian offshoot Fort-224 (5.45x39mm Soviet cartridge), the 5.56x30mm MINSAS local Indian "Zittara" model and the .300 AAC for 7.62x35mm ("300 AAC" power failure").
Since its introduction, the X95 has been used by Angola (Army), Azerbaijan (Army), Colombia (Police), India (known as "Zittara", manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Committee for law enforcement officers) and Ukraine (National Guard). For the Israeli Army, the X95 has been designated as the standard assault rifle of the future and will provide extended tactical support for the Down Tube Grenade Launcher (UBGL) with an improved trigger group and a longer barrel (15 inches).
- Close Combat (CQB) / Personal Protection
580 mm (22.83 in)
330 mm (12.99 in)
Gas powered pivot
2,850 feet per second (869 meters per second)
X95 "Micro-Tavor" - Base Series Designation; chambered for 5. 56x45mm; 13" barrel.
MTAR-21 - Former Designation
X95 SMG - Submachine Gun model in 9x19mm; 13" barrel.
X95S - SMG model in 9x19mm; integrated suppressor; 10. 8" barrel.
X95L - Assault Rifle in 5. 56x45mm; 15", 16. 5" or 26. 4" barrel.
X95R - Carbine in 5. 45x39mm with 13" barrel
X95 NATO - Proposed model chambered for 7. 62x51mm NATO.
Zittara - Local Indian production model in 5. 56x30mm MINSAS.
Fort-224 - Local Ukrainian model in 5. 45x39mm
. 300 AAC - Chambered for 7. 62x35mm