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Introduced in 1985 in response to the Italian army's search for a new assault rifle, the 70/90 is an upgraded design based on the earlier AR 70. It is a slightly more durable weapon, although it retains the AR 70's inexpensive manufacturing process. Selective fire is controlled by a two-stage trigger. Single-shot, three round burst, and full-auto options are all available, although the trigger mechanism must be adjusted internally for any two of the three. The weapon features a carrying handle, which can be removed to reveal a scope mount that easily takes most optical sights.

As with the AR 70, two variants are made. The SC 70/90 has a folding metal stock, while the SCS 70/90 has a folding stock and a shorter barrel. All three versions are in service with the Italian army.

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