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FN Herstal Announces Expansions, U.S.-Made Optics Forthcoming

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Production capacity at Noptel—an FN Herstal-owned optics company in Finland—has increased with additional technical staff and an expanded plant size. The growth began in November 2022 and was completed in March of this year. The firm invested more than 1,150,000 euros in construction and hiring.

The area dedicated to manufacturing increased from 450 square meters (roughly 4,850 sq-ft.) to 620 (6,670 sq-ft.), providing ample space to meet current needs and add workstations as demand increases. In addition, this month, Noptel also announced plans to build an entire new production facility in the United States and begin a specialized electronic components line at its FN Herstal’s main plant.

Noptel began as a high-tech startup in 1982 and worked for several years in close partnership with FN Herstal. During that time, the FN fire control unit (FCU) for 40 mm grenade launchers was developed and produced by Noptel to FN Herstal specifications. In 2011, FN Herstal acquired the firm as a fully owned subsidiary.

“FN Herstal’s acquisition of Noptel 12 years ago seemed at the time a daring decision for a small arms company,” said Julien Compère, CEO of FN Herstal. “However, we now see proof that Noptel brings extremely valuable complementary skills that enable FN Herstal to provide modern, high-performance systems to our military and law enforcement customers.”

The FN FCU, now in the Mk3 third generation, it is fully in service and providing high probability of first-round hits by day or by night. The system improves operational capabilities and field performance of the 40 mm grenade launchers wearing it.

“Noptel’s location in the Tecknocent building situated in Northern Finland’s technology hub at Oulu Teknologiakylä has been a great asset,” said Noptel CEO Arto Sepponen. “the flexibility of the space will enable and support the growth and expansion of our business far into the future.”

The FN Elity is one of the company’s more recent introductions. It includes a rangefinder and ballistic solver, both visible and IR lasers and IR illumination, greatly simplify sighting corrections for long-range direct-fire precision rifles and spotting scopes.

Article by GUY J. SAGI



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