The KP-60 assault rifle. Araea's current issue military rifle.
Issued to the Army, Naval Coast Patrol, Dirigble Corps. It is also widely used by many of the islands urban police forces, most notably by New Hope's paramilitary Metropolitan Policing Authority, who generally issue them to every patrol unit.
This weapon was originally based upon a mix of AK, M1 garand and StG-44 characteristics mostly, and as far as it's niche is concerned it is basically Araea's AK analogue - an inexpensive reliable weapon manufactured in large numbers.
The idea of a selective-fire rifle utilizing a lighter intermediate powered cartridge has its genesis during the height of the anti-skryke campaign when a need was recognized for a fully automatic weapon that bridged the gap between the submachine gun and the older bolt action and self loading rifles in use at the time. The early KG-35 models developed toward the end of the war proved reliable and accurate but were nearly impossible to control on full auto and the fully automatic capability was abandoned on later production models. It was determined that smaller and less powerful round would be more effective in an automatic rifle. Although smaller caliber prototypes were developed by several firms during the conflict none proved satisfactory in the field and the automatic rifle concept never came to fruition during this period. Late in the war, a pistol caliber substitute was developed in the form of the CCM-750, which proved immensely popular with those troops fortunate enough to receive them.
The modified semiautomatic-only KG-35s meanwhile were adopted as standard issue by the Araean armed forces to serve as their main battle rifle, with the CCM-750 submachine gun adopted for roles requiring a smaller, fully automatic weapon.
The select-fire rifle concept was resurrected a decade later as hostilities between the New Hope government and the various separatist and militia forces began to escalate. This renewed interest eventually led to the Kirscher Design Bureau turning out the KP-55 automatic rifle, designed around a new shortened and lightened 5.9x43mm cartridge. The KP-55 would eventually be modified into the improved KP-60 series, which went on to become standard issue for the Araean armed forces (made up of the Army, Navy, Dirigible Corps.) mostly replacing both the older 7.8mm KG-35s and the CCM-750 submachine gun in Araean military inventories.
The KP-60 series has developed a reputation for being nearly unstoppable in dusty conditions. It is also cheap to produce and can continue to function with minimal cleaning and other maintenance however the KP-60 also has its detractors who bemoaned the adoption of the rifle, claiming its full auto capability leads to an overreliance on "spray" fire and a de-emphasis on individual marksmanship. It has also been criticized for several aspects of its design, such as stiff controls as well as rather loose tolerances which are said to prevent the rifle from making the most of the 5.9x43mm cartridge's accuracy potential.
The 5.9 cartridge itself, with less range and power then the 7.8mm round was initially viewed with skepticism regarding it's fitness as a "universal" cartridge, but was quite sufficiently lethal to a skryke or human target at the respective average engagement distances for each. Additionally, replacing the KG-35 and CCM-750 with *one* weapon that could perform the essential roles of either was considered a plus to the Araean military.
Despite some of the shortcomings the Armed Forces seem quite satisfied with the weapon overall. Many provincial militia units utilize this weapon as their standard issue rifle as well, particularly those with the financial backing required to acquire newer equipment, such as those in Xiaoxing province.
It has earned popularity with police units as well. The weapon is commonly found in the hands of New Hope's paramilitary Metropolitan Policing Authority. The Wuestenpolizei have a small number in circulation with its patrol units as well but given that a large part of the Wuestenpolizei's duties consist of putting down rogue dinosaurs, a task that the 5.9mm is not well suited for, the WuPos are more often seen carrying older, larger caliber weapons. The weapon is also sometimes found in the hands of civilians but it's relative newness makes it an uncommon sight.