In WWII, the German StG44 assault rifle had made huge progress and left a great impression on other countries around the world. The biggest benefit was its perfect balance between the full-power rifles and submachine guns that had been traditionally used.
After World War II, and with the start of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was quick to grasp the technology from StG44. Theydeveloped a new weapon could be operated effectively by even the most hastily trained soldier. The AK-47 was that weapon, and it became the quintessential assault rifle.
Throughout its lifespan, the AK-47 was constantly improving, with the AKM being the most widely produced version, and used in many countries covered by the "Iron Curtain".
Back in the West, the "Free World" needed an answer to the AK. Western countries were also studying the concept of the assault rifle as a base platform to begin from. And oneof the solutions that came from this was the "Light Automatic Rifle"(LAR), developed in a well knownWestern European firearms factory.
Since its inception, this rifle has been well received in the Western world, and because of this, it has been equipped in many countries around the globe As a main rifle, it was superb for its day, with many considering it the quintessential Cold War-era rifle in the Western countries
In addition, from the 1960s to the 1970s, the LAR was a favorite weapon of Western mercenaries, so it was hailed as "one of the greatest mercenary weapons of the twentieth century" by the American Mercenary magazine.
During the Cold War, the LAR was adopted by many countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) . Eventually, it would serve more than 90 different countries around the world. Over this time, it has spawnedmany improved models and different types, one of which is the British Commonwealth's variant of the LAR that was redesigned from metrical LAR into British imperial units and was produced under license as the L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle.
As the standard equipment of a large number of Western countries (except the United States), the LAR was given the nickname of "The Right Arm of the Free World".