is an acronym
Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales
(Center for Technical Studies of Special Materials), a Spanish
government design and development establishment. While being
involved in many projects CETME was mostly known for its small arms
research and development. The
is its most famous project and the
CETME name is most often used to refer to this rifle.
CETME also designed the CETME C2
advanced Sterling-like submachine
, and the CETME Ameli
(AMEtralladora LIgera) a light machine gun in 5.56x45mm NATO.
The CETME rifle was designed primarily by the German engineer
, who based his
design on the experimental German StG45
the French-made AME 49
. The StG45 used a
roller-delayed blowback mechanism somewhat
similar to the roller-locking system patented by the Edward Stecke in the 1930s in Poland and used in
The MG42 locking system
actually locks completely and requires a short stroke barrel that
travels backwards to unlock, compared to the StG45(M) system that
never completely locks and does not require a moving barrel. The
CETME design inherits the StG45(M)'s fixed-barrel. The rifle was
initially designed for other cartridges, including the 7.62x51
CETME, but due to feedback from H&K the rifle was chambered for
the more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO
round. Model B went on to be the foundation of the widely-deployed
Heckler & Koch G3
Model A began manufacture in Spain in
The CETME series of battle rifles was manufactured in
five models, the A, B, C, L, LC, and LV models. The primary
difference in the three first models is the absence of bipod and
the lightweight C model.
Modelo A and A1
Production model, with steel handguard, manufactured for light
weight 7.62 CETME round, which fired a lighter weight projectile
than standard 7.62 NATO round. The parts for these for the most
part interchange with the later "C" model rifles. On the current
Century rifles there have been reports of model "B" parts in the
Model "C" Century built rifles.
The "C" model was a lightweight version.
Spanish sailor with CETME C
CETME L and LC
The CETME Model L was a downsized variant of the CETME system,
chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO
cartridge. It was adopted in 1984 and replaced in 1999 by the
Heckler and Koch G36
Image:CETMEL.lateral.der.png|Right side view CETME
LImage:CETMEL.despiecebasico.png| CETME L basic
Other CETME weapon designs
The CETME C2 is a Sterling type SMG.
This model was an unsuccessful attempt to replace the MG3 with a
5,56 mm Light Squad Automatic Weapon. The prototypes of the weapon
were quite good, having good if not excellent performance in trials
and first units, being tested not only in Spanish army but by
British 22nd SAS regiment in 1984, beating FN Minimi and HK33E.
Production examples had far less quality, with poorer materials.
The UK Army returned their serial production units (a total of 600
purchased for SAS, SBS, and paratroopers) to Santa Bárbara and
Spanish Army units did never fully replaced MG3 (which is still in
service) with AMELI (with only about 300 units in service and many
units with functional problems due to low quality materials;
further orders were cancelled). Both models are expected will be
replaced with H&K MG4.
Spanish marines lightly modified the weapon adding reinforcements
and additional weldings in order to correct some functional
Sources and literature
- Manual del soldado de Infantería de Marina ( 1985 ). Marine
Corps soldier Manual Edited by the Spanish Ministry of
- Manual de instrucción básica de la Escuela Técnica de Seguridad
y Defensa del Aire (ETESDA) (2002). Basic instruction Manual of the
Technical School Safety and Air Defence (ETESDA) (2002). Edited by
the Spanish Ministry of Defence.
- Centro de Documentación y Publicaciones del Ministerio de
Defensa. Publications and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of
- CETME: 50 años del fusil de asalto español . (CETME: 50 years
of Spanish assault rifle). José María Manrique García and Lucas
Molina Franco. Edit. La Esfera de los Libros. (The Sphere of
Books). ISBN 8497343980.