The MA42 Individual Combat Weapon System, referred to as the MA5B in Naval and Marine service, is a modular assault rifle chambred in the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. It was developed and manufactured by Misriah Arms and Munitions, and served alongside the MA37 (MA5, alternatively MA5A) as service rifle of the UNSC Defence Force for much of the Human-Covenant War.
Developed as an improvement upon and complement to the venerable MA37 Individual Combat Weapon System, the MA42 entered service with the UNSC Defence Force in 2542 as service rifle of the UNSC Army and Marine Corps. It served with distinction with UNSC Army and Marine infantry units during many of the harshest battles of the Human-Covenant War, prompting the UNSC Navy and Air Force to adopt it as standard-issue in 2544 and 2547, respectively. Though the MA37 and MA42 would be formally succeeded by the MA52 (MA5C) ICWS in late 2552, the latter would continue to see service across branches with combat arms personnel for decades after the end of the Great War, while MA37 rifles would largely be relegated to Colonial Guard and Naval Reserve units.
An MA42 rifle with flashlight, fire control module, and KFA-series smart-link optic attachments.
A rear view of the MA42. Similarities to the MA37, upon which it was heavily based, are apparent.