in Defence

British Army’s rifle set for upgrade

Posted 12 April 2018 · Add Comment

The Ministry of Defence is upgrading the British Army’s standard combat rifle to ensure troops are equipped with the best possible battle-winning kit, Defence Minister Guto Bebb has announced.


Above: The SA80 A3 hand held assault weapon.
Courtesy MoD


The SA80 A2 hand held assault weapon will be upgraded into the A3 model under the Mid Life Improvement (MLI) project, which will ensure the rifle has the enhancements needed to remain in service until 2025 and beyond.

An initial investment of £5.4 million for the project, which will be carried out by Heckler and Koch, will help sustain around 20 highly skilled jobs at the Nottingham Small Arms Factory owned by the company.

Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: "This multi-million-pound upgrade will give our Army a lighter, more hardwearing, better-camouflaged combat rifle so our soldiers can perform on the frontline of some of the most dangerous locations across the world. This investment is also a boost to Nottingham’s highly-skilled gun-makers who proudly support our troops in their task to protect our country in the face of intensifying threats.

The changes to the rifle include:

  • A more durable hardwearing coating in a 'Flat Dark Earth' colour offering better camouflage in a range of environments.
  • The A3 is 100g lighter than the A2 and has a more streamlined fore grip making the weapon easier to handle.
  • The A3 rifle has a bracket to secure new innovative low light sights which can clip on or in front of the day sight without the need to remove it. These sights are smaller, lighter and require fewer batteries whilst operating just as effectively in low light/night conditions.


Director Land Equipment at the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Major General Colin McClean said: "The SA80 is a battle proven weapon used by the UK Armed Forces on operations all over the world. The upgrade will build upon the rifle’s state-of-the-art features enhancing accuracy and consistency. The Mid Life Improvement project will ensure that our troops have the right equipment at the right time."

The MLI project will see 5,000 weapons upgraded initially with the intent to upgrade more weapons in the future. The fielding of the first tranche began in February.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

SEA supplying TLS to navies in South East Asia

Cohort company SEA is supplying its Torpedo Launcher Systems (TLS) to three South East Asian navies that have signed up for a solution based on technology originally developed for the UK Royal Navy.

Bristol Airport and SWRnewstar win Waste2Zero award

SWRnewstar has won the Waste2Zero Best Waste Project Communication & Stakeholder Engagement Award in partnership with its customer Bristol Airport.

Dnata awarded UK MHRA certification for Good Distribution Practice

Global air services provider and UK ground handler, dnata, has been awarded certification for Good Distribution Practice (GDP) by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (UK MHRA).

Airbus increases Sentinel-3 altimetry precision

A new highly precise MicroWave Radiometer (MWR) built by Airbus is ready to start operations after the launch of the Sentinel-3B satellite built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor for this programme.

GECAS takes delivery of the first 737-800 BCF

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) took delivery of the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) today – landing in England – which will be operated by West Atlantic Group, based in Sweden.

BA doubles Chinese cabin crew on China routes

British Airways is doubling the number of Chinese cabin crew on its flights to and from China.

Air & Ground SK1704230718
See us at
FIL18 BT111017220718SMI FAVWSBT1402060618SMI HelicopterTBT1402240518