The upgraded SA80 A3

Hyperhippo

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The Ministry of Defence is upgrading the British Army’s standard combat rifle.

Defence Minister Guto Bebb announced the SA80 A2 handheld assault weapon will be upgraded into the A3 model so that the weapon can remain in service until at least 2025.

The project will cost an initial £5.4 million and will be carried out by Heckler and Koch.

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.”

The changes to the rifle include:

  • More durable hardwearing coating: in a “Flat Dark Earth” colour, it will offer better camouflage in a range of environments.
  • Lighter and easier to handle: the A3 is 100g lighter than the A2 and has a more streamlined foregrip.
  • New light sights: the A3 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.

Continued at: https://www.forces.net/news/standard-army-combat-rifle-get-upgrade
 

Chelonian

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These sights are smaller, lighter and require fewer batteries whilst operating just as effectively in low light/night conditions.

Optical sights—particularly those capable of operating in very low ambient light—have evolved significantly.

Below is a 1970's IWS (Individual Weapon Sight), often just called a Starlight scope.
It was mahoosive but versatile and could be fitted to L1A1 SLR, AR15, GPMG, Carl Gustav 84, etc.
Pictured here fitted to an L42A1 sniper. The five cylinders below the weapon are the spare batteries!

PICT0143-1 _Medium_.jpg
 

Caversham

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Optical sights—particularly those capable of operating in very low ambient light—have evolved significantly.

Below is a 1970's IWS (Individual Weapon Sight), often just called a Starlight scope.
It was mahoosive but versatile and could be fitted to L1A1 SLR, AR15, GPMG, Carl Gustav 84, etc.
Pictured here fitted to an L42A1 sniper. The five cylinders below the weapon are the spare batteries!

PICT0143-1 _Medium_.jpg
I can remember the Starlight scope! If memory serves me right, (doubtful), it emitted a low, continuous whirring sound, that wold drive you crazy by the end of a patrol. The plus side was that it really did work, albeit turning everything green!

Alan
 

Advocado

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Still polishing a turd.

Top three infantry unit requirements in priority order in my opinion:

1. New comms.

2. New night vision.

3. New rifles preferably C8 or a rifle of a similar modernised build, we need to move away from bullpup!

Probably never happen!
 

Advocado

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What’s wrong with a bullpup?

They're impossible to fire in the both the left and right shoulder, often back heavy, and because the trigger mechanism is forward of the action the triggers are usually terrible, but the main bug bearer for me is just how much slower drills can be, it's not an efficient build for fast drills in my opinion.

Take any 'standard' modern build rifle, HK 416/417, C8, M4 even the sharpshooter, the way these are built drills can be incredibly slick (especially if they are built with ambidextrous catches) collapsible butt stocks for enclosed spaces such as vehicles, it is incredibly easy to change between a long or short barrel, the build makes them incredibly easy to clean/maintain and in my experience they are far less prone to stoppages.

I'm a bit of a pest I could ramble on forever about kit and equipment...
 

Chelonian

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2. New night vision.

Funny you should mention that...

The Starlight image intensifier scope I posted a pic of was late-1960's and 1970's generation kit. @Rover posted a much more recent pic of one attached to a GPMG.
I took a squiz online and learned that the same scope was only withdrawn from 'mainstream' issue by the MoD about one year ago. That's about fifty years' service! :eek:
 

Advocado

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That's about fifty years' service! :eek:

That is absolute madness!

I still can't believe we use a single monocle HMNVS, it's absolutely ridiculous. Not too long ago I used various different incredible night vision models for testing, all of which were two tubes and the difference was unbelievable, some of them were brand spanking new models, what SF are only just getting there hands on but there was one model which American SF were using back in 1990! So this particular night vision platform had been around for almost 30 years, was one of the best and most reliable I have ever worked with, and there is still no chance of it coming into British service outside of SF anytime soon because our military doesn't have the funding and whoevers job it is to select kit and equipment is stuck in the past, but stuck over 30 years in the past!
 
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