The Weapons of the British Army
Here is a little information on the main British Army weapons. That I have obtained from my 'the British Army and its Weapons' book.
First the SA80 , the soldiers standard weapon, a semi-automatic combat rifle. Its only fault is that it has a tendency to clog up and not work in extreme conditions. Made by Heckler and Koch (UK) and fires NATO standard 5.56 x 45mm ammunition; and has been in service since 1985.
• Weight 4.98kg complete with loaded magazine and optical sight.
• Length 750mm.
• Muzzle Velocity 940mls.
• Feed 30 round magazine.
• Effective range 500m.
• Cyclic Rate of Fire 610/770 rounds/min.
Now the Light Support Weapon :
Very similar in appearance to the SA80, but with a longer and heavier barrel, allowing greater muzzle velocity and accuracy than the Individual Weapon. When fired from the integrated bipod, and using the standard SUSAT sight, the LSW is impressively accurate and consistent.
• Weight 7.28kg with loaded magazine and optical sight;
• Length 900mm;
• Muzzle Velocity 940m/s;
• Feed 30 round magazine;
• Effective Range 500m;
• Cyclic Rate of Fire 610-770 rounds/min.
The British Sniper Rifle :
This is the latest and best Sniper Rifle that the Army has produced so far. The rifle is accurate enough to achieve a first round hit at 900m and achieve harassing fire out to 1100m. Although fitted with fully adjustable iron sights for use out to 700m, the rifle is normally fitted with a Schmidt and Bender 6 x 42 telescopic sight. The front bipod is fully adjustable and folds forward when not in use.
• Cartridge 7.62mm x 51mm NATO; Operation Bolt action;
• Feed 10 round box magazine;
• Weight 6.5kg;
• Length 1.124 - 1.194m
7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun
The General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) can be used in the light role but is more normally used in the sustained fire role. The weapon is operated by a two-man team (one feeder and one gunner) and a number of weapons are normally grouped in a specialist machine gun platoon, these are extremely effective at close range.
• Range 800m (Light Role), 1,800m (Sustained Fire Role);
• Muzzle Velocity 538m/s;
• Length 1.23m;
• Weight loaded 13.85kg (gun + 50 rounds);
• Belt Fed Rate of Fire up to 750 rpm;
• Rate of Fire Light Role 100 rpm;
• Rate of Fire Sustained Fire Role 200 rpm
51mm Light Mortar
The 51mm Light Mortar is a Platoon level, indirect fire weapon that can be carried and fired by one man, though usually has a two-man crew. The mortar is used to fire smoke (so that friendly troops can advance on the enemy more easily without being seen), illuminating and HE rounds out to a range of approximately 750m; a short range insert device enables the weapon to be used in close quarter battle situations with accuracy.
• Range 750m (approx);
• Bomb Weight 800 gms (illum), 900 gms (smk), 920 gms (HE);
• Rapid Rate of Fire 8 rpm;
• Length of barrel 700mm;
• Weight Complete 6.275 kg;
• Calibre 51.25mm.
Far bigger and more effective than the 51mm Mortar, the 81mm Mortar is a Battlegroup level indirect fire weapon which is capable of providing accurate HE, smoke and illuminating rounds out to a maximum range of 5,650m (approx) (which is extremely effective). Mortar Platoons in mechanised and armoured infantry battalions are mounted in and fire from their Armoured Personnel Carriers, increasing its mobility, and enables rapid disengagement and movement to another site. Usually manned from 2-4 men.
• Max Range HE 5,650m;
• Muzzle Velocity 225m/s;
• Length of barrel 1280mm;
• In action Weight 35.3 kg;
• Bomb Weight HE L3682 4.2 kg;
• Rate of Fire 15 rpm;
• Calibre 81mm
LAW (Light Anti Armour Weapon). Using the latest materials and explosive technology this one-man portable weapon is capable of destroying main battle tanks at ranges up to 500m. Accurate due to a built-in semi-automatic spotting rifle, which reduces aiming errors. Penetrates armour in excess of 650mm (just about any tank, unless the Russians are making a new one......). Built-in sight allows good low light performance; night sight provides full night capability. Due to be replaced by NLAW (The NLAW will have a greater range and will be more effective).
• Effective Range - up to 500m;
• Impact Sensor - scrub and foliage proof;
• Launcher length (firing mode) 1.5m;
• Launcher Length (carrying mode) 1m;
• Carrying Weight 10kg;
• Projectile Diameter 94mm;
• Temp Range -46 to + 65 C;
• Rear Danger Area 20m.
Milan Portable Anti-Tank Guided Weapon
Milan is a second generation anti-tank weapon (and far more advanced than LAW), the result of a joint development between France and West Germany with British Milan launchers and missiles built under licence in the UK. The Milan consists of two main components, the launcher and the missile; these are simply clipped together to prepare the system for use. On firing, the operator has only to keep his aiming mark on the target and the Semi Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS) guidance system will do the rest.
• Missile - Max Range 2,000m;
• Min Range 400m;
• Length 918mm;
• Weight 6.73kg;
• Diameter 125mm;
• Wing Span 267mm;
• Rate of Fire 3-4rpm;
• Warhead - Weight 2.70kg;
• Diameter 115mm;
• Explosive Content 1.79kg;
• Firing Post - Weight 16.4kg;
• Length 900mm; Height 650mm;
• Width 420mm;
• Armour Penetration 352mm;
• Time of Flight to Max Range 12.5secs;
• Missile Speed 720kph;
• Guidance Semi-Automatic command to line of sight by means of wire guidance link.
MR Trigat is a medium range anti tank missile system which will replace MILAN (see above). The missile has a tandem, high explosive hollow charge which can defeat modern Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) equipped targets. Its general arrangement is similar to Milan and is equipped with a Thermal Imaging sight to allow engagement to maximum range by day or night, in all weather conditions.
• Range 2000 metres;
• Missile Launch Weight 18.2 kgs;
• Firing Post Weight 16.5 kgs;
• Thermal Sight Weight 10.5 kgs;
• Guidance Laser Beam Riding SACLOS.