L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

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Little J
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Little J »

Looks like Mat isn't impressed*... Although I don't think all his information is necessarily accurate (he's in Canada, so he can be forgiven ;) )




*And he did a video defending the SA80.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by RetroSicotte »

I've looked over his videos in the past. They are riddled with inaccuracies at effectively all levels.

Little J
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Little J »

I've never bothered to check, but I get the impression that most of his "script's" are just straight from a wiki page. Even so, sometimes its worth it just for the library footage he mix's together.

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The Armchair Soldier
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

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Image
The Inkerman Company are utilising new equipment that has been specifically developed to support the Section Commanders and soldiers through a testing battle range.

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Lord Jim
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Lord Jim »

Is the "A3" a case of adding new bits to the weapon, or is it like the "A2" conversion where the weapon was stripped down and refined to remove the issues raised regarding its performance in service. If it is the latter we are going to be using the L85 for decades to come.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Lord Jim wrote: If it is the latter we are going to be using the L85 for decades to come.
Regardless of which one applies, 2035 was given as the projected end of life (wait! A4, anyone?).

I think that FAMAS, on the side of the HK roll-out to front line troops, will bow out at the same time. As will the improved Valmet RK-62 (improved in the L85 way, not the newer models like 95).
- who will take the market; what round will be standard by then...

Well, these things don't move fast, but may be UKDF will be around and we will settle all the bets of virtual pints :)
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Little J
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Little J »

So if you march around a palace you get the upgrade first? :mrgreen:

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SKB
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by SKB »


(British Army)
The SA80 A2 is being phased out for a new and improved SA80 A3. The Grenadier Guards, who have been the first infantry battalion to fire the new weapon system, have been putting some of the new features to the test.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Little J »

A notice was issued on 28 October stating that the MoD intended to award NSAF Limited, a UK subsidiary of Heckler & Koch, a contract worth up to GBP75 million (USD95.6 million) to modify and supply 44,000 upgraded 5.56×45 mm SA80 rifles.
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/201 ... e-upgrade/

Surely those numbers can't be right? 1,700 quid each :crazy:

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Little J wrote:Surely those numbers can't be right? 1,700 quid each :crazy:
DE&S answer to a FOI request:
"the expected cost of the initial 5,000 weapons
is £4.4m (ex VAT). "
- that's for the first batch, the 44k of them must be the actual production run... are they heavily accessorised and/or is support/ lots of spares included?

HK to the rescue (=A2, but how many?) cost £111m (ex VAT).
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Lord Jim »

Looking at the current programme only the Infantry are going to get the A3 with second line units retaining the A2. Mind you the amount of changes HK brought into the A2 were considerable and the same goes for the A3. Mostly small parts but the numbers soon add up. Still it is far cheaper than introducing a new rifle and all that entails.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Lord Jim wrote:only the Infantry are going to get the A3 with second line units retaining the A2
Exactly what France is doing with HK and Scar; and what Finland is doing with their venerable AR from year dot (sorry, 1962), some of the newer ones now looking like this https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=rk ... ORM=IQFRBA
Lord Jim wrote:Mostly small parts but the numbers soon add up
optics are expensive, but not everyone needs to be issued with those "parts"... not even within the frontline infantry.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Lord Jim
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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Lord Jim »

Hopefully with HK basically running the show they will try to maintain at least some level of interchangeability between the A2 and A3. It may not be as light or handy as the M4 but it has far more impact on those at the receiving end at least. So this is going to be the way forward, next will be a new rifle to replace the L85A3 which will be passed down to other units and so on. As you say it is becoming more and more common and is pretty cost effective way f doing things. More importantly it gives us time to see how small arms evolve, especially with all the work and trial going on looking at new types and sizes of ammo.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Gabriele »

There are two 1-year options on top of the 3-years deal for 44.000, so one can hope that in time all the L85s are upgraded. The full lenght rail on top is fundamental for what the army aims to do with fused sights and in-line sights.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Lord Jim »

Even with the options I cannot see the RAF (except the Regiment) and Royal Navy (Except the Royal Marines) getting the A3 when the A2 is good enough for their needs. We have to look after every half shilling these days and this would produce a small saving with little risk, whether by design or accident.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by SKB »


(Forces TV) 16 Nov 2018
The British military have been showcasing some of the changes made to existing equipment, in order to anticipate future kit demands based on likely future operations. The new aim is to make equipment lighter and more adaptable in order to free up soldiers - allowing them to be more mobile and more efficient.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by RetroSicotte »

I do suspect that the L85 will be the "need to spend a little to round out a budget" expense for now. Just gradually get more conversions every time they have a few thousand that can't get anything else anyway.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Little J »

Next upgrade will be to replace the TMH with one that has Tavor / MDR style controls, then Trigger's broom will be complete :D

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Lord Jim »

Some interesting things were highlighted in that little Force's TV piece.
1. The L85A3 is now seen as effective out to 600m
2. This was the reason both the LSW and LMG have been dropped as the L85A3 can do the same job at the same or better range with less rounds, i.e. 2-3 round bursts as against 4-5 round bursts.
3. The Army is Cerakoting (spelling?) everything!

If all of the above (1 and 2 mainly) are true then the new organisation planned makes more sense. Now lets but a load of CG M4s.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by jimthelad »

Why buy the worst carbine in the western world? It cant hit shit past 200m.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Qwerty »

jimthelad wrote:Why buy the worst carbine in the western world? It cant hit shit past 200m.
I doubt he means the M4 Carbine.

Probably the M4 Carl Gustav 84mm?

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by mr.fred »

The M4 Carl Gustav is interesting, but I don’t know how prevalent they should be. Maybe at platoon level while sections have disposable shoulder launched systems.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by Lord Jim »

Yes I did mean the Carl Gustav, and I am also weary of criticising the M16/M4 as it seems to have the effect of bringing out the Trolls from across the Atlantic who think it is the best Rifle/Carbine ever developed because they own one. As for the level at which it could be issued, can anyone remember at what level the old M2 version was issued? When I did a rethink on the organisation of the Infantry in the British Army I had each company made up of three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon, with the latter able to break down and provide two three man M4 RCL teams to each rifle platoon amongst other changes that increased the manpower throughout the Battalion. The manpower in the Armoured and Mechanised Battalions was increased through disbanding a number of "Light Role" battalions and transferring the personnel across. But that is a different thread.

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Re: L85A1/A2/A3 - SA80 Assault Rifle

Post by jimthelad »

It was nominally allocated as 1x 2 man fireteam with a gmpg sf 4 man team per platoon from the heavy weapons/ platoon of the battalion in light roles. In addition each inf coy would expect support from 1x WOMBAT with a 4 man team from the AT platoon. This ended when MILAN came into service and the widespread adoption of the LAW 66 and LAW 80.

Sorry about the M4 rant hated the damn thing!!

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