Section Infantry Weapons

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The Armchair Soldier
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Section Infantry Weapons

Post by The Armchair Soldier »

A topic to discuss section infantry weapons.

A section typically includes the following:
  • Six L85A2/A3 rifles, two of which are usually equipped with an L123A2/A3 underslung grenade launcher (UGL)
  • One L129A1 sharpshooter rifle
  • One L7A2 general purpose machine gun (can be replaced by an additional L85A2/A3 rifle at commanding officer's discretion for a total of seven L85A2/A3 rifles)
  • L3A1 bayonet; one for each L85A2/A3 and L129A1 rifles in the section.
  • One L128A1 combat shotgun for use by the section point soldier (point position is subject to rotation between individual members of the section)
  • Two NLAW anti-tank weapons
  • L72A9 or L2A1 anti-structure munitions
  • L109A2 high explosive grenades
  • L132A1 smoke grenades and/or L84A3 red phosphorus smoke grenades.

mr.fred
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by mr.fred »

Interesting.
Didn't we go through the "UGLs make light mortars redundant" already, only to find that this wasn't the case and resulting in the hasty introduction of the 60mm commando mortar?
As for the Minimi, I was under the impression that "big SMG" was almost more appropriate to its use than LMG, so that's possibly worth a look at, if only to recommend a longer barrel and more training for the operator.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by RetroSicotte »

Yet more "this has been reviewed and isn't necessary" stealth cuts...

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Gabriele
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Gabriele »

If someone has access to the whole article, i'd love to know what it says.

Mostly to see if it is as insane as i suspect it is.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Gabriele »

I believe in Afghanistan they have been swapping Minimi for GPMG very frequently, but don't know if there are enough MGs to return to gimpy entirely.

And something tells me it is not what the review is about anyway. But i hope to be wrong...

The army a while ago was also considering procuring longer barrels for the Minimi. The british army, in its infinite wisdom, originally purchased only short ones, if i recall right, with obvious implications.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by GastonGlocker »

arfah wrote:Impending doom :-(

The UGL replaced the 51mm mortar and the 60mm was introduced as the UGL wasn't effective enough at lobbing compound walls.

I'm indifferent about the minimi. Only used it once on exercise with blank.

A pal of mine was once asked, "If you were in a firefight and you could have either the LSW or the LMG, what would you choose?"

He reply was pure gold.

"Well, I have been in firefights with both of them and what I wanted was a jimpy!"

(L7A2 general purpose machine gun or MAG58 to the uninitiated)
I wasn't able to see the whole article so am curious if a shift to an IAR like USMC?

I got to carry the M249 and even old M60. Much preferred the 60. The new M60-E6 adopted by Danish SF IIRC, makes it lighter, adds optic and lowers rate of fire...while keeping 7.62 NATO horsepower.

Seems a better option.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Tony Williams »

The BA's preferences keep shifting. They acquired the short-barrelled Minimi in Iraq as a short-range bullet-sprayer; close in, volume of fire matters. In the much longer ranges typical of Afghanistan, it was of little use and the L86A2 came back into favour as its long barrel squeezed the most out of the 5.56mm ammo. In addition, the GPMG was often carried at section level, and the L129A1 7.62mm Sharpshooter rifle was adopted.

No we're back in peacetime the focus has shifted back to 5.56mm at section level, but the L86 is no longer in favour because the ballistic advantage it offers over the L85A2 is relatively small, and the L85 is now fitted with a grip pod/bipod, with which it can be fired as accurately as the L86 - so what's the point of the L86? They are accordingly working towards seven L85A2 rifles in the section, plus one belt-fed MG (long-barrelled Minimi, IIRC). The 7.62mm weapons will be held back at a higher level, to be deployed as and when required.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

that'll never happen

wasn't the minimi bought as a UOR with a limited spares and support?
The army will try and reset back to the LSW because thats what is meant to be in the inventory. Despite it being fairly useless. Even the ww2 Bren gun is better than the LSW!

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Gabriele »

Currently each British Army infantry fire team is equipped with one L85A2 5.56x45 mm assault rifle (SA80); one L85A2 fitted with an underslung 40 mm grenade launcher (UGL); one L129A1 7.62x54 mm sharpshooter rifle; and one FN Herstal Para Minimi 5.56x45 mm light machine gun (LMG) to provide suppressive fire. Each rifle platoon is also supported by an M6-640 Commando 60 mm mortar; however it was reported that due to the way that it has to be operated, firers are only achieving 3% of first-round hits on target.

The review is looking at the use and potential removal of the LMG and mortar from dismounted infantry platoons - on the basis that the UGL and sharpshooter rifle adequately fulfil current requirements.

Currently the M6-640's ability to supress targets at ranges of up to the 1,384 m is not a requirement for platoon operations; this can be delivered by company- and battlegroup-controlled weapon systems such as the L16A2 81 mm mortar or the L7A1 (FN MAG) 7.62x.54 mm general purpose machine gun (GPMG).

Although a review is being undertaken, no final decision on withdrawing the LMG or the 60 mm mortar has been taken.
It is the same old movie of the UGL somehow magically removing the need for the lightweight mortar. Yet the UGL can do nothing more than it could when this idiocy was said last time.

As for removing the machine gun from Sections, it is a jump backwards in the history of warfare.

To make it better still, until a short time ago it was the L129 that would be withdrawn from service.
It hasn't been withdrawn in the end, but not all sections have access to it. The Army was actually rolling out the old LSW again, but in the Sharpshooter role, to complement the L129, for all i know.

They have no idea what they are doing, they are just desperately scrambling for saving pennies.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

problem is Minimi, L110 & 60mm mortar are UOR's not proper buys and the budgets for them will now be drying up. Until the Army redesigns the section firepower offically it'll be stuck with SA80 & LSW

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Gabriele »

marktigger wrote:problem is Minimi, L110 & 60mm mortar are UOR's not proper buys and the budgets for them will now be drying up. Until the Army redesigns the section firepower offically it'll be stuck with SA80 & LSW
Don't think the Minimi is a UOR. A small number of Maxi-minimi in 7.62 were purchased as UOR in Afghanistan, but the 5.56 has been part of the Sections for many years.
As for 60mm mortar and L129A1 having been purchased as UOR, it is no valid reason to throw them away by ignoring battlefield lessons.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

Gabriele wrote:
marktigger wrote:problem is Minimi, L110 & 60mm mortar are UOR's not proper buys and the budgets for them will now be drying up. Until the Army redesigns the section firepower offically it'll be stuck with SA80 & LSW
Don't think the Minimi is a UOR. A small number of Maxi-minimi in 7.62 were purchased as UOR in Afghanistan, but the 5.56 has been part of the Sections for many years.
As for 60mm mortar and L129A1 having been purchased as UOR, it is no valid reason to throw them away by ignoring battlefield lessons.
5.56mm Minimi was bought as UOR for Iraq.

no it isn't a good reason to get rid of them but they aren't budgeted for the weapons that are are the LSW and SA80 I think the AGL, combat shotgun and LAW type weapons will get swept up to as will the numbers of .50. yeap its a stupid. But most of these weapons probably aren't supported by budgets or long term support plans/contracts and probably haven't gone through full evaluation process. The accountants will triumph as ever.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Gabriele »

5.56mm Minimi was bought as UOR for Iraq.
And in well over a decade it hasn't become part of the Core budget of the Army...? I struggle to believe that, a lot.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

I wouldn't struggle to believe it in the slightest!

nice to see 43 commando is ditching the SA80

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016 ... adopt-c8s/

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Tinman »

marktigger wrote:I wouldn't struggle to believe it in the slightest!

nice to see 43 commando is ditching the SA80

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016 ... adopt-c8s/
Why?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

C7 & C8 has always been a better system than SA80 based on a better design and manufactured with better quality control. Than SA80 ever had. Interesting to compare its export sales and that units in British military who have the choice and need for a reliable weapon choose them over the SA80. Maybe we should have bought them in the 80's but then we had to give an incentive to BaE to buy Royal Ordanance from the government.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Tinman »

marktigger wrote:C7 & C8 has always been a better system than SA80 based on a better design and manufactured with better quality control. Than SA80 ever had. Interesting to compare its export sales and that units in British military who have the choice and need for a reliable weapon choose them over the SA80. Maybe we should have bought them in the 80's but then we had to give an incentive to BaE to buy Royal Ordanance from the government.
I'm not convinced after using both on ops.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by arfah »

.............
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

Tinman wrote:
I'm not convinced after using both on ops.

I was never convinced by SA80 (both versions) and its export failure is a verdict that speaks volumes we've only managed to give them away as aid. If it was as good as all the hype the world would have been beating its way to the UK's door to buy it. It's not on the NATO approved list either (it was removed after the A2 update). Given the choice it would appear people choose other things.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by downsizer »

Tinman wrote:
I'm not convinced after using both on ops.
Irrelevant. Operational experience is automatically trumped by internet experts on this forum who've never been in a theatre other than the local odeon to watch lone survivor.

Take your first hand knowledge and be gone heretic.... :lol: ;)

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

yes and of course the only op theatre that counts is Afghan?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

downsizer wrote:
Tinman wrote:
I'm not convinced after using both on ops.
Irrelevant. Operational experience is automatically trumped by internet experts on this forum who've never been in a theatre other than the local odeon to watch lone survivor.

Take your first hand knowledge and be gone heretic.... :lol: ;)
so carrying SLR & L85a1 in Northern Ireland?
& L85A2 in Iraq

don't count as operational eh?

and used M16 in belize

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by downsizer »

Why would you think I was referring to you princess, inferiority complex? :o

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Tony Williams »

arfah wrote:Quality is not why 43Cdo RM have 'ditched' the L85.

The shorer barrelled C8 is not as high a velocity as the L85 with it's SS108 round which means it is more suited for boarding operations. Especially where you may have to open fire inside a huge metallic vessel with non absorbent walls.

Edit: Will the RN follow suit?
The recent decision to adopt the C8 to replace some of the L85 is entirely to do with the ammo. It has been decided to adopt frangible ammo with bullets that turn to dust on impact with a hard surface, as that's safer in boarding exercises and around nuclear facilities. I believe that the ammo adopted is the MK255 used by US special forces; it fires a copper powder/polymer bullet. The L85 is notoriously picky about ammo (Radway Green makes two flavours of NATO SS109 ball: L17 for the SA80 family, L15 for everything else) so I doubt that MK255 would work too well in it. Hence the need to switch to the type of gun the MK255 was designed to work in.

The L85A2 is not much liked by its users (too heavy, and with poor ergonomics) but its performance is respected: it is very accurate and is among the most reliable of military 5.56mm rifles. There is no hurry to replace it.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by arfah »

...........l.
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