Section Infantry Weapons

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
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Tempest414
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Tempest414 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:With everything you have written "in" I think we can skip that 60mm and keep it in armouries for troops helo-landed, and no other - at least in the first instance - means of indirect fire further out than the AR-underslung grenades ( 300m ?)
Just for me if a Mechanised Battalion had 8 x Boxer based 120mm mortars range 10+ km , 9 x dismounted 60mm mortars range 3+ km plus 27 x 20mm grenade range 1km that is a lot of fire power and when back up by Brigade level Archer based artillery range 21+ km would mean a battalion could deliver 575 rounds per min of HE into a target area. This could be matched by a Mobile protected Battalion if we could fit 120mm mortar on Bushmaster or Eagle 6x6 witch can be done. It could even be achieved by air assault battalion if we could get them something like the Wiesel 120mm mortar system and 105mm light gun

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Lord Jim
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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Between 2025 and 2030 we are going to be looking to replace the L85A3 according to what I can find so going by that premise should we adopt the US 6.8mm IR and AR. I have a real soft spot for the Sig Sauer proposal which is probably the most evolutionary rather than revolutionary as the other two seem to be. These weapons fit in very nicely with the British Army's desire to suppress the enemy through accurate fire and with the advanced optics could push the effective zone beyond the current 600m out to 800m.

We could then go one further and look to the Sig Sauer .338 Norma LMG as a replacement for the trusty old L7 GPMG. It is lighter, has greater range and stopping power. In fact we could also replace our stocks of M2 12.7mm HMGs with the same weapon and in thins case the weight saving is enormous.

Up next we have a disposable anti-tank weapon and here we are in a very good position as the NLAW is probably the best weapon in its class, having good range, high hit probability even against moving targets and a good warhead. We are in a similar situation when it come to sniper team weapons. Both the L115A4 (.338 Lapua Magnum) and the L129A1 (7.62 NATO) are very good weapons and if we need to really reach out and touch somebody we have the new AX50 12.7mm Anti-Material Rifle.

The British Army is also looking at improving the ammunition it uses, with the aim of both improving the accuracy and consistency of each round but also its terminal effects.

Back to the present and although there are some weight issues our current L85A3 is probably one of the best Assault Rifles in the world chambered to 5.56. Remember H&K took what it had learnt from updating the L85 when it was asked to improve the M4 carbine. With its longer barrel length it outranges and generally out shots nearly all of its rival, the M4 in particular, and now also has better reliability and a superb optic. Lastly we should retain the L123A3 Grenade launcher on the L85A3 and maybe purchase a limited number of standard version that can be fitted to the L129A1 and L119A2 rifles. So we are in a good situation there.

The L129A1 is an excellent DMR especially with the optics we have chosen for it, we just need more to equip all Infantry Section with it.

Now we come to the L7A2. This has been and still is a very good General Purpose Machine Gun. Its one blemish is its weight, though this is not such that it does seriously affect its utility within the Section. Attempts to make it lighter such as the US Marines altering the design to incorporate a substantial amount of Titanium have addressed this issue but at considerable cost per gun. The Swedes have made a reasonable attempt and could be worth looking into further. As an alternative though there is the M48 as used by various units in the US. This is basically the Mk2 MINIMI but in 7.62mm. It is also used by our Special Forces and has an effective range similar to the L7A2 but is lighter. Should be consider a limited purchase of these to equip the eight Battalions that are destines to make up the Armoured and Mechanised Infantry as well as the Battalions allocated to 16XX Brigade and the RM Commandos. The remaining units would retain the L7A2.

Also of use to the Infantry Section is the Israeli designed L2A1 also known as Matador. It is a very effective Anti-Structure Weapon with a proven combat record. It is easily man portable and stowed in vehicles, much like NLAW.

Now we come to Starstreak. At present it is operated in two main forms by the British Army. First is the SP version mounted on the Stormer AFV which carries eight ready to us rounds. This platform is also being modified to fire the MBDA LMM missile, which will increase the flexibility of the vehicle. Ideally with the introduction of the Army's new families of AFVs the Starstreak launchers should be transferred to a new platform, with a Boxer Module being the best option in my opinion. The second way Starstreak is deployed is using a three round pedestal launcher. This can either be vehicle mounted or ground mounted. At present Starstreak is only operated in the Army by one Regular and one Reserve Regiment of the Royal Artillery. In my opinion the pedestal version should also be disseminated to the Infantry battalions, at lest those in 3rd (UK) Division. There is a third launch method which can be used of course and that is to fire the Missile from the shoulder. I would like to see Starstreak available to Infantry Platoons, possibly a single two man fire team, or even down to section level if possible. Like ATGWs we need to increase the number of Guided Weapons in our Infantry Battalions to those approaching that of the late 1980s where some infantry Battalions had up to twenty four Milan Launchers!

And that bring us nicely onto ATGWs. At present the British Army uses the 4th Generation Javelin. This is a good weapon that has served the Army well in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it range is limited and it also lacks a man in the loop capability that is proving more and more useful. A solution would be to adopt the Spike family of weapons to fill a number of roles within the Army. The Spike SR with a range of 2000m is a disposable system and would be ideal for out lighter forces. Spike LR2 would be a good replacement for Javelin, having a range of 5500m and easily installed on vehicles as well as ground launched. It has the man in the loop capability desired as well. Next we have the Spike ER2. This would be an excellent weapon for any overwatch platform having a range op up to 18Km though only up to 10km with its fibre Optic wire. It could also be mounted on light vehicles such as the JLTV and Viking to give lighter forces a long range punch. And finally we have Spike NLOS with a range of up to 30KM. This is already in service with the Army as the Extractor Mk2. Its role and availability in the Army should be expanded to give all Brigades access to the weapon, providing precision fore support against high value targets. So at the section level I can see the issue of Spike SR to units who do not have access to the heavier Spike LR2, here we are talking 16XX and RM. In units with Spike LR2 ideally these would be vehicle mounted, with a number of vehicles carrying a ground launch unit for use if needed.

Other weapons that could be considered for the Infantry section are the Carl Gustav M4 and the 20mm Direct GL mentioned higher up the thread. The Former would replace the M2A1 within the Section possibly, but more likely it would be held at Platoon level. If the guided round enters production then it could also replace weapons such as the Spike SR, as it is planned to nave a range of up to 2000m and a variable warhead dependant on target. The latter weapon is very interesting but will require substantial trials to identify where ti should be used and at what level it should be issued.

The sermon hath ended.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Tempest414 wrote: This could be matched by a Mobile protected Battalion if we could fit 120mm mortar on Bushmaster or Eagle 6x6 witch can be done.
I'm all for that and my comment/ criticism against overegging the indirect fire (at the cost of something else) in the higher up formations was akin to
... while not equating direct fire = AT only (as in: out to 1 km), which reasonably could be considered the limit of what a single platoon - not to mention a section - would need to influence
Lord Jim wrote:we have a disposable anti-tank weapon and here we are in a very good position as the NLAW is probably the best weapon in its class, having good range, high hit probability even against moving targets and a good warhead.
- the direct fire mode can be used for most of the things that a much more expensive (and heavy) AT-G-W aka Javelin has been used for, when it is the only one issued (routinely)

... will replenish the coffee, and answer the rest of the post by @LJ
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: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:As there are so many CG enthusiasts here, surely anyone who gets the short straw, to carry it (and some rounds?) around would only get issued with a PDW
- do we have any?

If MP40 was to be relegated to a PDW role in the redesigned infantry, late WW2, then M1 carbine was originally designed as a better-than-a-pistol PDW... and I had always thought that it was pulled in from cavalry, to get something into mass production plenty quick
officially in the good old days of the L14A1 Carl Gustav that weighed 36lbs unloaded you were "ment" to have a sterling :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Little J
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Little J »

Grot MSBS...
The results of the tests were staggering. According to Moszner the gun overheated, parts such as the polymer stock and lower receiver tended to break, the rifle suffered from numerous malfunctions and the gas regulator in front of the Grot simply fell out. Besides that, the gun itself suffers from a lack of any anti-corrosive protection.
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/202 ... in-poland/


Storm in a teacup or growing pains?

mr.fred
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by mr.fred »

How about reading the whole article rather than cherry picking a contentious point.

marktigger
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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Little J wrote:Grot MSBS...
The results of the tests were staggering. According to Moszner the gun overheated, parts such as the polymer stock and lower receiver tended to break, the rifle suffered from numerous malfunctions and the gas regulator in front of the Grot simply fell out. Besides that, the gun itself suffers from a lack of any anti-corrosive protection.
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/202 ... in-poland/


Storm in a teacup or growing pains?
The excuses sound very familiar

NickC
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by NickC »

Re the US Army 6.8mm NGSW

Impressed by the competing fire control sights developed to be fitted on new battery powered I(intelligent) rifle rail, 1 km laser rangefinder, atmospheric sensor suite for wind, elevation and temperature, with a ballistic computer taking all the inputs, processing and sending reticule aiming point to an active micro display overlaid on the first focal plane of the 1 to 8 x 30 variable scope.

April video

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Nicely presented and crossing from technical to more general with ease.
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)

Little J
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Little J »

FN EVOLYS... FN's latest machine gun

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/202 ... chine-gun/


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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Fairly reliable source (though this came up in the Chally3 superlatives context):
" Nathaniel Fitch
@TFB_Nathaniel_F
·
May 10
Replying to
@JonHawkes275
Typical bong domprop. Just lie to the plebes, they won't know the difference. "The L85A2 is the most accurate assault rifle in the world", remember that?"
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)

mr.fred
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by mr.fred »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Fairly reliable source (though this came up in the Chally3 superlatives context):
" Nathaniel Fitch
I saw that comment but hadn’t clocked the author.
He is such a crashing bore.

NickC
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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Little J wrote:FN EVOLYS... FN's latest machine gun

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/202 ... chine-gun/

US Army initially awarded five contracts for the NGSW including FN, presumably it might have been based on the new FN Evolys plus its unknown proprietary ammo, for whatever reason it did not make the cut when US Army reduced contenders to three.

The new 6.8 x 51 rounds with its internal pressures of ~80,000 psi will be more powerful than the 7.62x51 NATO. The Evolys uses a hydraulic buffer to mitigate recoil and wonder if that was one of reasons it did not make the cut, the buffer seals required might be a point of failure or buffer make the rifle too long with decent barrel length, the other contenders seem to be using short recoil when the barrel and bolt recoil together only a short distance before they unlock and separate (reducing the chamber pressure substantially), short recoil dates back to the Maxim machine gun.

The disadvantages of short recoil is that it requires a sliding (recoiling) barrel which need play to ensure reliability of operation, decreasing accuracy slightly, not too much of a problem for a machine gun, and adding complexity and cost in manufacture for the support of the moving barrel.

The above reflecting consequences of taming the recoil of the more powerful 6.8x51 round so as to be able fire rifle hand held in auto, as with the low power rounds specifically developed for controlled fire in full auto, 7.92x33 Kurz/ 7.62x39 Russian/5.56x45 NATO used in the StG44/AK47/M16 etc

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Lord Jim
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Re: Section infantry weapons

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A lot depends on what happens over the pond in the USA. If the US does actually adopt the 6.8mm then the prospects for anything new developed that does not use the same ammunition will be limited, within NATO especially. We will be in the same situation as when some of NATO used 7.62mm and others used 5.56mm, with those countries who have only recently adopted new 5.56mm weapons will retain them whilst those looking to replace their existing 5.56mm will move towards 6.8mm, possibly even buying the winners of the US Army competition to both speed things up ad keep costs down.

No doubt one NATO country will aim to licence produce such a weapon. Strangely the British Army falls in the latter category as the last I read the L85 is due to start being replaced in 2025. Some units have already gone to the C8 carbine based L119A2/3. I would expect the core Infantry to receive they new calibre, and as we have had a strong watching brief over the whole US programme, we should have a good understanding of the new weapons capabilities etc. when the time comes.

However as usual with the lack of specifics within the Command Paper that covered programmes out to 2030, the majority of our infantry will most likely be carrying the L85A3 until it is so warn out by 2030 that it can barely hit a barn door.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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NickC wrote:The disadvantages of short recoil is that it requires a sliding (recoiling) barrel which need play to ensure reliability of operation, decreasing accuracy slightly
Good point. The ammo procured for the US army has a strict MOA requirement; does the prgrm not have the 'same' for the gun+ ammo combination?
Lord Jim wrote: possibly even buying the winners of the US Army competition to both speed things up ad keep costs down.
we are well positioned for that
Lord Jim wrote: the L85 is due to start being replaced in 2025
as what I have read (after the latest upgrade) that replacement is due around 2030??
Lord Jim wrote:core Infantry
what's that? We have ordered 71k soldier systems and the new army strength is set at 72k... no, I am not making fun of the reserves, but even the whole force does not have 71k 'infanteers' or folks supporting them in close proximity
Lord Jim wrote:so warn out by 2030 that it can barely hit a barn door
sniff... the most accurate AR in the world
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: Section infantry weapons

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The disadvantages of short recoil is that it requires a sliding (recoiling) barrel which need play to ensure reliability of operation, decreasing accuracy slightly

Good point. The ammo procured for the US army has a strict MOA requirement; does the prgrm not have the 'same' for the gun+ ammo combination?
After hitting 'enter', an afterthought:
Wasn't it this summer that was dedicated for shooting (a lot) with the contenders? Not just checking accuracy, but barrel wear and that 'plastic parts won't start to melt' as we have heard from some other armies (after the first real firefight in decades of use of their service rifle)
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: Section infantry weapons

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With "Core" Infantry I was describing the majority of the Infantry within the British Army as against Special Forces, Their Support Group, 42 Commando, and so on. There seems to be a trend where if offered the chance, many units prefer to change to the L119A2/3 rather than retain the L85A3.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Lord Jim wrote:With "Core" Infantry I was describing the majority of the Infantry within the British Army as against Special Forces, Their Support Group, 42 Commando, and so on. There seems to be a trend where if offered the chance, many units prefer to change to the L119A2/3 rather than retain the L85A3.
Why is that when the latter is
ArmChairCivvy wrote:sniff... the most accurate AR in the world
?
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: Section infantry weapons

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The unit members seem to like the handling qualities of the L119A2/3, it being ambidextrous for one thing as well as lighter, but beyond that I can only the the Ghost of sins past is still hanging over the L85. Also maybe these units think there affiliation with the SF and the latter's non use of the L85 may mean they cannot be seen by their peer as using the weapon. Who know the real reason? :)

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Biggest Light Machine Gun I have seen! :D

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... e_2021.pdf


the Sigs understandable with glock in service but Minimi?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Besides being good for morale, the Army can't see a use for it. You need to get rounds consistently within 1m of a target to suppress them and that was hard to do with the LMG even with the longer barrel. The L85A3 with the Spectre Optic can do this with ease in the hands of a trained infantry person, with the DMR paying attentions to any individuals requiring special attention. This could be reversed if we adopt the weapon that the US Army selects from its ongoing next gen programme (Hopefully the Sig) around 2030, with the Automatic Rifle providing accurate single shots or short bursts with the ability to unload if the situation requires it over ranges up to and beyond 800m and the rifle being superior to current DMRs and nearly everyone will carry one. Add in the .338 Norma LMG entering service with their SF and the rest of the Army to follow where you have a weapon around the same weight as a L7A3 GPMG yet has teh performance close to that of a .50 cal and the basic firepower of the Infantry Platoon is going to sky rocket, and that is before you add any of the other toys like Grenade Launchers, and Anti Tank and Structure weapons.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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Lord Jim wrote:Add in the .338 Norma LMG entering service with their SF and the rest of the Army to follow where you have a weapon around the same weight as a L7A3 GPMG yet has teh performance close to that of a .50 cal
At the point that the individual weapon is based around a 6.8mm round, is the .338 worth it at platoon level?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

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I suppose it would cover a multitude of roles. Acting as a sustained fire weapon at Platoon level would be one for starters, but it could in some circumstances be issued at Section level, giving light Infantry such as Airborne and Marines superior firepower in their small units. As the US Military are doing it would make an ideal weapon for SF. Light weight ammunition is also being developed, and its handling makes it a very accurate weapon and long ranges over 1000m when using optics. The fact that infantry units will be able to accurately engage the enemy at such ranges is mind boggling. We are looking at a true step change and generational leap in firepower that will also require a new way of operating to take advantage of both this weapon and the 6.8mm weapons.

The applications for mounting on vehicles, helicopters and ships are huge. The weight saving could allow our current RWS to be replace by one with both a .388 LMG and a 40mm AGL and still have the capacity to mount a ATGW. This would be a good combo for our Boxer APCs until the Army hopefully decides to arm a number with a heavier weapon around 30mm to 40mm at some pint in the future. As a weapon for door gunners on Helicopters, its range and hitting power would be a step up from 7.63 weapons currently used and be lighter than the Miniguns often used at present. The same would be the case as a secondary weapon on Warships that currently have numerous 7.62mm and .50cal weapon mounted at various locations.

There are quite a few videos on You Tube showing the .388 LMG, it is a very impressive weapon. There are actually two weapon in development and I am not sure when the winner of the competition for the SF will be announced, but together with the 6.8mm weapon systems, infantry firepower is going to increase greatly by the end of the decade. Retaining the L85 rather than moving to a new 5.56 weapon now seems a wise choice, as is having Army personnel embedded in the US programmes.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by mr.fred »

Lord Jim wrote:Acting as a sustained fire weapon at Platoon level would be one for starters, but it could in some circumstances be issued at Section level, giving light Infantry such as Airborne and Marines superior firepower in their small units.
What does it do that 6.8 wouldn’t at platoon level, other than increase the weight of ammunition? Would platoon logistics be able to support effective engagements at over a km? Would platoon ISTAR and terrain allow you to engage targets at those ranges? Would fire control support effective shooting to km+ ranges for the typical user?
Is giving away your position at such distances going to do much other than make the sky fall on your head?

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