Section Infantry Weapons

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

Post by Lord Jim »

Range and hitting power when it arrives for one. as stated it weighs no more than the current L7 and the .388 ammo being developed with a composite casing is comparable to current 7.62mm. Obviously to engage effectively at these ranged required a good optic, but this is becoming standard on all infantry weapons these days, from pistols to IATWs. Such an optic would also give said section an improved scouting ability. Finally the weapon is designed to be used with a suppressor as are the two 6.8mm weapons, and at 1000m meters the target would probably not even know it was being shot at, nor be able to see a signature.

Each Infantry section would contain two Automatic Rifles that are designed for both single and automatic fire with a box/bag magazine. This will enable more conventional fire and mover tactics, whilst the .388 at Platoon level will be able to penetrate cover and even light armour over a wide area. This of this as a similar pairing to the 5.56mm LMG/7.62mm SF GPMG, just with far greater hitting power and range with little if any weight gain.

marktigger
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by marktigger »

I suspect the last GPMG gunner hasn't been born yet.

What is all the talk about SLR coming back on some platforms? given we've sold or scrapped them I would have to ask How? And are there not better better 7.62NATO semi automatic rifles out there?

mr.fred
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by mr.fred »

Lord Jim wrote:Range and hitting power when it arrives for one. as stated it weighs no more than the current L7 and the .388 ammo being developed with a composite casing is comparable to current 7.62mm.
The comparison was against the 6.8, not the 7.62.

Lord Jim
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Lord Jim »

Well you have nearly the range and hitting power of a .50Cal on a package that weight little more than an L7, so the .388 LMG offers greater range and firepower than will be possible with a 6.8mm Automatic Rifle, so should fit in nicely to the SF role at Platoon level. In some lighter units if they have the discretion to do so, the .388 LMG could replace some 6.8 ARs, in a similar way L7s were sometimes carried instead of 5.56 LMGs, for their increased range and hitting power.

RunningStrong
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by RunningStrong »

marktigger wrote:I suspect the last GPMG gunner hasn't been born yet.
They almost certainly have. The M240 replacement is almost certainly happening this decade, and as the US military moves away from 7.62NATO it will have serious impacts to cooperative operations between the UK and US if we fail to follow the lead, and given the lack of investment in UK small arms, I really don't see any reason why we'd wait any longer once the US decision is clear.

Lord Jim
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Lord Jim »

And we are also involved in the US small arms programmes, keeping a close eye on developments and trials. As I said above, sticking to teh L85 in its A3 guise may end up being a very good decision by the Army, as it will easily be an effective weapon until after the US has hopefully introduces its new small arms and worked out the bugs.

The .388 LMG is due to enter SF service in the next couple of years and the US Army and USMC should not be far behind. If they play safe and go for the Sig Sauer entry we should be able to begin the introduction of said weapon in the late 2020s, and given its familiarity with the AR-15s controls and handling, should reduce training time and cost.

Sig Sauer may even allow the UK to be the european production centre for the weapon system, If we are the first export customer for the 6.8mm variant, putting us in a prime position for when other NATO countries move to 6.8mm and as a result restoring the manufacture of small arms in teh UK beyond specialist weapons like the AI sniper weapons.

Lord Jim
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Lord Jim »


Lord Jim
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Post by Lord Jim »

If we do adopt the winner of the US Army's next generation small arms programme we will also need to take a close look at the winning next generation optic as well. It will be needed if the full benefit of the new rifles is to be gained.

In addition I think we should follow the US Military and move away from the Under Barrel Grenade Launcher and move to a stand alone version of the HK 40mm GL. The US Army has found removing the weight from a soldiers personal weapon is a positive move and the stand alone ends up being more accurate and is only slightly heavier all in. It also makes it easier for the GL to be used by other members of the Section/Fire Team, just having to pass the GL rather than the whole rifle.

Finally, does anyone know if any trails have been carried out using a suppressor on an L85 A2 or A3, and if any plans are underway for even a limited adoption of suppressors by the British Army?

Caribbean
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

Post by Caribbean »

Not sure if this would be a section-level weapon, but AEI (UK-based makers of the Venom 30mm) seem to have recently added this to their website

https://aei-systems.com/land/ae84-rcl/

AE84 – RCL Recoilless Rifle
The AE84-RCL is a man-portable, reloadable multi-role Recoilless Rifle designed to fire Mecar’s M540/M550 series range of 84 mm ammunition. Other 84 mm ammunition types are compatible with the AE84-RCL. The rifle consists of a thin walled rifle barrel with a hinged breech locking Venturi recoil damper to the rear. Forward hand and trigger grips provide firing position comfort and a rear stock supports the weapon to the operators shoulder. The AE84-RCL is fitted with optical and reversionary sights as standard. Optional laser ranger finder and image intensification/night vision equipment can be readily fitted. Mecar’s rocket-assisted HEAT round is able to penetrate more than 300 mm of armour steel, and has an effective range of more than 700 metres. A ballistically matched training round is also available.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

Lord Jim
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

Post by Lord Jim »

Looks incredibly similar to the Carl Gustav M3/4, but then again the principal is so simple it is not a surprise. I do think the CG is more advanced and is possibly lighter, but that probably makes it more expensive. On the CG's plus it has the US investing quite a lot in new munitions and optics which will benefit any user with the later versions moving forward.

Regardless I do think something like a reusable 84mm RCL would be very useful at Platoon level, but probably a bit much for Section level.

On the topic of section level weapons, the L-85A3 is still due for replacement around 2030 isn't it?

NickC
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

Post by NickC »

Interesting June video by True Velocity on their US Army option of a new 6.8 mm x 51 mm round for the NGSW.
Its a plastic/polymer composite case with steel head and a tiny copper washer molded thru flash hole in primer pocket to protect the polymer (plastic is an insulator so no cook offs and after firing case cool enough to handle with fingers), ~30% lighter then standard NATO 7.62x51 conventional brass cased round, reported with a 6.8 mm 135 grain SMK, velocity just under 3,000 fps at 60,315 psi.

If reported figures correct looks an impressive round as similar to the ~ 60,000 psi pressure/heat of current 7.62x51 round with better ballistics for a claimed 50% more range and is competing with the more conventional steel head and brass Sig/Sauer 6.8x51 round which to achieve same ballistics needs one third higher pressure of 80,000 psi. How is it possible, ability to mold plastic internally to optimum shape?

PS The third 6.8x51 round option in the US Army competition is a Winchester caseless round and have seen very little info released.


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