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To make it better still, until a short time ago it was the L129 that would be withdrawn from service.
It hasn't been withdrawn in the end, but not all sections have access to it.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.