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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

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New rifle for British Rangers; rumor of wider L85 replacement   Small Arms <20mm

Started 25-Oct by gatnerd; 2284 views.
stancrist

From: stancrist

25-Oct

autogun said:

An interesting point is the suggestion that this might eventually replace the L85 as the BA's standard infantry rifle. This would seem to exclude the possibility of the BA adopting NGSW (or similar). Perhaps they've given up on that?

1.  May replace does not equal will replace.

2.  It's unverified rumor, not confirmed fact.

---------------------------------------------------------------

P.S.  The tender notice stated that delivery of trial weapons was required by December 2021 or March 2022 at the latest.

But, the Defence Journal article indicates the delivery date has apparently been postponed until the end of August 2022.

At that rate, by the time test and evaluation is done, NGSW might be good to go.  And XM5 is an Armalite Rifle Platform...  stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

  • Edited 25 October 2022 16:43  by  stancrist
taschoene

From: taschoene

25-Oct

stancrist said:

LOL.  Good luck with that.

Well, sure.  But the solicitation is terribly drafted by people who don't understand guns in the slightest.  It's like the looked up AR-15 Style Rifle on Wikipedia and copied the description of the mechanism almost verbatim.  Sure we know they British Army wants the C8 or something very much like it.  But the solicitation legally speaking allows bidders to offer almost any modern non-bullpup assault rifle.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

25-Oct

taschoene said:

But the solicitation legally speaking allows bidders to offer almost any modern non-bullpup assault rifle

Yeah I just re-read it. While their intent is clear, the language basically allows any rotating bolt conventional rifle with a rotating safety whose upper and lower are held together with pins. 

....

Overall though I think this is another example of the pretty dire fate of the crop of new '3rd Gen' Assault rifles of the SCAR/HK433/BREN/ARX family. 

I'm hard pressed to think of a country who has adopted them (in 5.56) unless the gun is made in their own country. IE Belgium issues a SCAR, CZ issues a Bren, Italy the ARX - but I cant think of any foreign adoptions for any. 

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

25-Oct

autogun said:

An interesting point is the suggestion that this might eventually replace the L85 as the BA's standard infantry rifle. This would seem to exclude the possibility of the BA adopting NGSW (or similar). Perhaps they've given up on that?

Yes that is notable. Any number of reasons occurs to me:

-Tired of waiting / current deteriorating security environment means they want something ASAP. 

-Want to keep utilizing their warstocks of 5.56, as the Ukraine war has shown the importance of having a shit ton of ammo on hand. 

-Saw that in Ukraine, 5.45/5.56 + Hand Grenades have proven plenty adequate for mopping up infantry who have survived artillery strikes 

-May want to use 6.8 in the future, but as a Squad DMR/LMG, similar to the current 5.56+7.62 mix the Brits/NZ/French are doing now. (in my view, the best solution)

stancrist

From: stancrist

25-Oct

gatnerd said:

Yes that is notable.

It would be notable if true.  However, all that was reported is an unsubstantiated rumor that "may well" be false.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

25-Oct

stancrist said:

However, all that was reported is an unsubstantiated rumor that "may well" be false

SSD typically has good inside baseball beyond just speculation. 

At 10,000 rifles, this is a substantial order, considering Britains force of upgraded L85A3s stands at ~44,000:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/09/17/hk-awarded-contract-to-upgrade-british-sa80a3/

With ~20% of their rifles to be ARs, thats a substantial toe-hold. 

stancrist

From: stancrist

26-Oct

gatnerd said:

SSD typically has good inside baseball beyond just speculation. 

That may be so, but they only reported it as being a rumor. 

There was nothing to indicate any substance to the rumor.

gatnerd said:

At 10,000 rifles, this is a substantial order, considering Britains force of upgraded L85A3s stands at ~44,000:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/09/17/hk-awarded-contract-to-upgrade-british-sa80a3/

With ~20% of their rifles to be ARs, thats a substantial toe-hold.

It would be a substantial toehold, if you were using accurate numbers.

As of January 2022, the L85 inventory was almost 153,000, not 44,000.

How many SA80 rifles does the British military have? (ukdefencejournal)

And that does not include the thousands of L119A1/A2 rifles in service.

  • Edited 26 October 2022 0:46  by  stancrist
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

26-Oct

stancrist said:

It would be a substantial toehold, if you were using accurate numbers. As of January 2022, the L85 inventory was almost 153,000, not 44,000

Good find.

I wonder whether the 44k upgraded rifles represents the more 'frontline' infantry, vs the army as a whole. 

autogun

From: autogun

26-Oct

gatnerd said:

I wonder whether the 44k upgraded rifles represents the more 'frontline' infantry, vs the army as a whole.

According to the UK Defence Journal, there are only 18,000 infantry in the BA: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/how-many-soldiers-are-in-each-british-army-regiment/ 

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

26-Oct

Wow, 18k is much fewer than I had imagined.

The contract is for 3-10k rifles. That could in theory cover a good chunk of the entire infantry force.  

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