SA80 Equipped to Fight

Discussion in 'UK Defence Forum' started by Vergennes, Sep 12, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    There was a flurry of news this week about the MoD considering extending the service of the SA80, with a handful of images reportedly showing prototypes of the A3 model.


    The images were released by the MoD as part of DVD2016 coverage, specifically on the Virtus contract for soldier equipment.

    What this flurry of news seemed to have missed is the MoD letting a £2.7 million contract to Heckler and Koch GMBH & Co for work on the SA80A2.

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    The Dismounted Close Combat Programme team, part of the UK Ministry of Defence, intends to place a contract for the Equipped to Fight Improvement (EFI) programme for the modification of 5 000 SA80 weapons with Heckler & Koch GMBH & Co for work to be completed by March 2017. The estimated contract value is 2 700 000 GBP. The contract will require the supplier to modify the existing SA80 A2 weapon by fitting a combination of new and modified components. Specific tolerances of materials are needed along with exact dimensions and surface finishes on the components to allow for interoperability with the existing system, particularly when managing the variable interface caused by differing rates of wear of existing components which are recycled as part of the programme. There are very high risks involved in managing the variable tolerances and manufacturing processes when combining new and existing weapon components.


    A replacement for the much, and probably unfairly, maligned SA80 is usually the subject of much debate but despite France only recently selecting the HK416 to replace the FAMAS, I get the impression the SA80 is not going anywhere fast.

    http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2016/09/sa80-equipped-fight/
     
  2. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    [​IMG]
    Para wearing new VIRTUS load carriage equipment and Batlskin Cobra helmet aiming SA80A3 [© Bob Morrison]

    Part of a feasibility study for the SA80A2 Mid Life Improvement project, which aims to prolong the in-service life of the UK Forces’ 5.56mm weapon beyond its 2025 OSD, the A3 prototype includes a number of modifications including:-.

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    Para wearing new VIRTUS load carriage equipment and Batlskin Cobra helmet holding SA80A3 [© Bob Morrison]

    ¤ a safety stud placed above the change lever on the trigger mechanism housing to ensure that this lever does not over-rotate,

    ¤ the Weaver rail on top of the upper receiver being taken off and a full length Picatinny rail fitted – this will allow day sight and night sight to be mounted in tandem,

    ¤ a new foregrip, or quadrail, as part of the new full-length rail which will be attached slightly differently to the current one allowing the barrel to be more free-floating than at present to improve accuracy and consistency,

    ¤ redesign of the A3 upper receiver for improved reliability and maintainability over the current A2 variant,

    ¤ and colour change to Matt Earth for better compatibility with MTP camouflage uniforms.

    At this stage the A3 model, of which ten prototypes have been produced, is a feasibility study but as much of the A2 stocks have seen extensive combat service in Iraq &/or Afghanistan since introduction in late 2001 they deserve a speedy upgrade.

    [​IMG]
    SA80A3 prototype fitted with inline sights and under-barrel grenade launcher [© Bob Morrison]

    http://www.combatandsurvival.com/uk-news/7908-new-sa80a3-assault-rifle-revealed-dvd16
     
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