LWI - Land Warfare

British Army SA80 A3 fielding begins

13th April 2018 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Fielding of the first tranche of upgraded SA80 A3 rifles to the British Army has begun, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 11 April.

Heckler and Koch is upgrading the British Army’s SA80 A2 handheld assault weapon to the A3 model, to extend the rifle’s service life until at least 2025.

The upgrades include a more durable hardwearing coating in a colour offering better camouflage in a range of environments. The new A3 model will be 100g lighter than the A2 and will have a more streamlined fore grip making the weapon easier to handle.

The rifle will also have a bracket to secure new low light sights which can clip on or in front of the day sight without the need to remove it. These sights are smaller, lighter and require fewer batteries while operating just as effectively in low light/night conditions.

Major General Colin McClean, director land equipment at the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said: ‘The SA80 is a battle proven weapon used by the UK armed forces on operations all over the world. The upgrade will build upon the rifle’s state-of-the-art features enhancing accuracy and consistency. The Mid Life Improvement project will ensure that our troops have the right equipment at the right time.’

The MLI project will see 5,000 weapons upgraded initially with the intent to upgrade more weapons in the future. The fielding of the first tranche started in February 2018.

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