The latest version of the UK’s bullpup service rifle is now awarded a full production contract
“A notice was issued on 28 October stating that the MoD intended to award NSAF Limited, a UK subsidiary of Heckler & Koch, a contract worth up to GBP75 million (USD95.6 million) to modify and supply 44,000 upgraded 5.56×45 mm SA80 rifles,” said Grant Turnbull, Janes International Defense Review.
The changes to the rifle include:
- A more durable hardwearing coating in a “Flat Dark Earth” color offering better camouflage in a range of environments.
- The A3 is 100g (approximately 1/4 lb) lighter than the A2 and has a more streamlined fore grip making the weapon easier to handle.
- The A3 rifle has a bracket to secure new innovative 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 whilst operating just as effectively in low light/night conditions.
In a world of military forces switching to M4 style conventional rifles the fact that Brit’s, along with the Israeli IDF and Australian armed forces, are fielding modernized bullpups may give the concept new legs.