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SA80 individual weapon

SA80 individual weapon

SA80 is the designation for a revolutionary family of assault weapons. On its introduction, it proved so accurate that the Army marksmanship tests had to be redesigned.

SA80 A2 comprises the Individual Weapon (IW) and the Light Support Weapon (LSW).

These are the British Army’s standard combat weapons. Made by Heckler and Koch, they fire NATO standard 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. The SA80 can be fitted with the SUSAT sight and a Common Weapon Sight, which is a third generation Image Intensification (II) night sight.

Both weapons have been modified in light of operational experience. A major mid-life update in 2002 resulted in the SA80A2 series – the most reliable weapons of their type in the world. This reliability is combined with accuracy, versatility and ergonomic design. It is considered a first-class weapon system and world leader in small arms.

Calibre: 5.56mm
Weight: 4.98kg (with loaded magazine and optical sight)
Length: 785mm
Barrel length: 518mm
Muzzle velocity: 940m/s
Feed: 30-round magazine
Effective range: 400m
Cyclic rate of fire: 610-775 rpm

Underslung Grenade Launcher

The SA80 Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL) system consists of a Heckler & Koch AG-36 40mm grenade launcher and EO Tech holographic sight wedded to an ISTEC range drum. The UGL allows fire teams to deliver effective fragmenting munitions out to 350 metres. Advantages of the system are low recoil, ease of use, reduced ammunition weight and ability to have a chambered grenade at the ready whilst continuing to fire the SA80.

SA80 with Underslung Grenade Launcher

Weight 1.12kg
Muzzle velocity 76m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 5-7rpm

Ammunition types

The system is currently fielded with Practice and High Explosive ammunition natures. There are six UGLs per platoon resulting in greatly increased flexibility and weight of fire.

Longer term enhancements to the system may eventually include a fire control system, extended range ammunition and buckshot rounds for close-quarter battle.