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SUSAT replacement in the works?
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cybershooters
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject: SUSAT replacement in the works? Reply with quote

UK assault rifle to receive lighter, improved sight
Andrew White Jane's Land Forces Reporter
London

The UK armed forces' L85A2 (SA80A2) assault rifle is to undergo another transformation as the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) starts negotiations to replace the L9A1 weapon sight.

The UK MoD's Future Infantry Soldier Technology (FIST) programme office wants an "improved and lighter" system to replace the United Scientific Instruments L9A1 Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux (SUSAT), currently in use with the SA80A2.

Industry sources said the UK MoD favours the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) TA31RCO 4 x 32 sight, produced by US aiming systems specialist Trijicon. The deal could have a potential value of up to GBP200 million (USD357.8 million).

In 2000, the SUSAT was exempt from arms specialist Heckler & Koch's (H&K's) GBP92 million revamp of the SA80.

The UK MoD contracted H&K to modify some 200,000 SA80 assault rifles and L86 Light Support weapons, with improvements including a new hammer, cocking handle, gas plug and firing pin. Monthly deliveries to the UK MoD of 4,000 SA80A2s started in December 2001 and the contract is due for completion 2006.

Trijicon's Military Division manager, Shaun Rategan, said: "We cannot comment on quantities or type. The FIST programme has tested and evaluated our ACOG and conveyed an interest in future business."

ACOG is currently favoured by the US Special Operations Command, including Green Berets, US Navy sea, air and land (SEAL) commandos and US Army Rangers as well as the UK's special forces. Designed for use with the M16 series of assault rifles, it is seen as a very robust sight despite being 137 g lighter than the 417 g SUSAT.

Other features include dual illustrated reticle, enhanced adjuster caps and chevron reticle and crosshair. A deal could also include the purchase of simple scissor-action mounts.

Since H&K's improvement programme, the SA80A2 has had "isolated difficulties", according to a UK National Audit Office report in December 2003, although post-operational reports indicated a general acceptance that the SA80A2 is effective and reliable.

In 2005, Trijicon won a USD660 million contract to provide Rifle Combat Optics (RCO), a modified version of the ACOG, for the US Marine Corps' M16 assault rifles.

The deal initially comprised 104,000 scopes, worth USD610 each, with an additional option for the US government to buy a maximum of 800,000 RCO scopes over the five-year contract period.
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cybershooters
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they spend 200 million on ACOGs I'll be astonished. Given that the regular force size is somewhere around 200,000, it seems unlikely.

200,000 x $610 = 62 million roughly.
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Carrot Cruncher



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They would probably limit it to infantry, so whats that now, 30,000 including TA ?
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Rob



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would rather see the UK's issue sight receive a lighter, improved assault rifle, but there you go.

As to the figure of 200 million, never underestimate the ability of government departments to piss our money up a wall. By the time MoD tax eaters have finished their procurement procedures, an item that could have been had off the shelf for $600 will end up costing five thousand quid. Don't ask me how to solve it, no-one has ever managed, but it's what always seems to happen, look at Bowman, Typhoon, Nimrod MR4, Astute class submarines, the list goes on.
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duracell128



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard about ACOG being replacement a while ago, but haven't seen anyone with it yet except triple letter people.
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NeilMac



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duracell128 wrote:
I heard about ACOG being replacement a while ago, but haven't seen anyone with it yet except triple letter people.


I bet you see a lot of THEM where you are studying. Rolling Eyes
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Mick F
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ACOG's in use on the C8's issued to UKSF. The SUSAT (as I'm sure you all know) is on a different size rail to the ACOG (and other mil sights); so it'll mean either a conversion rail or refitting all of the L85's and L86A2's. It's not just the price of the sight.

... and no, I've not seen any yet.

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Mick F
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cybershooters
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they buy that many I have no doubt Trijicon will make a custom mount for it, the TA01 is just bolted into the 1913 rail anyway so it wouldn't be hard to do that.
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Mick F
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cybershooters wrote:
If they buy that many I have no doubt Trijicon will make a custom mount for it, the TA01 is just bolted into the 1913 rail anyway so it wouldn't be hard to do that.

Fair one, but that also applies to all of the night sights, TI's etc. Plus, it means getting something that equally spaces over both sides of the SUSAT rail. Not impossible I know. The TA01(ACOG) as you know from earlier posts (and you've used both IIRC) is a better than the SUSAT.

It would imho be better if they retrofitted all of the SA80's (rifle L85A2 & LSW L86A2's) with the picatinny (1913 or STANAG 2324). Then again, for the money why not buy G36's or M16/4 derivatives? I know that cause is a lost one, but as so much US kit is also on issue to the Brits ..........

I still think the SA80A2 is a more accurate and reliable weapon anyway Smile

Cheers

Mick F
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Rob



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I still think the SA80A2 is a more accurate and reliable weapon anyway


Than what?
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Mick F
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob wrote:
Quote:
I still think the SA80A2 is a more accurate and reliable weapon anyway

Than what?

Than most of the M16 (AR15) derivatives I've fired.
Cheers,
Mick F
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mick F wrote:
It would imho be better if they retrofitted all of the SA80's (rifle L85A2 & LSW L86A2's) with the picatinny (1913 or STANAG 2324).


It won't happen because the rail is welded onto the receiver. Easier just to come up with a new mount.
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Rob



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Than most of the M16 (AR15) derivatives I've fired


Interesting. It's my understanding that the M16/M4 family are now considered reliable systems, as they should be after 40 years of use. There is no inherent reason why the SA80 should be unreliable, based as it is on the AR18 design. As I understood it, the failures of the SA80 stemmed from its poor manufacture rather than any fundamental flaw in its design, so if the A2 rebuild has rectified that, then it should, in theory, work well, But better than the M16 family? As I say, interesting. Still don't like it though, too heavy and handles like a brick.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were fundamental flaws in the design of the SA80, the manufacturing problems were more to do with bits falling off like the ejection port cover. Using high speed photography H&K found that there were various problems with the bolt timing and lockup, cartridge cases hitting the bolt handle etc. That's why the shape of the bolt handle was changed.

Gas piston based systems do tend to be more reliable than the AR-15, which is why everyone and their mother has come out with a gas piston version of the AR-15 lately (including H&K). The problem is that they're heavier, and the SA80 being made out of sheet steel with a really thick barrel is one of the heaviest. Now they've had Daniel Defense put an aluminium forend on it which has made it even heavier. The SUSAT is also one of the heaviest (if not the heaviest) combat optic out there.

The money spent on going to the A2 would have been better spent on buying something else - note the MoD didn't really disagree about the cost of buying a new weapon, their view was more to do with the amount of re-training that would have been required that would have increased the costs.

There are large numbers of the old SA80s held in reserve by the way, I can't remember the contract number H&K was hired to refurbish now but it was less than half of them. UK armed forces are much smaller now than they were when the SA80 was adopted.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cybershooters wrote:
Mick F wrote:
It would imho be better if they retrofitted all of the SA80's (rifle L85A2 & LSW L86A2's) with the picatinny (1913 or STANAG 2324).


It won't happen because the rail is welded onto the receiver. Easier just to come up with a new mount.

I know it's welded on there, doesn't mean it's not the best option; to replace with a picatinny rail.
Cheers
Mick F
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