Sunday, November 6, 2011

Defence Forces to bring rifles bang up to date

Aussies w/Steyr AUG's (E.Timor')
All members of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are trained to use the Defence Forces' basic weapon, the Austrian Steyr AUG 5.56mm assault rifle.
Adopted in 1987, it was then a futuristic weapon with its built-in 1.5-power telescopic sight and superstrong plastic construction.
But wars in Afghanistan and Iraq forced Nato forces to upgrade their rifles by "adding on" a range of more powerful sights, laser pointers, grenade- launchers, night vision devices and even silencers.
The Steyr A1 used by the Defence Forces does not have "Picatinny" rails to mount most of the accessories considered essential in modern warfare.
Now a Defence Forces board has recommended the rifle be upgraded...Both the Americans and the British have adopted the Trijcon ACOG and other 4X (power) sights, which give greater magnification and some nighttime capability...
The Army Ranger Wing uses the Heckler & Koch HK 416, a modern rifle which can easily mount sights and lasers, but only a small stock is held by the Defence Forces.
Full story here
The Steyr, like the British Bullpup, have long had complaints from troops who use them in the field, and it is telling that their SF operators do not use them at all, preferring the HK. How many men have been killed due to unreliable rifles, shades of the early use of M-16's in Viet-Nam, where inferior ammunition caused malfunctions due to using cheap non-spec powder in the name of keeping down costs...Unconscionable...There is no excuse for sending men out with anything less than the best weapons available...(S9)

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