Current SA80 Mods To Become The Norm??

I remember reading a DIN (2009 its dated) which stated that the quad rail handguard which is currently in use in theatre is to be fitted to all weapons over slow time.

We received a substantial number of these quite a while ago as a task issue and still have them, along with the new front vertical grip/bipod thing. However due to the type of unit we are we most certainly didnt need them on our last deployment. I assume we still have them for the reason i said above but has anyone heard an update on this and if there is a timeframe for this to happen.

Many thanks
My Regt deploys in sub units only, and as each deploys their rifles are getting the MOD's, however we have to go through Loan pool to get SUSATs, After the tour the SUSATs have to go back but as you said the MOD is here to stay.

We now have a very funny looking rifles half moden and have dark age.
Eclan (who I think are now Ratheyon Optics) were getting pretty excited that their OS4 sight had been picked as a replacement for SUSAT, for the FIST program, but whether that is still going to go ahead I don't know. The ACOG is certainly a superior sight.
I heard the quad rail will take over in slow time, SUSATs will filter down to units with iron sights until the new sight is in Army wide. I think the Flash eliminator will be in theatre only due to lack of SBFS fitting.
It is ELCAN and it is replacing SUSAT very soon for all weapons that had SUSAT (it also has a red dot system on top). Aimpoint Micro T1 will replace iron sight weapons. The sight lessons are already in Pam 36.
So we'll carry on having two sight systems on the same weapon (as we have now with iron sight and SUSAT)?

Will we still swap between one and the other when we go on ops? Why not just have one sight system for the whole Army and make training a hell of a lot simpler?
After the ammount of units we have lost since the susat came in, and the ammount of infantry that have got that ACOG now there must be enough SUSAT's in the system to get rid of the Iron sight.
So we'll carry on having two sight systems on the same weapon (as we have now with iron sight and SUSAT)?

Will we still swap between one and the other when we go on ops? Why not just have one sight system for the whole Army and make training a hell of a lot simpler?
It's the MoD.....what do you expect? They used up this century's decent ideas quota already :wink:
Peter Cheshire
Global Sight System Product Manager
ELCAN Optical Technologies

Peter Cheshire is the ELCAN Global Sight System product manager. In 1987 Cheshire joined Leitz Canada (the founding company for ELCAN Optical Technologies) to oversee the design and development of the C79 optical sight, a sight that has become the standard infantry sight for many NATO forces. Over the past 19 years Cheshire has become one of the world’s foremost experts on man-portable sighting systems.

Q: Can you describe what ELCAN does?

A: ELCAN Optical Technologies has a tradition of optical excellence spanning over 157 years. The name ELCAN is an acronym for Ernst Leitz Canada and is part of the Raytheon Company. Over its history, ELCAN has set many benchmarks in the design and manufacture of sophisticated optical systems for industrial, commercial, military and aerospace applications. ELCAN is the world’s leading supplier of precision optical systems for both civilian and defense customers. ELCAN manufactures a wide diversity of other optical products for the U.S. Army such as the lenses for their thermal weapon sight, targeting optics for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle sights, and laser rangefinders for the M1A1 Abrams tank. Since designing the ELCAN optical sight for the Canadian Forces C9 [M249] machine gun, C7A1 [M16] rifle and C4 [M4] carbine, we have manufactured and fielded well over 175,000 of these rugged sights for use worldwide.

Q: What is the SpecterDR?

A: The latest optical combat sight by ELCAN is the SpecterDR, and it combines the best features of a red dot sight with the advantages of a telescopic sight in one housing. ELCAN developed SpecterDR to keep pace with constantly varying types of conflict and warfare missions. In terms of total weight, engagement speed and cost of carrying two riflescopes into battle, SpecterDR is a revolutionary improvement.

Q: What makes SpecterDR a unique military sight?

A: The sight is unique in having two fields of view. The first is a unity powered [1X] sight with a huge 26 degree field-of-view. This feature provides the shooter with a both eyes open close combat, extremely fast target acquisition sight. The second is a 4X-magnified sight with a field–of-view of 6.5 degrees. This mode provides the shooter with long-range target identification together with precision marksmanship capability out to 1000 meters by using the bullet drop compensation reticle. These two different fields-of-view in the one housing are easily and quickly interchanged by means of a lever mounted on the side of the optical housing. The ballistically compensated reticle is illuminated by means of a high-efficiency resonant cavity red LED. The LED illumination switch, when turned in one direction, provides five different illumination levels of a red dot aiming mark that attracts the eye to the precise point of impact. The opposite direction of rotation of the switch provides five levels of illumination of the whole reticle allowing dawn, dusk and even night shooting of the sight. Both of these LED settings have levels that are compatible with image-intensified night vision equipment. An additional feature of the SpecterDR is that the diameter of the red dot at 1X magnification is 6 MOA, ideal for close combat shooting, and reduces in size to 1.5 MOA in 4X magnification, allowing the longer range accuracy using the red dot by not covering the target.

Q: What is the advantage to the soldier?

A: The benefit of this new technology is that potential targets can be more accurately identified in the 4X mode. That allows the infantryman to approach an unknown building using the sight in 4X to closely ascertain and identify any potential threats. As the building is entered, the solider can instantly switch the sight to 1X for fast, close combat engagements. Once the building is safe and cleared the exit path can be examined in 4X to identify any further threats. Now soldiers can have the best of both worlds, 4X magnified for precision shooting and a 1X for close quarter battles. The infantryman is better prepared for different battle scenarios because of the inherent flexibility of the SpecterDR sight.

Q: Who is using the SpecterDR?

A: This Dual Role [DR] sight has been developed in close cooperation with the U.S. Navy Crane for their special forces SOPMOD kit, designated SU-230/PVS Articulated Telescope NSN 1240-01-533- 09039. The SpecterDR sight is in current production with a large order having been placed for the United States Special Forces, by Navy Crane. In addition, the sight has been purchased by the Special Forces in the U.K. and is being evaluated by the U.S. Army, Canadian, Dutch and Australian forces. ♦
quoted from: INDUSTRY INTERVIEW: ELCAN Optical Technologies
I can see the advantages at close range, but how does the new sight compare to SUSAT at longer engagment ranges (e.g. 2-300m)?

Any data from APWTs?
The ELCAN is a x4 magnication sight the same as SUSAT! However, it doesn't have a sight drum, it has graticules up to 800m! It will also have a red dot system on the top!
Aimpoint T1 will stay on the weapons that are issued with it for theatre/Op deployments
I think I can shed some light here:

The eventual intent is to cascade the theatre std L85 including all ancillaries to all troops including trg depots.

As most know, there is no in service SBFS for the surefire flash hider - this is a YET statement as it is being looked at now.

The Elcan sight you will be getting if you are a FIST user as these are the only user group to get it is not the spectre type with an adjustable magnification, it is straight x4 only and yes it will have a mini red dot on the top and an illuminated graticule.

Those same FIST users will get a picatinny rail convertor in order to fit the Elcan sight to their rifle.

We will actually have x 4 sighting systems for a period of time, Iron sight, Susat, ACOG and the Elcan. It is the intention to phase out the iron sights over an extended period of time and whilst you may have a different optical sight in the future, it is intended to fit the same graticule in all rifle optics so at least the sight picture looks the same and the training burden will be minimal - this may not happen due to cost though, converting existing sights is not cheap on the scale we will need to achieve

The ACOG sight was a UOR only and will eventually be withdrawn, like it or not, it was trialled against the Elcan and the Elcan was selected.

Also, A universal cleaning kit that covers most small calibers that is commonly used by your average Inf Soldier should be ready later this year for issue it will cover 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, 40mm and 12g.

And no the MoD has not run out of good ideas for this century, it has however run short of money the same as every other government department and must rationalise it's spending to ensure it gets best vfm in every case. This does take time and ensures that you dont constantly get a stream of shit issued to you - it has happenind in the past, there is no denying that, however, it is not the default option anymore. Trials and testing doesn't come cheap or easy, if you worked with the MoD in departments like the one I do, then you will understand this and would not be so flippant about the good kit and equipment you are currently getting, some people have worked very hard to achieve this on your behalf.

And out of interest, who do you think uses the Aimpoint T1 and why do you think we are getting the weaver converter rail, it may be something like it but no decision has been made yet on which one it will be.


Kit Reviewer
As regards the furnature in the SA-80. I think it's pretty vital that units get used to them in training to make sure the firing process is more instinctive out in Afghanistan. As for SUSAT being a problem as the army will have two siting systems, I guess they aren't going to phase out the Iron sight for Jungle conditions; so the Army will have at least two siting systems anyway. If SUSAT is going spare I have no problems in using it rather than sitcking it on the shelf.

What are the advantages of Elcan over ACOG?

It wasn't the intention to be flippant with the comment regarding the weaver, I feel that the weaver may have been the right choice at the time, however, it is a legacy design that has since been improved by Picatinney . When the weapon was modified to A2 via HK, could it not have been changed to come in line with most weapons systems, fixture and fittings?

I have no drama's with the personal weapons and equipment the individual is issued. A soldier wants for nothing on todays battle field, we have never been so better equipt. We do appreciate organisations like yourself ensuring best kit for best practice.

I cannot understand how we can be so ripped off when developing and trialling equipment, the USA seem to have their 'poo' in one sock. They tell industry what they require and it is tested at cost to the company to win the heart of defence, then, if good enough, it is successfully fielded.

We could look at what the Americans are doing next and 'tap' into the ideas to save development/trialling costs. We seem to get some of the equipment they have looked at, trialed and developed several years after, incurring our own cost!

All of us are aware that there is a large degree of politics attached to most purchases, in keeping with 'British Industry'. From air, land and sea we have seen this in recent times as highlighted on Dispatches C4 programme (I agree that it has been edited to favour the production team). If you didn't see this programme, it covered things like the following:

Wildcat over Blackhawk.
Reduction in the Navy fleet.
Possible procurement of Colt variant over current standard issue rifle (offer during HK modification programme).
Body armour etc.

Your team must have a degree of restriction in what you can have for trialling, not neccessary due to cost, but maybe originator?? The 'thumb screws' are applied to pretty much all units where they already have something in mind from top level/British Industry.

I feel we are moving in the right direction within the Military community, things could always be better. I fully appreciate that we are 'SKINT' as a country and fully support most of the cost cutting practices we are undergoing. There are so many areas in which the MOD could 'police' better funding, this includes the like of Aramark, Turners, Babcocks and MODern housing to name but a few (and seen on previous threads). This would release funding for vital development trials to contiue this fighting equipment support.
I cannot understand how we can be so ripped off when developing and trialling equipment, the USA seem to have their 'poo' in one sock. They tell industry what they require and it is tested at cost to the company to win the heart of defence, then, if good enough, it is successfully fielded.
You're kidding, right? Their defence industry makes mistakes that are just as massive, it's just that their budget is big enough to cope.

Consider DIVADS and the A-12 Avenger - easily on a par with Nimrod AEW. Consider RAH-66 and the Crusader SP gun - easily on a par with Nimrod MRA.4. The F-35B doesn't seem to be doing that well either...

You might want to consider the initial introduction into service of the M16 (read "We Soldiers Once, and Young", and count the number of jammed-beyond-use weapons). Or the attempt to introduce the XM8. Or wonder why it took until five years ago to give their soldiers optic sights, or individual radios, or radios down to fire team level (at the turn of the century, they were scaled for one radio per section). Or why (at the time when Britain was using 120mm on Chieftain, and the Soviets were using 125mm on T-64) they built a shiny new M1 tank, and stuck the 105mm L7 gun from the Centurion in it...

Then consider the M2/M3 Bradley. Or perhaps their new tanker aircraft, or maybe their new MPA. They've had their Nimrod moments, they've had their SA80 moments, they've had their BOWMAN moments.

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