Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Listy, Sep 11, 2005.

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  1. I just came across a reference to the FIDF in the soldier magazine site. Some of the kit they mentioned seemed intresting. Yet there's no infomation on the web (that I could find).

    Anyone got any infomation?

  2. The Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF) are a locally recruited, part-time, defence force something like our TA. However, whereas the TA is an integral part of the Army and maintained through the defence budget, the FIDF is different and not part of the Army orbat. It is controlled and maintained by the Falkland Islands Government and submits an annual budget to the Falklands Parliament. It then buys its equipment on the open market and not necessarily from the UK Government. One classic example was in the early 1990's when the FIDF wanted to replace its ageing SLR's. The UK quoted something like $2000 per SA-80 but they could only be delivered after the TA and cadets had received their weapons. The FIDF then approached Steyr who offered the rifles at $600 each 'and by the way we'll pay for two of your instructors to come to Austria to learn how to use them'. Tricky decision!!

    The OC of the FIDF sweats on his budget each year as it is hotly debated in Parliament. When he asks for a new Land Rover, some old Islander will say 'I've kept my old Rover on the road for the last thirty years so why can't you do the same?' However, when he asks for a .50 MG or a grenade launcher it's outside the comfort zone of the elders so its approved - hence the great kit they have.

    The FIDF is affiliated to the Prince Of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire dating back to WW2 when the West Yorks Regt garrisoned the Islands.

    Hope that's useful Listy.
  3. Listy,

    If you failed TA selection (twice), then you won't be able to try and join anything like the Falklands/Ugandan/Bin Laden's Defence Force. :D
  4. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I remember bumping into some of the FIDF at Bisley, Brit uniform, Brit rank badges, funny foreign gun, "'ello lads who are you...?" Nice enough bunch, seemed to like the Steyr which was surprising I thought but there you go.
  5. Why would you be surprised they like the steyr?

    I thought it was accepted as a brilliant rifle.

  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    FIDF is not the only Force that formerly used Brit rifles, but who now have the Steyr. It's an all-round nice piece of kit, and has actually sold around the world on its own merits (unlike another Rifle I could mention).
  7. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    The Steyr, I understand is not very popular at all. It has some nice bits, (clear mag), loads of plastic, easy barrel changing, etc but I am told that its not thought of very highly, rather like the SA80 very few countries took it.

    Off the top of my head, UK sold SA80 to Bemuda, Singapore and a TPLD in Africa. Austria sold the Steyr to The FI, Ireland, Australia, NZ, Oman and Hollywood,

    Not that sales = quality of course but I understand that the Aussies, Kiwi's and the Irish are ALL now shopping for another gun.
  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Having said all that, the Steyr first came into service in the early 80's I think so perhaps, with all that plastic stuff its not MEANT to last 30 years like our GPMG's or old SLR's. Perhaps the Aussie, Kiwi and Paddies are just searching because its done its 10 years or whatever....
  9. How did the FIDF perform when the Argies invaded?
  10. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I'd refer you to AN UNGENTLEMANLY ACT

    for the TV version, Rex Hunt (the governer?) may also have written a book on the invasion, though I am unsure.

    Eitherway though, it was all SLR's in those days.
  11. Rex Hunt - My Falkland Years.

    BTW it was not all SLR, at the time of the Argie Invasion, the more outlying members of the FIDF still had .303 No.4s and Bren Guns, only the Stanley-based unit had SLRs/L4s.
  12. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I stand corrected, thanks. (Bren or LMG?)
  13. Most were ordered to surrender. There was a break down in communication beacuse the OC took his orders from the Governor at GH and not the OC of NP8901. Therfore they did not coordinate (I am told), at least two of them however went into the camp to a place "where they knew the crew of Endurance stored supplies" and picked up equipement from there (including SLR's) and later did recce work with the land element when they arrived. The full story is in a couple of the contemporary books.

  14. Should have kept the SLR- it's a proper gun with a proper round!
  15. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    You're old aren't you....