Struggling to see the argument to change unless it’s the US forcing the issue with a new calibre. We’ve spend a shit load on mods for the SA-80. I’m with the previous poster that suggested it will be around for another 20 years. May not be that long but I can’t see it being binned in the short to medium term. Feels like the justification is too weak
the A3 has reached the limits of absurdity trying to fix the SA80’s endemic issues.
What was already an ergonomic nightmare had now morphed into a very expensive Johnny Seven OMA knock off that now weighs far more, and is much bulkier than the ‘large’ and ‘heavy’ 7.62 rifle it replaced.
Anyone brought up on the SA80 and exposed to the alternatives is invariably surprised at how big and heavy the L1A1 isnt, and how instinctively it comes to eye - and how compact, light, and instinctive to operate the AR platforms are.
the SA80 remains what it is, a perfect example of a rifle designed by committee without any regard to the end users needs, with the basic design layout preordained by RO’s decades long institutional fixation on introducing a bullpup.
While the Army may have sensibly wanted a 5.56 rifle, it flew completely in the face of its experience for MOD to adopt an entirely novel and new rifle.
Its rather forgotten that not only were the British using the M16 before the US Army, (and had none of the problems the American had, funny how basic rifle maintenance makes a rifle, well, work!), it had also had it in service in large numbers, used across every environmental theatre with great success, including Jungles and Deserts, and large numbers had gone south in 1982 to the Falklands, where it had performed perfectly in the very arduous conditions.
Well, here we are, 40 years on, and it’s back to the future with the large scale introduction of the C8.