Infantry: March 12, 2002


Britain continues to have problems with it's SA80 infantry rifle. This weapon is similar to the U.S. M-16, but has long suffered from one problem after another. This is blamed on inadequate field testing. In Kosovo and Sierra Leone, British troops had problems with the weapon jamming during combat. There are no reports of problems with SA80s in Afghanistan, which may be due to the latest round of modifications. When it works, the SA80 works very well, but the persistent problems since the 1991 Gulf War have made the troops uneasy. Some British commandos in Afghanistan have been seen carrying the U.S. M-4 (a commando version of the M-16.) The SA80 and the M-16 both use the same ammunition. Commandos of all nations are usually allowed to carry whatever weapons they feel are most suitable for their mission.


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