Modern equipment of the British Army

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This article is about weapons and equipment. For details of uniforms and orders of dress, see British Army Uniform.

Modern equipment of the British Army is a list of the equipment currently in use with the British Army. It includes small arms, combat vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, artillery and transport vehicles. The primary task of the British Army is to help defend the interests of the United Kingdom, but it can also serve as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) force, or a United Nations (UN) or any other multi-national force. To meet its commitments the equipment of the army is constantly updated and modified. To meet any shortage or requirement on operations the army can request equipment under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) which supplements planned equipment programmes.[1]

Infantry section equipment[edit]

The infantry section normally has two four-man infantry fire teams. On operations each fire team is usually equipped with the following:[2]

Weapons
Vision systems
Communications equipment
Heavy squad

Under normal conditions, an 8-man British infantry section is armed with four L85A2 rifles, one with an under-slung grenade launcher, two L86A2 light support weapons (LSW), and two L110A2 Light Machine Guns. For combat in Afghanistan, troops armed themselves more heavily, creating "heavy" squads. Weapons include:

  • 1 × L85A2 rifle or L129A1 marksman rifle
  • 1 × L85A2 rifle with L123A2 UGL (under-slung grenade launcher)
  • 2 × L86A2 LSW's, or 2 × L115A3 sniper rifles
    • Can have combination: 1 × L86A2 and 1 × L115A3
  • 2 × L110A2 light machine guns
  • 2 × L7A2 GPMGs

Weapons[edit]

Pistols[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
L9A1  Belgium
 United States
Semi-automatic pistol 9mm Pistol Browning SFS.jpg Standard issue pistol. It is a self-loading, semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9mm NATO. It has been in service since 1954 and is currently being replaced by the Glock 17 Gen 4.
L105A1 & L105A2
L106A1
L107A1
L117A1
 Germany
  Switzerland
Semi-automatic pistol 9mm SIG-P228-p1030033.jpg Variants of the SIG Sauer P226 were purchased as an interim replacement for the L9A1 as an UOR for use in Afghanistan. Although purchased as an interim weapon, they will continue to be used until the end of their life cycles.[6]
L131A1  Austria Semi-automatic pistol 9mm Glock 17 2nd Gen.jpg New standard issue pistol, replacing the L9A1 'Browning' and eventually the SIG Sauer. Around 25,000 have been purchased.[7]

Assault, battle rifles[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
L85A2
L86A2
L22A2
 United Kingdom Assault rifle
Light support weapon
Carbine
5.56×45mm Soldier firing L85A2 in Afghanistan (MoD).jpg
L86A2 LSW.jpg
The L85A2 (IW) is the standard assault rifle.[8] It can be fitted the: SUSAT, ACOG or Thermal Viper 2 sights. A LLM-Vario Ray laser aiming module can be attached.[4] Other attachments for the L85A2 include the L123A1 Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL) which is complemented by the new 'Rapid Acquisition Aiming Module' for better accuracy and range.[9]

The L86A2 (LSW) is the standard light support weapon. It features a longer barrel, a bipod and a shoulder strap for greater range and accuracy. Many of the weapon's parts are interchangeable with the L85A2, including the same 30-round magazine. The LSW is capable of producing a high rate of accurate rapid fire at ranges up to 1,000 meters.[10] It is currently being upgraded with picatinny rails and a new muzzle, stock and bipod.[11]

The L22A2 is a shortened carbine used primarily by vehicle and helicopter crews for self-defence.

L119A1  Canada Assault rifle 5.56×45mm Available in two variants: the C8 SFW and the shorter C8 CQB. The weapon is used by the specialist pathfinders unit of the Parachute Regiment as well as the UKSF, Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit, and the SFSG. Attachments include the L17A1.[12] Will be upgraded to the L119A2 which features upgraded custom parts.[13]
L129A1  United States Sharpshooter rifle 7.62×51mm L129A1.jpg The primary designated marksman rifle. It is equipped with an ACOG optical sight for long-range engagements.[14] At least 1,500 rifles had been delivered by May 2013.[15] There is also a Sniper No.2 version of the L129A1, with 12x Schmidt & Bender sights and a suppressor, to be used by the second man in sniper teams.[16]
HK417  Germany Sharpshooter rifle 7.62×51mm Heckler&Koch HK MR308 linke Seite.jpg Battle rifle used by the Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit, the UKSF and the SFSG.[17]

Shotguns[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
L128A1  Italy Semi-automatic shotgun 12-gauge Benelli m4 2.jpg Has a capacity of eight rounds and a maximum effective range of 140 m (460 ft) for solid shot and 40 m (130 ft) for buckshot.[18]
L74A1  United States Pump-action shotgun 12-gauge M870mcs.jpg Used by UKSF as a breaching shotgun.[19]

Sniper rifles[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
L118A1
L118A1 AWC
 United Kingdom Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm Accuracy International Arctic Warfare - Psg 90.jpg Improved variant of the L96 that entered service in 1985. The rifle has an effective range of around 800 meters and is designed to perform in both desert and arctic conditions. In recent years, the L118A1 has largely replaced by the L129A1 and the L115A3 in front-line service. The L118A1 AWC is used exclusively by the SAS.[20] The weapon is compact with a folding stock and a suppressor. It can be disassembled into a small suitcase for covert operations.
L115A3  United Kingdom Sniper rifle .338 Lapua Magnum L115A3 sniper rifle.jpg Primary sniper rifle. It is equipped with a 25x scope, a suppressor, a folding stock, and a five-round magazine. The .338 Lapua Magnum "is heavier than the 7.62mm round of the L118A1, and is less likely to be deflected by wind over extremely long ranges." The effective range of the L115A3 is in excess of 1,100 m (3,600 ft).[21]

Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison currently holds the record for the longest recorded sniper shot in history at 2,475 meters (2,707 yd) with this rifle.

L82A1  United States Anti-materiel rifle .50 BMG M107 1.jpg Recoil-operated, semi-automatic anti-materiel rifle. The British Army uses the M82A1 version.[22]

Submachine guns[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
L91A1 (MP5A3)
L92A1 (MP5SD3)
L80A1 (MP5K)
L90A1 (MP5KA1)
 Germany Submachine gun 9mm Heckler Koch MP5.jpg Widely used within the UKSF, SFSG and the Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit.[23] The weapon comes in multiple variants, from the standard L91A1 and the suppressed L92A1 (pictured), to the more easily concealable L80A1 and L90A1 which are have shortened stocks and vertical foregrips.

Machine guns[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
L108A1
L110A2
L110A3
Minimi 7.62
 Belgium Light machine gun 5.56mm
7.62mm
Minimi.jpg Standard "FN Minimi" variant and the British Army's designated light machine gun. The weapon is belt-fed and equipped with a bipod. The L110A2 and L110A3 are known as the "FN Minimi Para" and are equipped with a shortened barrel and a collapsible stock, with one issued per four man infantry fireteam.[24]

The Minimi 7.62 is the latest version of the weapon to enter front-line service. It is designed to fire 7.62mm rounds.[25]

L7A2  Belgium General-purpose machine gun 7.62mm British L7A2 Machine Gun.JPEG British Army version of the Belgian FN MAG.[26]
L1A1  United States Heavy machine gun .50 BMG British Army version of the American M2 Browning. It can be attached to both armoured vehicles and tripods.[27]
L134A1  Germany Grenade machine gun 40mm HKGMW.jpg Has a 320rpm rate of fire and an effective range of 1,500 m (4,900 ft)-2,000 m (6,600 ft). It is used for suppression of enemy infantry and can be mounted on both armoured vehicles and tripods.[28]

Mortars[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
M6-895  Austria Mortar 60mm Procured as an UOR. It can be fired in both the direct and indirect roles at a rate of 1–12 rounds a minute and can also be operated in the hand-held mode. Around 1,900 of the 60mm mortars were purchased as a UOR to replace the older 51mm Mortar that served on operations.[29]
L16A2  United Kingdom
 Canada
Mortar 81mm 81mmMORT L16.png Operated by a three man team. It is often vehicle-borne, and in mechanised infantry battalions is mounted and fired from an FV432 vehicle.[30] Around 470 in service.[31]

Anti-armour weapons[edit]

Name Origin Type Warhead Photo Notes
MBT LAW  Sweden
 United Kingdom
Anti-tank weapon 150mm Pansarvärnsrobot 57 aka MTB LAW.jpg Disposable, man-portable, short range fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile system. It is designed to "knock out any main battle tank in just one shot by striking it from above."[32]
FGM-148 Javelin  United States Anti-tank weapon 127mm FGM-148 Javelin - ID DM-SD-04-07567.JPEG Man-portable medium range anti-tank missile system. It fires a High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) warhead and is capable of penetrating explosive-reactive armour.[33]
ILAW  Sweden Anti-tank weapon 84mm AT-4 live-fire.jpg Small quantities of AT4 CS HP projectiles have been purchased.[34]
Anti-Structures Munition  Israel Anti-structure weapon 90mm MATADOR Stand.jpg Disposable, man-portable guided anti-structure weapon. It is designed to destroy hardened structures such as bunkers, buildings and other fixed positions.[35]
L72A9  United States Anti-structure weapon 66mm USAF M72 LAW.jpg Primarily used against bunkers, buildings and other fixed positions, but also effective against light armour and soft-skinned vehicles.[36]

Grenades and mines[edit]

Name Origin Type Detonation Photo Notes
L109A1   Switzerland Frag grenade Fuse British version of the Swiss HG 85 Grenade. It differs from the original in that it has a matte black safety clip similar to the American M67 grenade. It contains 155g of high explosive and has a lethal range of 10 m (33 ft). Detonation is after a 3-4 second fuse.
M18 Claymore mine  United States Anti-personnel mine Remote US M18a1 claymore mine.jpg Used for specialist and defensive purposes. Has seen use within Afghanistan. Will be replaced with the Fixed Directional Fragmentation Weapon (FDFW), a Finnish designed mine that has yet to be formally identified.[37]
L9A8 Bar Mine  United Kingdom Anti-tank mine Pressure L9 Bar mine.jpg Primary anti-tank mine. During the Gulf War it was found to be highly resistant to mine plows, simply rotating under it to detonate below the vehicle, disabling some M60 tanks of the USMC after Iraq captured L9s from the Kuwaiti Army.

Personal equipment[edit]

A British Army soldier posing - showing full combat dress and standard personal kit (front).
A British Army soldier posing - showing full combat dress and standard personal kit (back).
A British Army sniper posing - showing full combat dress and personal kit.

Protective equipment[edit]

The standard helmet in service is the Mk.7 which replaced the older Mk 6 helmet. The Mk.7 helmet is equipped with a new harness that keeps the helmet more stable on the head when night vision equipment is fitted. It is also better integrated with new weapon sights, making it easier to use in a variety of fighting positions.

Since 2006 troops in Afghanistan (and until 2009 Iraq), have been issued with Osprey body armour. This has provided much better protection than previous body armour systems. The new Osprey Assault body armour, which is currently replacing Osprey, will provide the same ballistic protection, while improving the comfort of personnel on operations in Afghanistan. It has all the stopping power of the current body armour but is closer fitting, less bulky and is easier to move in. It is specifically developed to meet the British Army's requirements, using cutting edge materials and manufacturing technology.[38]

The General Service Respirator is replacing the S10 respirator. It has also been issued to the Royal Navy, the RAF and the RFA.[39]

Multi-Terrain Pattern[edit]

Main article: Multi-Terrain Pattern

The Multi-Terrain Pattern is designed and intended to perform consistently across a wide range of environments. A wide range of camouflage colours were trialled in Britain, Cyprus, Kenya and Afghanistan, ultimately the Crye's "Multicam" pattern was determined to be the best performing, across the widest range of environments (by a significant margin) and was subsequently selected as the basis for the new British MTP camouflage, and combined with the existing British DPM pattern. The MTP pattern itself was not trialled against other patterns and its adoption was based solely on its similarity to the original Crye Multicam pattern.[40]

Boots[edit]

New standard issue boots have been bought by the MOD for the Army, Royal Navy and RAF. Armed Forces personnel will have a newly designed range of brown combat boots to replace the black and desert combat footwear they currently wear. Personnel will have the choice of five different boots depending on where they are based and what role they are in.

  • Desert Combat – worn by dismounted troops conducting medium to high levels of activity in desert type environments with temperatures exceeding 40 °C
  • Desert Patrol – worn by drivers/armoured troops conducting lower levels of activity in desert type environments exceeding 40 °C
  • Temperate Combat – worn by dismounted troops for medium to high levels of activity in temperate (European) climates
  • Patrol – worn by mounted troops (drivers/armoured troops) taking part in lower levels of activity in temperate (European) climates
  • Cold Wet Weather – worn by dismounted troops for medium to high levels of activity in temperatures down to −20 °C.

Each of the five boot types comes in two different styles, so personnel can wear whichever one is more comfortable for them. The new brown boots, which have been developed to match the Multi Terrain Pattern uniform worn by service personnel, will be made in two different fittings designed for the first time to take account of the different shapes of men and women's feet. The current black boots will carry on to be worn with most non-camouflage uniforms as well as units on parade in full dress uniform, such as regiments performing ceremonial duties in central London.[41]

Personal Role Radio[edit]

Main article: Personal Role Radio

A Personal Role Radio (PRR) is distributed to every member of an eight-strong infantry section.[5]

Personal Load Carrying Equipment[edit]

Soldiers need to carry ammunition, water, food and protective equipment. They use Personal Load Carrying Equipment (PLCE), a tough, modular system of camouflaged belt, yoke and pouches. To this can be added two small rucksacks and a large rucksack for additional carrying capacity, when required.[42] The PLCM is due to be upgraded to the new VIRTUS tactical vest next year, with testing with selected units currently taking place.[43]

PLCE is now very unlikely to be spotted on the front-lines as it is replaced by Osprey body armour, though due to its durability and the quantity produced it is and will be used in training for decades to come, much like the outdated ALICE system in the United States Marine Corps.[citation needed]

Future Integrated Soldier Technology[edit]

The Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) is a programme under development by the Ministry of Defence. The programme is designed to achieve enhanced military effect through the used of advanced technologies improving the situational awareness, lethality and survivability of soldiers. Ultimately, the programme is part of the wider British Armed Forces doctrine of network-enabled capability. FIST is similar to the American Future Force Warrior concept.

Vehicles[edit]

(Vehicle summary)[44][45][46][47]

Armoured vehicles
Main battle tanks 407
Infantry fighting vehicles, light tanks 603
Armoured personnel carriers 998
Infantry mobility vehicles 2,864
Others 2,110
Artillery
Self-propelled howitzers 89
Towed howitzers 138
Guided missile artillery 56
Surface-to-air missile systems 253
Others
Military logistics vehicles 14,003b
Land Rover Wolf 12,000
Other military vehicles 2,197c

Armoured vehicles[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
FV4034 Challenger 2  United Kingdom Main battle tank
In storage
Driver training tank

227
158
22
Total 407
Challenger Main Battle Tank with Improved Armour MOD 45149015.jpg A total of 386 main battle tanks and 22 driver training tanks were delivered in the 1990s.[48][49] 227 remain in front-line operational service, while 158 have been placed in climate controlled storage. All 22 driver training tanks remain in service.
FV510 Warrior
FV511 Warrior
FV512 Warrior
FV513 Warrior
FV514 Warrior
FV515 Warrior

 United Kingdom Infantry fighting vehicle
Armoured command vehicle
Combat repair vehicle
Armoured recovery vehicle
Artillery observation vehicle
Artillery command vehicle

482
84
105
39
52
19
Total 781
MCV-80.jpg Primary armoured fighting vehicle for mechanized infantry forces. The Warrior will be upgraded in a £1bn deal with Lockheed Martin UK; it will receive an improved turret and new stabilised 40mm CTA International cannon.[50]
FV432 Bulldog
FV434 Bulldog
FV432 81mm

 United Kingdom Armoured personnel carrier
Combat repair vehicle
Mortar carrier

722
63
110
Total 895
Image-Bulldog2007.jpg Despite entering service during the 1960s, the FV432 series have been in front-line service for over 50 years. A recent upgrade programme has "uparmoured" the fleet, which now offers the same levels of protection as the FV510 Warrior in mechanised infantry forces.[51]
FV107 Scimitar
FV103 Spartan
FV104 Samaritan
FV105 Sultan
FV106 Samson
Alvis Stormer

 United Kingdom Armoured reconnaissance vehicle
Armoured personnel carrier
Armoured ambulance
Armoured command vehicle
Armoured recovery vehicle
Armoured anti-aircraft vehicle

201
276
39
48
28
62a
Total 654
Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) Operating in Afghanistan MOD 45153175.jpg The CVR(T) is a series of armoured fighting vehicles based on a common multi-role chassis. The series first entered service in the 1970s and are now slated to be replaced by the new FRES Specialist Vehicle.[52] Latvia is currently planning to purchase 120 CVR(T) vehicles for an estimated cost of €70m from reserve stock or after retiring from the British Army.[53]
Cougar
Mastiff
Ridgeback
Wolfhound

 United Kingdom
 United States
Infantry mobility vehicle
Infantry mobility vehicle
Infantry mobility vehicle
Tactical support

106
450
171
126
Total 855
Mastiff 2 MOD 45150032.jpg The Cougar and Mastiff are 6×6 variants, while the Ridgeback is a smaller 4×4 variant. They provide protection and fire-power to infantry forces and can be equipped with either a 12.7mm heavy machine gun or 40mm grenade machine gun.[54] The Wolfhound is a 6×6 armoured tactical support variant of the Mastiff.[55] Following withdrawal from Afghanistan, the MoD has committed to bring 400 Mastiffs, 160 Ridgebacks, and 125 Wolfhounds into the core budget.[56] These vehicles are slated to eventually be replaced by the FRES Utility Vehicle.
Warthog  Singapore Infantry mobility vehicle 115 Warthog All Terrain Protected Mobility Vehicle MOD 45153396.jpg Amphibious and all-terrain capable.[57] Following withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Warthog will be upgraded and transferred to the 32nd Regiment and 47th Regiment of the Royal Artillery where they will be used to support Watchkeeper UAV operations.[58] The MoD has committed to bring 100 Warthogs into the core budget.[59]
Jackal
Coyote

 United Kingdom Infantry mobility vehicle
Tactical support

502
76
Total 578
A Jackal Armoured Vehicle is put through it's paces in the desert at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan MOD 45148137.jpg The Jackal is used for reconnaissance, rapid assault, fire support and convoy protection.[60] It is also used in various different configurations by the SAS. The Coyote is a larger 6×6 tactical support vehicle.[61] The MoD has committed to bringing 400 Jackal and 70 Coyotes into the core budget.[56]
Foxhound  United Kingdom Infantry mobility vehicle 400 Foxhound Patrol Vehicle in Afghanistan MOD 45154019.jpg Lighter and smaller IMV when compared to other protected vehicles (such as the Mastiff). It is designed for enhanced mobility and fighting in compact urban areas. Despite its weight of 7.2 tons (about 3 times the weight of the average family car) it can exceed speeds of 70 mph.[62]
Land Rover RWMIK
Land Rover Snatch
Land Rover Panama
Land Rover Pulse

 United Kingdom Infantry mobility vehicle
Infantry mobility vehicle
Unmanned route clearance
Battlefield ambulance

371
485
12
119
Total 987
Land Rover Snatch-Vixen vehicle 01.jpg The Land Rover RWMIK is a very lightly armoured fire support platform based on the standard Land Rover Wolf chassis. Its low weight make it highly mobile and ideal for reconnaissance roles and Special Forces.[63] The Land Rover Snatch, Panama and Pulse are based on the "Heavy Duty Chassis" which features much higher levels of armour and protection against IED's.[64]
Vector
Pinzgauer 716M

 United Kingdom
 Austria
Infantry mobility vehicle
Tactical support

153
190
Total 343
The new Vector vehicle on display on Salisbury Plain. MOD 45147350.jpg The Vector is a 6×6 lightly armoured IMV with a high degree of mobility. The Pinzgauer 716M is 4×4 tactical support variant used by the Royal Artillery to tow artillery pieces such as the Rapier and L118 Light gun.[65]
Husky  United States Tactical support 338 Husky Protected Highly Mobile Tactical Support Vehicle in Afghanistan MOD 45151962.jpg Features a high degree of protection against IEDs. It is used to supply food, water and supplies to those on front-line, escorting convoys and protected patrol.[66] The MoD have committed to bring 325 Husky vehicles into the core budget.[56]
Panther  Italy Command and control 401 Panther CLV (7527696976).jpg In use with various heavy, medium and light armour formations. Panther is also used as the command vehicle for Engineer Troops, Anti-Tank, Mortar and supporting fire platoons. An option for 400 more vehicles exists.[67]
Bushmaster  Australia Special Forces vehicle 24 Dutch Bushmaster with remote turret 2008.jpg Purchased in May 2008 under a URO for the SAS in Iraq and Afghanistan.[68][69] It is fitted with additional armour, counter-IED electronics, and a .50 calibre machine gun mounted in a RWS.[70]
Viking  United Kingdom
 Sweden
UAV support 21 BvS10.jpg Protected all-terrain vehicle.[71] 21 were ordered in 2007 to support operations with the Watchkeeper UAV.
TPz Fuchs  Germany Chemical & biological warfare 11 British radar Transportpanzer 1.JPEG Previously formed part of the Joint CBRN Regiment.[72] On 16 Dec 2011 the regiment was disbanded with the capabilities being transferred entirely to the Defence CBRN Wing of the RAF.[73]
Buffalo  United States Mine-protected clearance 19 Buffalo Vehicle Part of Talisman Suite in Convoy in Afghanistan MOD 45153768.jpg Mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) armoured vehicle which forms part of the British Army's Talisman counter-IED system.[74]
JCB HMEE  United Kingdom Mine-protected clearance 13[75] HMEE-with-slat-armor-001.jpg Heavily armoured excavator. It forms part of the Talisman counter-IED system. The MoD has committed to bring the HMEE along with all related Talisman elements (Minewolf, Tarantula Hawk, Buffulo, Panama and Talon) into the core budget.[76]
CRARRV
Titan
Trojan

 United Kingdom Armoured repair & recovery
Armoured vehicle-launched bridge
Assault breacher vehicle

75
33
33
Total 141
The Titan Armoured Vehicle Launcher Bridge (AVLB) on display at the Medium Capability Demonstration Day at Bovington Camp. MOD 45147374.jpg Based on the Challenger 1 chassis and is designed to recover and repair damaged or incapacitated tanks.[77] The Titan is an armoured bridge launcher with the capability to deploy a bridge up to 60 meters long. It is based on the Challenger 2 chassis.[78] Trojan is also based on the Challenger 2 chassis and is designed to breach through enemy defences such as walls or fortifications and clear paths through minefields. The Trojan is equipped with the Python Minefield Breaching System.[79]
Terrier  United Kingdom Combat engineering vehicle 60 Terrier Armoured Digger MOD 45155773.jpg Provides mobility support (obstacle and route clearance), counter-mobility (digging of anti-tank ditches and other obstacles) and survivability (digging of trenches and Armoured Fighting Vehicle slots).[80] A total of 60 vehicles were ordered with deliveries to be completed mid 2014.[81]
Alvis Shielder  United Kingdom Anti-tank mine layer 29 VLSMS 02.jpg Designed to dispense anti-tank mines to create barriers and deny access to enemy armour. The vehicle holds a total of 40 canisters, with each canister holding 6 mines.[72]

Artillery and air-defence[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
L131 AS-90  United Kingdom Self-propelled artillery 89 AS90 Self Propelled Gun - Tankfest 2009.jpg The L131 AS-90 is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer and is the largest piece of field artillery in the British Army. The L131 is operated by five field regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Artillery, including the: 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 19th Regiment Royal Artillery and the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery. Each regiment typically has 18 guns.
L118 Light Gun  United Kingdom Towed howitzer 138 Royal Artillery Firing 105mm Light Guns MOD.jpg The L118 Light Gun is used by the 3rd, 7th and the 29th field artillery regiments of the British Army. It can be towed by a medium-weight vehicle (such as a Pinzgauer) or carried around the battlefield underslung by a Puma or Chinook helicopter.
GMLRS  United States Rocket artillery 42 The final pre-acceptance trial of the GMLRS (Guided Multiple Launched Rocket System) at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, USA MOD 45148166.jpg The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), nicknamed the '70 km Sniper' or 'GSRM (Grid Square Removal System)', provides pinpoint accuracy, delivering a 200 lb high explosive warhead to its target. It has twice the range of other artillery systems used by the British Army. Operated by 39th Regiment Royal Artillery.
Exactor  Israel Anti-tank guided missile
(ultra-long Range)
14 The Exactor is a previously classified purchase of Spike-NLOS pods mounted on an M113 chassis. The system is primarily used for precise indirect attacks at long ranges (26 km (16 mi)). Exactor is to be brought into the core budget, with options to be remounted on a less specialist and more expeditionary focused chassis.[82]
Rapier  United Kingdom Surface-to-air missile system
(Air-defence)
24 Soldiers Load a Rapier Missile System During London Olympics Security Exercise.jpg The Rapier Field Standard C is a technologically advanced Short Range Air Defence System (SHORAD) which is compact, mobile and air-portable making it suitable for worldwide operations. It is a 24-hour, all-weather guided weapon system with the capability to engage two targets at once. Operated by the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery across 4 batteries, one of which is permanently attached to the Falkland Islands.
Starstreak  United Kingdom Surface-to-air missile system
(Air-defence)
145
62a
Starstreak launcher on Dartmoor.jpg
Stormer HVM Starstreak Launcher vehicle pic5.JPG
The Starstreak Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) is a short-range, highly mobile air defence system which holds 3 missiles ready for firing and can be used as either a stationary launch unit or mounted on a light vehicle such as a Land Rover. Starstreak can also be used as a surface attack weapon, capable of penetrating the frontal armour of even IFV's. Operated by 12th Regiment Royal Artillery.
The Starstreak SP HVM is mounted on the Alvis Stormer AFV with an 8 round launcher and internal stowage for a further 12 missiles. The Starstreak HVM (High Velocity Missile) is designed to counter threats from very high performance, low-flying aircraft and fast 'pop up' strikes by helicopters. An additional 22 systems are in climate controlled storage. Operated by 12th Regiment Royal Artillery.
MAMBA  United Kingdom Mobile artillery monitoring 5 Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Radar (MAMBA) MOD 45148327 The MAMBA (Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Asset) is a counter-battery radar. It detects enemy artillery projectiles fired by one or more weapons and from their trajectories locates the position of the weapon that fired it. It has a detection range of up to 30 km and can process up-to 100 projectiles. It is mounted on a Bv206 all-terrain vehicle. Operated by 5th Regiment Royal Artillery.

Logistic vehicles[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Oshkosh HET 1070F  United States Military logistics vehicle 157 A Fox NBC-detection vehicle is transported by a HETS trailer.jpg The Oshkosh HET 1070F is the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) of the British Army. The Heavy Equipment Transporters are capable of carrying a 72-tonne Main Battle Tank and are responsible for the strategic transportation of armoured vehicles over land.
Oshkosh Wheeled Tanker  United States Military logistics vehicle 762 Tactical Air Refueller MOD 45150786.jpg The Oshkosh Wheeled Tanker forms the backbone of the British Army's bulk fuel and water transportation. The Tanker can be fitted with enhanced blast-proof armour for driver protection and General Purpose Machine Guns.
MAN Support Vehicle  Germany Military logistics vehicle 7,285 MAN Lorry at BATUS MOD 45148893.jpg The MAN family of support vehicles are gradually replacing all 4-tonne, 8-tonne and 14-tonne cargo vehicles currently in service. They have good mobility and the ability to be fitted with armour and General Purpose Machine Guns. 7,285 were ordered in April 2010.
Leyland DROPS (MMLC)
Foden DROPS (IMMLC)
 United Kingdom Military logistics vehicle b EPLS Cargo Transport Vehicles in Combat Logistic Patrol (CLP) in Afghanistan MOD 45153716.jpg The Leyland MMLC is the Medium Mobility Load Carrier (MMLC) using a standard pallet and rack system and forms the logistic backbone of the British Army. The Foden IMMLC is the Improved Medium Mobility Load Carrier and is used primarily as an ammunition carrier in support of AS90 155mm self-propelled guns.
Bedford TM 6-6
Bedford TM 4-4
 United Kingdom Military logistics vehicle b British Army convoy during the Gulf War cropped to highlight Bedford TM Truck.JPEG The Bedford TM 6-6 is a 12-ton, six wheel military logistics vehicle equipped with a crane and a flat bed section for the transportation of supplies. It entered service in 1986 and is now being replaced by more modern vehicles such as the MAN Support Vehicles. The Bedford TM 4-4 is a smaller four wheel military logistics vehicle armed with a 7.62mm GPMG. It is used as a troop transport and supply vehicle.
Alvis Unipower TBT  United Kingdom Tank bridge transporter 137 AVLB 01.jpg The TBT has the same cross-country performance as a tank even when fully loaded. It can carry 1 × No 10 Bridge or 2 × No 12 Bridges. It can deploy, drop off and load bridges independently, but it cannot recover them.

Utility vehicles[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
MOWAG Duro II
MOWAG Duro III

  Switzerland Multipurpose utility vehicle 124
66
Total 190
Of the 124 Duro II, 118 are operated by communications and intelligence units, with the remaining 6 tasked with mine clearance and bomb disposal units. Of the 66 larger Duro III vehicles, 48 are again operated by communications and intelligence units and the remaining 18 are equipped for bomb disposal. These 18 Duro III's have come to be known as Tellar in British Army service.[83]'[84]
Land Rover Wolf
Land Rover Defender
 United Kingdom Multipurpose utility vehicle 12,000 Lrwolf2.jpg Numerous variants of the Land Rover are used such as the:[85]
Toyota Hilux  Japan SF Mobility 60 Lešany, vojenské muzeum, pouštní automobil Toyota Hilux D-4D III.JPG Used by UKSF as a mobility vehicle.[86]
VLRA  France SF Mobility 78 VLRA TPK 6.40 SM3 NBC 005 FR.JPG Used by UKSF as a 'mother ship' to resupply and sustain smaller patrol vehicles.[87]
All Terrain Mobility Platform  United Kingdom All-terrain vehicle Alvis SUPACAT ATMP pic1.JPG Lightweight 6×6 used by airborne and air-mobile forces. It is amphibious and exerts low ground pressure enabling it to traverse rough terrain whilst carrying up to 8 troops (and 2 crew), a standard NATO pallet or other stores and ammunition. A GPMG may also be fitted to create an effective mobile fire support platform.
Springer  United States All-terrain vehicle 78 Tomcar Defence-331.jpg Designed as a light-role load carriage platform. The 4×2 vehicle can self-load a 1 ton pallet. Each vehicle is equipped with an 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) self-recovery winch and sand ladders, which act as loading ramps for a cargo pallet. As of 2011, they have been serving as deployable REME Recovery vehicles from RAF Chinooks.[88][89]
Grizzly 450 Quad Bikes  Japan All-terrain vehicle 513 Yamaha Grizzly 450s quad bikes are used for light transport for things such as mortars, ammunition and general supplies.[89][90]
Motorcycles  United States
 Japan
Despatches Armstrong mt500.jpg Harley Davidson MT350E and Honda R250 motorcycles are used by dispatch riders and for a variety of liaison and traffic control tasks.

Aircraft[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Britten-Norman Islander Mk1
Britten-Norman Islander Mk2
 United Kingdom Surveillance aircraft 7 Islander - RIAT 2008 (2758318418).jpg Light aircraft used for airborne reconnaissance and command, also has a limited use in transporting personnel. It has a range of 380 nautical miles and can carry two crew and six passengers.
Britten-Norman Defender  United Kingdom Surveillance aircraft 9 ZH002 Britten-Norman Defender AL.2.jpg Light aircraft used for airborne reconnaissance and command by the UK Special Forces. It has a range of 380 nautical miles and can carry two crew and six passengers. Also has a limited use in transporting personnel.
Westland Apache  United States
 United Kingdom
Attack helicopter 66 Apache WAH64D Helicopter MOD 45149194.jpg British version of the Apache; uses more powerful Rolls-Royce RTM332 engines to allow it to operate with both full fuel and munitions loads. It carries a mix of weapons including rockets, Hellfire missiles, and a 30-mm chain gun.
Westland Lynx AH7
Westland Lynx AH9A
 United Kingdom Battlefield helicopter 50
21
Lynx - RIAT 2008 (2675358870).jpg Utility helicopter, often used to provide close air support to ground forces with the use of machine guns. The AH7 aircraft are due to be phased out in 2015 and be replaced by 34 Wildcats, 4 of which are slated to be in the LAH configuration and operated by the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing.[citation needed] The AH9 aircraft have been upgraded to AH9A standard as part of the UOR processes inspired by operations in Afghanistan.[91]
Westland Wildcat  United Kingdom Battlefield helicopter 21[92] AgustaWestland AW-159 Lynx Wildcat AH1 - Chris Lofting.jpg A total of 34 aircraft have been ordered,[93] 4 in the LAH configuration to be operated by the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing. The Wildcat will enter operational service in 2014 but is currently used for training. The Wildcat brings enhancements in ISTAR ability, range and payload capacity over the Lynx AH7 as well as operating an advanced system architecture for cross communication between air and ground.
Bell 212 HP  United States Battlefield helicopter 8 Army Air Corps Bell 212 Helicopter from 671 Squadron MOD 45151674.jpg Used in the jungle areas of Belize and Brunei.
Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin II  France Special forces helicopter 5 ZJ780 (8490634574).jpg Used by No. 658 Squadron AAC in support of the United Kingdom Special Forces attached to the SAS.[94]
Westland Gazelle AH1  United Kingdom Reconnaissance helicopter 34 4 Regiment Army Air Corp Gazelle Helicopter MOD 45146026.jpg Small, single-engined helicopter primarily used for observation and reconnaissance.[95]
Elbit Hermes 450  Israel ISTAR UAV 12 Hermes 450.jpg A total of 12 were purchased, with up to 9 remaining in current service. The status of the other 3 is unknown.[96] They will eventually be replaced by Watchkeeper. Operated by 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.
Watchkeeper WK450  United Kingdom ISTAR UAV 30 Watchkeeper Remote Piloted Air System MOD 45156635.jpg Advanced ISTAR UAV which can handle two payloads, operate in all weathers and can also take-off and land automatically.[97] A total of 30 air vehicles and 14 ground systems have already been produced with an additional 24 air vehicles and one ground system to be delivered.[98][99] Operated by 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.

Watercraft[edit]

Name Origin Type Boats Photo Notes
Ramped craft logistic  United Kingdom Landing craft Arromanches (L105)
Andalsnes (L107)
Aachen (L110)
Arezzo (L111)
Audemer (L113)
Royal Corps Transport Vessel, Arezzo.jpg Operated by the Royal Logistic Corps for amphibious operations. Designed to deliver men and material onto beaches, it is capable of carrying and deploying the Challenger 2 MBT.[100] The RCL has a full load displacement of 290 tonnes and a maximum speed of 10 knots.[101]

Arezzo, Audemer & Andalsnes have been put up for sale by the MoD[102][103]

Mk 4 Army Workboat  United Kingdom Workboat Storm (WB41)
Diablo (WB42)
Mistral (WB43)
Sirocco (WB44 )
Operated by the Royal Logistic Corps as small tugs and general purpose work-boats in support of amphibious operations. They have a displacement of 48 tonnes and a maximum speed of 10 knots.[101]

Raiding craft[edit]

An Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC)

The raiding craft in service with the British Army are operated in large numbers, predominately with the Royal Engineers and the Royal Logistic Corps for supporting both bridging and amphibious operations. These craft are highly versatile and often find themselves serving in environments ranging from the Arctic to the tropics.[104]

Mexeflotes[edit]

Main article: Mexeflote

Mexeflotes are amphibious landing raft operated by the Royal Logistic Corps for amphibious operations and are designed to deliver both armoured vehicles and material from ship to shore. They are deployed on the 16,160 tonne Bay-class landing ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Unmanned vehicles[edit]

Black Hornet Nano[edit]

A Black Hornet nano helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Main article: Black Hornet Nano

The Black Hornet Nano UAV measures 10 cm x 2.5 cm and provides troops with local situational awareness. The Black Hornet is equipped with three cameras which gives troops reliable full-motion video and still images it can be used to peer around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and the images are displayed on a handheld terminal.

A total of 324 drones have been purchased and are deployed in units of 2. They are planned to be retained post draw down from Afghanistan[105]

Desert Hawk[edit]

A Desert Hawk being launched from a WMIK Land Rover.

The Desert Hawk, in service with 47th Regiment Royal Artillery, allows for local area reconnaissance and base perimeter protection. Made of a lightweight material, it is capable of rough landings without major damage and is driven by a pusher quiet propeller. Equipped with three cameras, it can transmit real time video to a small laptop carried by the operators.

There are 222 individual Desert Hawk UAV's in service, with 12 support systems. Within Afghanistan they have flown 27,500 combined hours in service. They are planned to be retained post draw down from Afghanistan[106]

Tarantula Hawk[edit]

Tarantula Hawk

The Tarantula Hawk, in service with 47th Regiment Royal Artillery, is a lightweight robot used primarily for situational awareness and IED detection from the air or close to the ground. They are most commonly mounted on Mastiff's under the variant "Protected Eyes" that also includes an ISTAR periscope and remote weapon system. This is part of the Talisman mine detection program and, upon locating a suspected area, the Mastiff will remotely deploy the Tarantula Hawk to investigate ahead of the convoy. Five systems were ordered initially for testing before many more were acquired upon successful integration into Talisman.

There are 18 T-Hawks in service with the Talisman Convoys. They have been moved into the core budget for Army 2020 as part of Talisman.[107]

Dragon Runner[edit]

Main article: Dragon Runner
Dragon Runner

Dragon Runner is a lightweight, man portable, robot capable of detecting a variety of explosive devices without putting the operator in danger, which helps bomb disposal experts find and deactivate improvised explosive devices (IEDs).[108] The version purchased is tracked, with a controllable manipulation arm and a very rugged design to be thrown from vehicles, over fences and through windows without damage.

Around 100 were purchased for use in the British Army.

Mini MineWolf MW240[edit]

Main article: MineWolf Systems

The Mini MineWolf MW240 is a light, remote-controlled de-mining machine which is easily transported to remote areas. It is designed to operate in challenging environments and withstand blasts from Anti-Tank, Anti-Personnel and fragmentation mines. It offers a choice of tiller or flail operations depending on conditions with continuous ground penetration up to a depth of 25 cm, with automatic depth control. It has an average clearance performance 5,000m² – 12,000m² per day.[109]

The British Army purchased 10 such items.[110]

Talon[edit]

Main article: Foster-Miller TALON

Talon is an EOD robotic unit used for investigating, identifying and deactivating improvised explosive devices. Developed by Qinetiq, they have been purchased for use with the Talisman convoys and explosive disposal units.[111]

Wheelbarrow Mk8[edit]

Main article: Wheelbarrow (robot)

Wheelbarrow has been in use with the British Army since The Troubles and is now in the Mk8 development. They are used for investigating, identifying and deactivating improvised explosive devices. They can be remote controlled from up to 1 km away, climb 45 degree slopes and have a 150 kg lifting power. They can also be equipped with a shotgun attachment, laser designator, ceramic cutter, X-ray, disruptor brackets and many more modules. The Mk8 has been spotted on operational deployment in service with Talisman units.[112]

Future equipment of the British Army[edit]

'Future Protected Vehicle' - concept

There are several approved modernization programmes underway for the British Army:

  • The Future Integrated Soldier Technology is a suite of equipment capable of enhancing an infantryman's effectiveness as part of the Future Soldier programme.[113]
  • The Future Rapid Effect System is a planned family of medium-weight armoured vehicles intended to replace the Saxon, FV432 and CVR(T) series of vehicles.[114]
  • A new unarmoured Support vehicle, is currently being introduced into service. There will be 6,928 cargo vehicles including unit support tankers, 288 recovery vehicles and 69 recovery trailers with the deployment planned for 2014.
  • UK MOD has a requirement to acquire a new Modular Assault Rifle System (MARS) for deployment with certain military units from 2014.[115]

See also[edit]

Other equipment lists
Related articles

Notes[edit]

a ^ Vehicle listed twice, both in the armoured vehicles and artillery sections.
b ^ The following is a list of in-service logistics vehicles grouped by role and category held by the British Army (2012): Bulk Fuel (705), Cargo (9,288), Container Handler (64), Crane (98), Equipment Transporter (157), Forklift (1531), Medical (905), Recovery (352), Bulk Water Trailers (57), Airfield Support (631) and Fire Vehicles (215).[116]
c ^ The following is a list of in-service engineering vehicles grouped by role and category held by the British Army (2012): Protected Plant (101), Bridging (177), Bulldozer (35), Dumper Truck (181), Excavator (64), Forklift (457), Route Engineer Plant (274) and Beach T/WAY Dispenser (26).[116]

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External links[edit]