Modern weapons of the Irish Army

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This is a list of some of the modern weapons of the Irish Army. The Army Ranger Wing has access to a wide variety of specialist weapons for use in different roles.


Name Origin Type Caliber Photo Notes
Assault Rifle
Steyr AUG  Austria Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm AUG A1 508mm 04.jpg The Steyr AUG is the Defence Force's standard service rifle. It entered service in 1989 and is in use with all units of the Defence Forces.[1] Operational units are issued an enhanced rifle fitted with an ACOG 4x32 optical sight starting to enter service in late 2014, known as the Model 14 or MOD 14.
Heckler & Koch USP  Germany Semi-automatic Pistol 9×19mm HK USP 9mm Pragl.jpg The USP entered service in 2007 as the Defence Force's standard service pistol.[2]
Sniper rifle
Accuracy International 92  United Kingdom Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm (.308) The AI 92 Sniper Rifle entered Irish Army service in 1992.[1]
Accuracy International AWM  United Kingdom Sniper rifle 8.6×70mm (.338) The AWM entered service in 2011. The Irish Army version is chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum round.[3]
FN FAL  Belgium Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm The FN FAL was previously the standard service rifle for the Defence Forces. Older FAL rifles were upgraded with an adjustable butt stock, Picatinny-style rail hand guard, a bipod, and a Schmidt & Bender sight for use as sniper support weapons.[3]
Machine gun
FN MAG  Belgium Machine gun 7.62×51mm Irish Defence Forces GPMG (4815975558).jpg The FN MAG entered service in 1964 with the Defence Forces and is in use with all service branches and a number of Army Corps. It is deployed both with bipod or in a sustained fire (SF) role mounted on a tripod by the Infantry. Both the Infantry and Cavalry use the MAG mounted on its armoured vehicles and the Infantry and Artillery use it in the air defense role.[1]
M2 Browning .5 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)  United States/ Belgium Machine gun 12.7×99mm (.50) Machine gun M2 1.jpg The M2 Heavy Machine Gun entered service in the 1970s. It is in use with all service branches and a number of Army Corps. The Infantry use it in the sustained fire role, air defense role and mounted on its MOWAG APCs. The Artillery use it in the air defense role and the Cavalry use it mounted on its armoured vehicles.[1]
Mecar M72 HE Grenade  Belgium Grenade
Grenade launcher
Diemaco M203 grenade launcher  Canada Grenade launcher 40×46mm M203 1.jpg The M203 is in use with the Defence Forces. It is mounted to the Steyr AUG rifle and employs its own separate sighting and trigger mechanism.[1]
Heckler & Koch GMG  Germany Grenade launcher 40×53mm Irish Army Grenade launcher (4109942104).jpg Used by the Cavalry and Army Ranger Wing mounted on vehicles.
Anti-tank Weapon
AT4 Short Range Anti-Armour Weapon (SRAAW)  Sweden Anti-tank Weapon 84 mm AT-4Launcher.jpeg The AT4 entered service in 1997. The SRAAW is a recoilless, preloaded disposable weapon.[1]
Carl Gustav 84mm Anti-Armour Weapon  Sweden Anti-tank Weapon 84 mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle.jpg The Carl Gustav 84mm is a recoilless, breech-loaded anti-armour weapon.[1]
Javelin Anti-tank guided weapon  United States Anti-tank Weapon 127 mm Irish Army Javelin Missile launch (4109948460).jpg The Javelin is a fire-and-forget anti-armour weapon system and entered service in 2003.[1][dead link]
Denel Vektor M1 60mm Mortar  South Africa Mortar 60 mm The Vektor 60mm Mortar entered service in 2003 with the Infantry. The 60mm mortar can also be fired in a commando role by removing the bipod and baseplate and fitting a special small baseplate and attaching sighting unit/handgrip.[1]
Hocthkiss Brandt 81mm Mortar  France Mortar 81 mm Mortier 81 LLR 01.jpg The 81mm Mortar uses the C2 AI Sight Unit and a Morfire Fire Control Computer.[1]
Ruag M87 120mm Mortar   Switzerland Mortar 120 mm The Arty School exercising both a Young Officers course and an Artillery Standard NCO cse Live Firing Day and night shoot 04 (16324294293).jpg Used by Artillery Regiments heavy mortar batteries.
Mk44 Bushmaster II  United States Autocannon 30×173mm Cav Shoot Glen of Imaal (11797883296).jpg Fitted to Cavalry Mowag Medium Reconnaissance Vehicle's (MRV).
Tank Gun
L23A1  United Kingdom Tank Gun 76 mm Fitted to Cavalry FV101 Scorpion.
105mm L118 light gun  United Kingdom Howitzer 105 mm Irish Army 105mm Light Gun Shoot RDF (15) (4110022946).jpg Along with the L119, these are used as the primary artillery support weapon (total of 24 guns of the two variants)
105mm L119 light gun  United Kingdom Howitzer 105 mm Along with the L118, these are used as the primary artillery support weapon (total of 24 guns of the two variants)
Ordnance QF 25-pounder  United Kingdom Field gun 87.6 mm Only used for ceremonial gun salutes.
RBS-70 Missile system  Sweden Man-portable air-defense systems 106 mm RBS70.jpg A number of launchers and a simulator were acquired in 1981. Upgraded in 2006 and "dozens" upgraded in 2014 for €4.4 million to include deliveries of improved firing units, new simulators, night vision equipment and associated weapons support.[4]
Bofors EL-70[5]  Sweden Air defence gun. 40 mm Irish Army Bofors Gun getting ready (4746227784).jpg Bofors air defence gun.[4] A number were acquired in the late 1950s, with several dozen purchased in 2002.
Army Ranger Wing (Special Forces)
SIG Sauer P226   Switzerland Semi-automatic Pistol 9×19mm SIG Sauer P226 neu.jpg
Benelli M4  Italy Semi-automatic Shotgun 12 gauge Benelli m4 2.jpg
Steyr AUG A2  Austria Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm AUG A2 407mm klein 03.jpg
Steyr AUG A3  Austria Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm Steyr AUG A3.jpg
Heckler & Koch HK416  Germany Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm HK416.jpg
FN Minimi  Belgium Machine gun 5.56×45mm
Heckler & Koch MP5  Germany Submachine Gun 9×19mm MP5.jpg
Heckler & Koch HK417  Germany Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm
Accuracy International AW50  United Kingdom Anti-materiel rifle 12.7×99mm (.50)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Defence Forces Website - Army - Weapons". Archived from the original on 2010-11-26. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  2. ^ Huges, Capt Brian (April 2007). "Taking Aim" (PDF). An Cosantóir. 67 (4): 6. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Snipers equipped with record-breaking rifle". Irish Independent. 2012-12-01. 
  4. ^ a b Stack, Sarah (12 June 2014). "Army fires up €4.4m spend on missile upgrade". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Official IDF Site - Army Weapons - Bofors L70 40 mm Light Air Defence Gun Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.