The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has placed a new £20 million order with BAE Systems for the supply of additional small arms munitions over the next two years.

The 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds will be produced at Radway Green, the Company’s state of the art manufacturing facility which, say BAE, offers some of the most advanced ammunition production capabilities in the world.

The announcement follows the signing of a £410 million order for the supply of vital battlefield munitions to the MOD in September when it exercised an option to increase a £280 million supply order announced in July.

Glynn Plant, Managing Director of Munitions at BAE Systems, was quoted as saying:

“We are proud to support the UK MOD as a strategic partner for munitions supply. The significant orders we have secured throughout the year has seen our teams increasing production rates, investing in people and new facilities and maximising shift patterns to meet this enhanced demand.”

Grant Shapps, UK Secretary of State for Defence, said:

“In an increasingly contested world, it is crucial that our forces are equipped to meet the threats of the future. Through contracts like these, with the best of some of our homegrown industry, we are continuing to ensure that we replenish and equip our forces, supporting jobs right across the UK.”

The new orders, say BAE, will create more than 200 new highly skilled jobs in the North of England and South Wales, boosting the Company’s 1,200-strong UK munitions workforce.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Mech Engineer
Mech Engineer
5 days ago

The question is how many rounds?

Mark B
Mark B
4 days ago

£20M seems like a small order to me

farouk
farouk
4 days ago

I have to ask is this on top of the £2.4-billion contract signed in Nov 2020 designed to supply the armed forces with ammo for the next 15 years £2.4-billion munitions deal secures thousands of UK jobsThe Next Generation Munitions Solution (NGMS) will see BAE Systems manufacture 39 different munitions for the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Strategic Command to use on the front line, including small arms ammunition, mortars, medium-calibre gun rounds and large-calibre artillery and tank shells. An estimated 1,260 people will work on NGMS in engineering, operations and supporting roles across five BAE Systems UK sites, including: 555… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago

I would like the UK to make .338 Lapua & .50 BMG rounds as well.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Agree, they are useful support rounds. The lapua for sniping and the BMG has multiple functions from sniping to anti material to heavy machine guns.

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

When are we ordering new ammo for the BFG?

grizzler
grizzler
4 days ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Roal Dahl would turn in his grave if he realised BFG was now packin’

Nick
Nick
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

You could add the 6.5CM, the Royal Marines have recently ordered the LMT L129A2 in 6.5CM. 6.5CM is the Hornady 6.5mm Creedmoor as used by the US Army SOCOM forces, its a slightly shorter 7.62 case necked down to 6.5 so as able to shoot longer range higher ballistic coefficient bullets with less recoil.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 days ago
Reply to  Nick

Creedmoor round is the baby. I guess they had to weigh up 6.5mm creedmoor Vs .300 AAC both offer significant ballistic improvements over 5.56 NATO rounds

Nick
Nick
2 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Strange as it may seem the 6.5CM in the SOCOM trials it showed doubled the hit probability at 1000 m, 33% increase in effective range, 30% increase in effective energy on target, a 40% decrease in wind effect and decreased recoil compared to the 7.62 NATO round 
 

John Hartley
John Hartley
26 seconds ago
Reply to  Nick

I see you can get semi auto rifles (FN Scar, various AR-10 clones) in 6.5 Creedmoor.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 days ago

BAE say the can make 1m rounds of 5.56 mm and 7.62mm a day. Their ammo is the standard all other Nato Manufacturers are measured against.
Ukraine needs shed loads of ammo everyday. Would be good to increase what they receive.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
4 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

The Army could do with plenty more .50cal and more BMGs and more Barratt M82 with good scopes plus more time on the ranges – it would help to make up for the lack of numbers

Simon
Simon
4 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Radway green is quite a big site. when I went there, there were two older buildings( out of use) which were the size of the two current buildeings. it now seems they have been knocked down, with the money and will power you could I suppose, double the factory size.

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers
3 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

They need to put their ammo onto the domestic market for recreational shooting. Fullbore ammo costs are absurd in the UK, over £1.20 per round of .308. It would help keep sport shooting going and justify production lines being kept open instead of relying on spasmodic government procurement.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Sadly, you definitely notice the difference between ammunition manufacturers. Whilst in Afghan, we had a general shortage of both 5.56 and 7.62 ball. The MoD bought a shed load from Romania. Which we also shared with the Dutch and Canadians. I have no idea of what propellent was used but it was horrible. When fired it generated a large white cloud. But what was worse, was the left behind residue. It was like tar, took forever to clean off. A funny example, was when blatting of a belt of 7.62 in the gimpy, it was like a scene from the… Read more »

pete
pete
1 day ago
Reply to  DaveyB

In a book i read about the Paras in Helmand they bought some Indian 7.62 that did not have enough propellant to cycle a GPMG properly !

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 day ago
Reply to  pete

Sadly true. In Afghan in particular, things normally kicked off in Spring. This is when the Taliban who had travelled south to Pakistan for the winter. Came back with fresh troops from the training schools.

During these months you will expect clashes everyday. As the Taliban blooded their new recruits. Which meant that we burnt through ammo. Some years were worse than others and the QMs couldn’t keep up. Hence why we had to buy ammo from other sources.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago

Is this the improved 556 and 762 rounds? The new rounds have a steel core, not just a tip and have a better penetration performance Vs Body armour and plate

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I’ve looked but so far haven’t found out. The improved bullets look really good so hopefully it’s them.
Germany have announced €1.3 billion in Ukraine aid with another 4 IRIS-T SLM SAMs systems among another equipment.
This will Germany the 2nd biggest contributor. I wonder if the U.K. will try to get back on top.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

It might help Germany to score a Poland CAMM sized order from Ukraine? Pity we can’t help them with CAMM.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes Radway green produce both 5.56 and 7.62. The Enhanced performance 5.56 NATO (European) round L31A1 ( all steel core in same old 95% copper, 5% zinc gilding envelope ), same weight as the old NATO SS109, same ballistic performance ( you will not notice a difference shooting the new and old round) but better penetration. The 7.62 round is confusingly called high performance 7.62 ( L59A1) not enhanced performance like the 5.56..it’s different again and moves from the all lead core of the old NATO standard to a haft lead but steel tipped core ( same gilding envelope). Thing… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Very interesting info thanks, So essentially is the US using a soft top bullet with the ability to expand on impact ?
I always thought that was banned by The Hague convention Rue 77 which funnily enough we and they both opposed 124 years ago.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Hi ABC it’s not quite that simple The Hague convention band any bullet that expanded in the human body..but it was created 120+ years ago and was essentially considering bullets that expanded using the low velocity weapons of the time. So hollow points and unjacketed monolithic lead bullets that had been weakened. The issue is you fire a monolithic lead bullet from a modern high velocity weapons it’s spreading and breaking up no matter what. The British army Lee metford (1888-1895) had a muzzle velocity of 621ms an SA80 A2 has a muzzle velocity of around 920ms ( or 50%… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Jonathan
DaveyB
DaveyB
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not to mention the US bullets that have a ball in the tip, which is designed to cause “sudden expansion” upon impact. SO technically does a similar result to a hollowpoint. But visually looks like a FMJ.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey are you sure, I though they were the same construction..

1) gilding,steel tip, lead core
2) gilding, all lead core
3) gilding,all steel core

Ive not come across a round with a ball in it and I’ve done a fair bit of shooting.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jon, this is a SOCOM ammo designed for room clearing.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey do you know it’s designation, name or manufacturer ?

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Sorry Jon I don’t. We used this ammo on a training exercise at Bragg. This was predominantly fighting in a built up area (FIBUA) training. Where on some scenarios, the enemy were manakins. After the walk through debrief. We examined the manakins, the extent of the damage was telling. Plus we found a few rounds that had passed through. Showing obvious signs of ballooning and fragmenting.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Cheers Davey that is interesting, as the key complaints around stopping power of the standard 5.56 were specifically around urban fighting. Especially interesting with you seeing the fragmenting, ballooning you do get with high velocity lead cored FMJ, but fragmentation is rare ( although less rare on the base pulled gilding US rounds that the tip pulled gilding UK/European rounds).

I want to find them and shoot the rounds now….

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

No worries mate. It was a few years back, so am trying to remember some key points. The bullet tips were painted black, if I remember correctly. I have a feeling that the propellant loading was the same as standard, as the recoil felt the same. Bearing in mind we were using M4s etc.

It made the standard impact hole, but delivered a much bigger cavity post penetration. I suspect that the bullet lead is hollow. Which allows the ball to push out the sides as it’s pushed backwards, which would transfer and dump a lot of the energy.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Interesting, black tip would indicate some form of AP round, not something I’m allowed to shoot unfortunately. An expanding AP round, I would would be really interested to see the mechanics of that one.

Marcus Dentford
Marcus Dentford
3 days ago

Excellent, so who will we be sending these to this time?
Ukraine, Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Hamas, ISIS? Anyone want free ammo, Britain just bought some, gather round, gather round!

Tom
Tom
18 hours ago

More money for bae… oops soz more bullets for the British armed forces. Hurrah and more hurrah’s.

Now all we need is to ‘buy’ some new soldiers, to take the new bullets, and make use of them!

Hush my mouth… 🤐 😆 😂