The British Army is looking for an ‘Alternative Individual Weapon’ for the Army Special Operations Brigade.
According to the British Army website, the Army Special Operations Brigade’s role is to operate in complex, high threat environments below the threshold of war alongside specialised Partner Forces to deliver operational insights and effects. The Army Special Operations Brigade can be authorised to operate at higher risk beyond the remit of conventional forces.
Four Ranger Battalions and the Joint Counter Terrorist Training and Advisory Team will provide the foundation for the Army Special Operations Brigade.
Bidders have now been asked to “tender for the Procurement and Support of an Armalite Rifle (AR) platform Alternative Individual Weapon (AIW) System for the Army Special Operations Brigade”.
According to the recently published contract tender notice, they’re looking for a “Rifle System comprising of a Rifle and a detachable Signature Reduction System and An Optic
System that complements the Rifle and is ballistically matched to the stated ammunition nature and supplied barrel length.”
More specifically a “5.56mm Armalite Rifle (AR Platform) optimised for use with L15A2, a 62gr 5.56×45 NATO ball round, equivalent to SS109”.
- A Safe Blank Firing System (SBFS) for use with
the platform delivered at SOR Item 7
- An Optic System that complements the Rifle and
is ballistically matched to the stated ammunition
nature and supplied barrel length.
- An Close Quarter Battle (CQB) Optic System that
complements the Rifle and is ballistically matched
to the stated ammunition nature and supplied
The firms invited to tender for this are:
- Beechwood Equipment
- Caracal International LLC
- Colt Canada Corporation
- FNH UK
- GMK Limited
- Hammer Pair Performance Limited
- Ian Edgar (Liverpool) Ltd
- Law Enforcement International Ltd
- Level Peaks Associates Ltd
- NDH Defence Industries
- NSAF Ltd
- Precision technic Defence Ltd
- Raytheon ELCAN
- Riflecraft Limited
- Steyr Arms GmbH
- Viking Arms Ltd
The new rifle will be issued to the new four battalion-strong Special Operations Brigade.
The anticipated date for the contract award decision is March 2022 with the delivery of the trial systems by the end of August 2022.