The first Ukrainian soldiers taking part in a major new UK-led military programme, which will train up to 10,000 Ukrainians over the coming months, have arrived in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence say here that the programme is part of the UK’s commitment to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked invasion, “which so far amounts to more than £2.3 billion in military aid and includes more than 5,000 NLAW anti-tank weapons and M270 multiple launch rocket systems”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who visited the training this week, said:

“This ambitious new training programme is the next phase in the UK’s support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression. Using the world-class expertise of the British Army we will help Ukraine to rebuild its forces and scale-up its resistance as they defend their country’s sovereignty and their right to choose their own future.”

The Ministry of Defence add that around 1,050 UK service personnel are deploying to run the programme, which will take place at MOD sites across the North West, South West and South East of the UK. Each course will last several weeks and will be conducted by elements from 11 Security Force Assistance Brigade.

The Army say that the training will give volunteer recruits with little to no military experience the skills to be effective in frontline combat.

“Based on the UK’s basic soldier training, the course covers weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics and the Law of Armed Conflict.”

According to a news release:

“The Government has rapidly procured AK variant assault rifles for the training programme, meaning Ukrainian soldiers can train on the weapons they will be using on the front line. This effort was supported by the Welsh Guards, who tested more than 2,400 such rifles in 17 days to ensure they were ready for the Ukrainians to commence their training.

The UK has also gifted clothing and equipment to support Ukrainian soldiers in their training and deployment back to Ukraine. Each soldier will be issued with:

  • Personal protective equipment including helmets, body armour, eye protectors, ear protectors, pelvic protection, and individual first aid kits
  • Field uniforms and boots
  • Cold and wet weather clothing
  • Bergens, day sacks and webbing
  • Additional equipment required for field conditions including ponchos, sleeping bags, and entrenching tools

The UK has a long history of supporting Ukrainian service personnel through Operation ORBITAL, which trained 22,000 Ukrainians between 2015 and 2022. The new programme will build on this success and demonstrate the UK’s continued leadership in responding to Ukraine’s military requirements as the war evolves.”

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 works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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John Michael McGrath
John Michael McGrath
1 month ago

Good stuff! I happy with this! If I was still in. I would happily volunteer for this as a qualified phase 1/2 training Instructor

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago

Great effort. We should all be proud to see our country at the absolute forefront of supporting our allies, I’m very impressed with how HMG has handled the Ukraine war

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Great news. This will hopefully benefit the new soldiers a lot. Ukraine’s army is now 700,000 strong. With the border force, militia etc they have 1 million people. A lot of these will need training and equipment. Industry needs to meet the challenge in all areas. As one said Ukraine has much bigger numbers but can utilise them without equipment. Glad the U.K. is giving them personal equipment and cold weather gear. I’m still of the view some Ukrainian pilots and ground crew should be starting to train on western fast jets. I would like to see the U.K purchase… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I think it’s time to start looking inwardly, our own forces situations have been dire for years and to see s much equipment going to Ukraine shows that we have enough of it to give away while reducing the upgrades to own.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I heard on Radio 4 this morning that Ukraine is looking to expand its army from 700,000 to 1m in order to eject the Russians from the Donbas.
I don’t think you can purchase 48 Typhoons and train the pilots, ground crew and maintainers in a few weeks/months.

johan
johan
24 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As a Guide the Qatar Typhoons ordered in 2017, are just starting delivery. OUCH

Caspian237
Caspian237
1 month ago

I’m very proud of the UK’s efforts to support Ukraine but let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. What is the unique benefit that GB and its citizens get from its extra efforts? Of course, we all want Russia to suffer a reversal and for Ukraine to triumph but if that comes to pass, will we be rewarded in proportion to the aid given, other than empty platitudes? It’s like a group of people decide to build a house but one individual does the most work and spends most of the money. Everyone else agrees that this is a… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Caspian237

>It is probably vulgar to think about getting a large share of the post conflict reconstruction contracts or for the UK arms industry to significantly benefit but I think it is just as likely that the EU or some of its larger members will waltz in and edge us out, having Ukrainian membership of the EU as leverage. Indeed. The first thing the Germans were debating in the days after the Scholz 100bn extra for Defence speech last year was how to exploit for exports. We need to work out how we develop a coalition of allies inside the EU… Read more »

DMJ
DMJ
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

So would you also disagree with BAE buying up US defence companies as they have done?

Last edited 1 month ago by DMJ
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  DMJ

The issue with BAE buying an American company is they buy a tech black box they don’t know the insides of.

The CEO can’t access some areas of American subsidiaries: fact. The tech can only be worked on by Americans in America: fact.

When we sell a defence operation does anything that strong come into play? Don’ t think so.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

The CEO of Lockheed and Boeing also cannot access some of their subsidiaries. They don’t hold the security clearance. BAE is unique that the profit still ends up in the UK from some of the most sensitive US Gov projects ever. Pretty rare air.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
30 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Yes that is certainly the other side of the coin Bae and I think RR too have a pretty unique place in US defence that few if any other foreign businesses receive. That said the US also benefits from that arrangement through different perspectives, competition and a technology transfer balance generally more in their direction. Though to be fair we get access too that other ‘non Anglo’ countries don’t get.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago

From first hand experience I can say the US does not have access.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Does not have access to?

Expat
Expat
1 month ago

UK tech. Just like the US does with BAe the same goes the otherway. The systems that contain the data have certain security roles and system privileges.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
30 days ago
Reply to  Expat

What Companies and/or processes are we referring to here we know the specifics with Bae so it would be great to know what examples in the reverse direction have similar protocols. It certainly seems there are similar protocols with Thales and MDBA too but would love to know just how they operate too as I have never seen it explained what does or can transfer between the UK and parent companies certainly from a technology point of view though not exclusively just that, or indeed in between their various subsidiaries elsewhere for that matter.

Expat
Expat
30 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Here’s the latest from the Ultra take over. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/update-on-the-proposed-acquisition-of-ultra-electronics-holdings-plc-by-cobham-ultra-acquisitions-limited But every company of reasonable size will.use high quality ERP/Project/Document Management systems. The have the necessary control in place to stop an individual from location x seeing data in location y. Even employees in tge same location may not be allowed to see data on other projects in the same location. Access control will go through an approval process which will have several steps and means the process of giving access is segregated and cannot be given by just one person. Even customer of defence companies will insist that their specific… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
30 days ago

Exactly it was fascinating seeing the documentary some years back where the Bae CEO was over in America on a tour and to camera willingly described how he is allowed to know virtually nothing about how the subsidiary is run other than strategic decisions that will effect head office that they are making, investments and the profits being or expected to be produced. The technical aspects of products and matters of day to day running of those subsidiaries were completely unavailable to the parent Company and board. .

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  DMJ

@DMJ False comparison, imo. BAE is not a private equity buyout firm that asset-strips its purchases. The present case is Ultra Electronics being taken over by Advent International. AI have already committed to a “review”, which will cause immediate restructuring. They are old fashioned asset strippers. When AI took over Cobham in 2018, the thing was broken up immediately. At a cost of hundreds or thousands of jobs in the UK. At that time they dribbled reassurances all over Government, and the Minister dribbled them all over Parliament. The reassurances were worthless; within 18 months all of Cobham’s UK manufacturing… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
30 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Well said and worse still the Govt despite all of this calls such sell outs as investment in Britain. It gloated at the sale of Cadbury in this regard yet now much of its production has moved abroad and the tax it payed is a fraction of what it used to because it’s all channelled through more convenient foreign tax systems. It’s how a Company like Kraft (or whatever it’s called now) operates it uses the capacity of the company it is buying to pay for its acquisition stripping it, dissecting it and moving production to cheaper markets. It tried… Read more »

Expat
Expat
30 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

What you need to look at is the why. The UKs balance of payments is negative we spend more than we earn in short. UK has plugged this by attracting investment so part of this is a sales of UK companies. So what’s the cause of this inbalance? Tackle the route cause and that’s were the problem is solved. However consider what happens when there’s nothing left to sell and investment in the UK dries UK!!.

andy reeves
andy reeves
30 days ago
Reply to  Matt

The French and Germans are thick as thieves together in arms production and design. Even to the point of excluding countries like us yet we end up in farcical situations like designing and building the tempest jet without a VSTOL version which will be needed to compete/replace ty F35. In a few years. As Monty python said don’t trust those Frenchies never have.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
30 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Well until now the Germans have built aircraft with us, so leaving the EU and no doubt with a fair whiff of French machinations (reverse AUKUS anyone) altered that scenario I suspect along with all those years back Bae ditching DASA as a bride to take in Marconi which inevitably led to them ending up in Airbus military decision with the French to set the scene for this. But I am not sure how that has any baring on a VSTOL jet as we were never going to build one independent of the US I’m afraid simply too costly and… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Caspian237

I see it in very simple terms. Helping Ukraine is the right thing to do. That’s it really. The uk as a UN permanent security member, G7 wealthy country etc if why we have to help those who ask for help. Now I wish the uk would purchase more for Ukraine. They have stood up and now have forces at 1million. The army alone is 700,000 and they need equipment and training ASAP. It’s our duty as a leading democracy to support them. Ukraine has lived under communism, Russian leaning leaders and after all that the people decided they want… Read more »

JohnG
JohnG
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I agree, but this also clearly demonstrates to me why we have money as opposed to a bartering system. How many potatoes is a dog worth? In an ideal world, Ukraine would recognise the help the UK has given them and the loud voice we have provided for them on a global stage and give us some sort of thankyou gift proportional to this help, without us having to ask for it. But how big should that gift be and what price do you put on the help we gave?. And then as another poster has raised, as other people… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnG

I see what your saying. I don’t see it like that. I see it as if someone falls in a canal. They need me to throw them the life vest and help them out and then use my equipment (phone) to call for help before they die. Do i shout to them I will give you the life ring if you give me 10% of your future earnings. Here’s a pen sign here. Or do I just help because it’s the right thing to do. I get the satisfaction of knowing I did the right thing for the rest of… Read more »

Caspian237
Caspian237
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I understand your points and, to be honest, my ideas swing almost on a daily basis from these ideas to the more cynical ideas that I have expressed. See, it is fine for an individual to do an altruistic thing to help others but a country is a different matter, in my opinion, because the welfare of the current and future citizens is highly dependent on the resources that it has to work with. To expend those resources at a greater rate than other peer nations, just because we feel it is the right thing to do, will eventually put… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
30 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

It’s a tough call to make to decide what support is enough and what should be asked in return. When I see the videos and pictures of complete devastation it hurts inside. Every Ukrainian I’ve had the pleasure of meeting has been great. Just like a U.K. citizen with an accent. Same goals, dreams etc. My view is this is the line in the sand. Good versus evil and if Russia wins in ukraine I expect all of us will suffer a great deal more than how ever costly supporting them properly is. Perhaps lend/lease is a good idea and… Read more »

JohnG
JohnG
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Agree with all of this.

JohnG
JohnG
30 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Very eloquent, some of my thoughts on this too.

JohnG
JohnG
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Interesting analogy but over simple. It’s more akin to if some russian mobster pushed an old friend of theirs into a canal and there are 200+ people on the bank all watching. In that scenario I doubt many people would get involved. It’s tough as lots of people (myself included) are keenly aware of the human element. But I do think a degree of pragmatism is needed. Resources are limited, we cannot help everyone. So it makes sense to help people which in turn has the most positive effect on us (for want of a better selection method.) It’s for… Read more »

Damo
Damo
30 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

We don’t know that we haven’t done that do we? Suits neither ourselves nor the Ukrainians to make it public if we have

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

How much money would Ukraine have to lavish thank you gifts post-conflict? They can’t even sell their grain right now.

John Stott
John Stott
1 month ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Very good points. There will be a cost if this ever ends. Of course this really is a good old fashioned “proxy war”. Still, it keeps the flag shaggers happy as they drool over death and destruction.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  John Stott

Pardon? Caspian is on about the reconstruction contracts possibly going to the UK as a “tier1” type supporter! The real cost is in lives and destruction during this illegal invasion! I don’t see any flag shaggers drooling on here, do you?

John Stott
John Stott
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yes I do, funnily you do a lot of it.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  John Stott

Ah that’s a yaaaawn you get there pal! Very weak and boring response! No real answer so you give a response a small uneducated child would say. Good effort however I suppose considering your knowledge gaps!

John Stott
John Stott
30 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Not a para, so my heads a bit fuller than yours 😚

Airborne
Airborne
27 days ago
Reply to  John Stott

Not a para as you couldn’t achieve the standard required! It’s ok, not many do but at least you admit it.

Caspian237
Caspian237
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Ah yes, please don’t think too ill of me, I know it is shocking idea and I did say upfront that it is vulgar to think of such things. I guess I am trying to be a realist. I read the other day that Germany had sold, SOLD, thousands of Matador ATGMs to Ukraine. Turkey continues sell Bayraktars to Ukraine and now we have the US with its Lend-Lease initiative. Britain has a long history of losing even when it won. That’s what I fear.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Agree generally. UK is not hard-nosed enough for a huge amount of the time.

It is worth a note that Ukraine bought these itself from the manufacturer, however – and they are cheap. Only 5k each.

Were these financed by one of the various options created by Germany / EU? I don’t know.

andy reeves
andy reeves
30 days ago
Reply to  Matt

The u.k allows itself to be fleeced too often especially by the U.S the f 35programme is a case in point we sell them 72 harriers for 116 milion £ and then agree to pay three times as much for their replacement the F 35. Each no wonder the Americans were so cock a hoop at the deal

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
30 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Do you know how much Uk content goes into every single F35 aircraft that is built? It worth a lot more than what the uk has spent buying airframes supposedly. Off the top of my head it’s 10-20%. That’s every single aircraft. The B model has more.
Those harriers were for the scrap heap. Basically spares and repairs. I’m surprised they got that much.

Airborne
Airborne
30 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Agreed, harsh or not it’s reality, if work and contracts can be picked up by friendly nations to help rebuild Ukraine in the near future then win win for everyone mate!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
30 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I saw some FV103 in ukraine in a video from Denys on you tube today. Not sure how they got there.

Airborne
Airborne
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Did we not send a few, or have they been sent from the Baltic countries as a third party from the ones we provided to them? Was it Estonians? Can anyone shed light?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
30 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I did a bit of looking. (I will admit mostly wiki). Looks like 35 FV103, 5 stormer/starstreak, and a few of the other ones.
I wonder if you could fit brimstone in a swingfire type bin? Bound to be some of the swingfire models sitting somewhere.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The Guardian reported on 22 April that 35 Spartans had been gifted by UK to Ukraine.
That story had passed me by – picked it up on Wiki.

andy reeves
andy reeves
30 days ago
Reply to  John Stott

And the usual winners at the end of the day are the peddlers of death, the arms companies

John Stott
John Stott
30 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

True.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  John Stott

Who are the flag shaggers?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
30 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Well this is where we have failed for years our incompetence in using soft power and influence or indeed had power when it happens, to get deals like the French and Germans in particular have is shocking and a terrible legacy of our time inside the EU. One good sign however is our recent and increasing cooperation with Poland who see us as far more reliable allies than they do Germany and France with whom they have serious political animosity too of course. I can see in many ways Ukraine thinking similarly yo Poland with whom they have close identity… Read more »

Darren hall
Darren hall
30 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Yes it is vulgar to think that way… However, we all are… So i guess we are all vulgar in that respect…
Bozos support for Ukraine is (perhaps) one of the best things to come out of his premiership… perhaps…
But the end goal and the returns on the UK investment will depend equally on what his replacement chooses to do… and so on until the war is over…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Caspian, you express a very American view. It is very un-British to look at what we might be getting out of this appalling war.
We did not look at what we might be getting out of supporting Belgium in WW1 or siding with Poland in WW2.

Caspian237
Caspian237
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is it really un-British though? In the days of yore we would obtain new territory that offered some economic or geo-strategic value or perhaps some favoured commercial arrangements. I’m not suggesting that, in this day and age, this is a good model to follow but it just highlights the idea that not everything we have done in history was as a result of a kind of exceptionalist British value system, even if our leaders say so in public.I’m not so sure, at least with regards to WW1, that we did not consider what we might get out of it. The… Read more »

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Cracking picture of the round leaving the barrel.

Shaun
Shaun
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Was it able to make out from the picture whether it was the round or the ejected spent cartridge case? Will go with your more knowledgeable opinion.

Last edited 1 month ago by Shaun
farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Shaun

On second looks, it appears youa re right and I am wrong it does indeed look like the spent casing.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

British soldier with an ak

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Pretty sure it’s a Ukranian soldier, I haven’t seen UK personnel with anything but Virtus helmets in a while, and if 11 SFA are training them they should all be infantry. Webbing also appears to be PLCE, which hasn’t been issued in years either.

Ofc, there are UK personnel who are trained on Ak, and 11 SFA should all have passed their WHT’s on the system if they’re teaching it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I looked in on the back end of just such an Army AK familiarisation course at Warminster a few years ago. A very interesting and informative briefing on AK variants by one of the UK’s leading experts on Eastern block Firearms.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not really what I was on about, but yes Foreign Weapons familiarization courses exist too.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Without going into the rather obvious reasons for it, boots on the ground need to understand the differences between AK variants, e.g, specific AK manufacturers can be identified by the machining cuts of specific parts, with a particular interest in the rifles origins and who ( state player) might have assembled a particular rifle from said parts and supplied to various unpleasant groups.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

…and that has to do what with the price of fish?
I didn’t need a lecture on why foreign weapons courses exist, I was just pointing out that foreign weaposn courses where not what I was talking about.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Morning Dern, sorry my mistake, I thought we were having a conversation, silly of me,.

You do seem rather angry and abrasive these days, hope all is ok.

Have a lovely day and enjoy the sun.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I feel like you’re projecting there mate. I’m just pointing out that you posted a slightly condescending non-sequitur.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

You may be right I didn’t actually look at the photo much.
I just thought that with the article saying the British soldiers tested the 2400 AKs for Ukrainian soldiers that that is what the photo was of.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I trained on the AK47 and Makarov pistol when I was in IMATT, Sierra Leone – as they were my personal weapons.

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Similiar story, though no Makarov for me. Vaguely jealous XD

Last edited 30 days ago by Dern
Jona120
Jona120
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

It’s the empty case.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Ok, its Sat the 9th of July and this evening a mate and I (hes ex RHA) are poping up to Burley house to watch the Battle proms. Anybody here who is also going, and if you see a jo dacky (Wearing dark blue Polo shirt with an Red English rose Motif, Grey hiking kegs and a pair of Merrels on his feet) do say hello.

Last edited 1 month ago by farouk
Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Good use of 11SFA, glad to see there showing utility so soon after their creation.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I had noticed that all the foxhounds etc vehicles 2scots had parked up at glencourse have gone. Maybe some trainees are heading to glencourse.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

Good. Train hard, fight easy.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago

You would have thought we might have had some AK’s tucked away in storage from some of the campaigns of the last 30 years. I would expect they are cheap enough anyway

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

Serbian manufactured M70’s with grenade sights. I dare say we bought them as part of our aid package, plentiful supply of M70’s on the international arms market these days. They make perfect sense for the Ukrainian volunteers, chambered in plentiful 7.62x39mm. Simple to maintain and effective. I would assume that we are equipping with UK Army surplus and we have bought 10,000 M70’s to donate. Interesting that L85A2’s were being instructed on too, examples being field stripped under instruction. They are using a sizable amount of donated M4’s, so the 5.56mm is clearly available in quality, so perhaps we are… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not sure which L85’s you’ve used but the A2 doesn’t need that much more cleaning than an M4; let an M4 get filthy it’ll jam just as much as an L85, the only difference is the short stroke piston needs a clean, while the M4 just makes the bolt and chamber dirtier.

Anyway apparently the issue is there isn’t a BFA for AK’s that passes UK safety standards, so the recruits have to use L85’s for exercises using blanks. Shit situation which won’t get a work around for ages I think.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I can only assume you haven’t spent too much time with AR variants Dern?

Basically, fewer moving parts and a receiver body that isn’t full of convenient holes for dirt ingress means a more reliable, simpler design that’s easier to clean and maintain by the operator.

The L85A2 and A3 are much improved, but still an overly complex mess of a rifle, designed by committee…

Basic engineering design flaws are just that unfortunately.

Interesting re the BF adaptors….

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

You could ask before assuming John? I have spent a lot of time on AR variants, and have carried M4, M16, and C8 both on range and exercise, along with the L86, L85A2 and A3 (And a variety of civilian AR-15’s on ranges in my free time, but since I haven’t carried them on exercise I don’t count), I’ve also passed my WHT and ACMT on the L129, so please: Do tell me how my first hand experience of carrying all six in the field (for at least one AR variant in the Jungle as well) and on the ranges… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I’m about to repaint the front of my house this morning Dern, that abrasive attitude of yours would come in handy for all the rubbing down. News flash …. Other people have valid options too… I’m not sure why you are off on a tangent on all the different types that share the short stroke gas system, I am making a direct comparison to the gas impringment AR15 to the L85 family. I’m not going into my own background regarding Firearms, as you get older Dern, you wont feel the need to bang your own drum quite so loud. But,… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I don’t want to step on anyone’s parade. But you both have valid points. The M4 is easier to clean, but you need to clean it 3 times as often as a L85A2. If you drop all the bits when doing a full strip of the L85, it takes ages trying to find everything. However, the biggest take I had comparing the two, is that the L85 doesn’t really care on the quality of the ammunition. If its that really crap Romanian stuff, change the gas port for the harder setting and you’re good to go. Use the same ammo… Read more »

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

You’re not raining on anyone’s Parade Davey, at least you’re capable of having a calm conversation without resorting to insults and condecension unlike John.

Yeah, in the broad I just didn’t find any appreciable difference in the amount of time I spent cleaning between AR’s and L85’s, certainly it doesn’t require any degree of extra skill or fiddlyness to keep an L85 running in the field comapred to an AR (although as I said, L85 is just a AR-18 so, techincally I should say AR-15).

DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

No worries. If you have the opportunity. Have a go with a HK416. It’s like an M4 but better. They have evolved the ergonomics, cocking handle is much better. Plus the ones we had were similar to the L85 in that it had repeat then full auto. When taking apart, the gas parts and piston are very similar to the L85 up front, however, the bolt carrier is a much better design.

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I’ve had the opportunity to fool around with one a few times, sadly never with live ammo though, but it’s really only a matter of time before I get the chance. Yes, like so many European weapon systems the internals are a modified AR-18, which is why it’s so similar to an L85. Honestly it’s weirdly hilarious how many weapons where based on that rifle, but the AR-18 never seemed to get anywhere itself. The French made a great decision when they went with it to replace the FAMAS, and I suspect a few other NATO nations will eventually go… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

If we are talking guns, what do you think about the M5 coming through? Do you think the British should make there own weapon to use the ammo or stick with the 7.62 and 5.56. I can’t think everyone is going to just use the M5. For a non shooter (which I am) I was thinking would a bullpup with the steel/brass ammo be even better than the M5 due to Longer barrel or is that getting into overkill? I saw somewhere that they have to have the pressure at 80,000psi for the bullet due to a short barrel on… Read more »

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

So my general policy is I tend to reserve judgment until I’ve personally had hands on a weapons system, preferably carrying it on exercise and live ranges. Failing that I’ll occasionally put stock in the opinions of others who I personally know and whose opinions I trust. So, I don’t have a huge opinion on the M5 to be honest. Just about the only thing I’ll say is with that high chamber pressure I’m glad it’s not a bull-pup, it’s a bit too much pressure a bit too close to my face in my mind XD I think the first… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks for your input. Only guns I’ve held is an SA80/A2 and a SAS C8. I was civilian contractor working/living with afghans and special forces and held the guns at a base. (I don’t want to get in trouble as I’m not sure what I can talk about) they had these rounds with a plastic bit that comes out the casing and I think has paint on the end. (Could be wrong it’s a few years ago) I get what you say about it being near your face. A guy on YouTube called Kentucky ballistics fired a slaap round from… Read more »

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Agreed. But look how long it took everyone to adopt 5.56? The US adopted it in 64, and we where still carrying 7.62 rifles well into the 1980’s, so I don’t think 15 years for everyone to follow along with 6.8 would be that shocking.

The bullets with paint on the end is a training round called simunition, it allows for slightly more realistic training than the TES/MILES laser systems currently used, but is more expensive, so it’s pretty rarely used (also stings like hell).

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
29 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I had a look at the casing I had and that’s what it is.
I also remember that they said it’s hurts getting hit by it. He said If you have been hit with a paint ball it’s much worse than that.
Special forces budget must stretch to fancy ammo.

John Clark
John Clark
30 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Interesting point Davey,

The shorter barrel, thus gas system, definitely makes the M4 slightly more fussy, the A4 is less ammo fussy, but obviously slightly less convenient length wise…

Is young Private Pike still moaning, I haven’t bothered reading the posts,grown up things to do 😆

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yeah bore off, grow up, come back when you can have a conversation and not pepper it with insults.

John Clark
John Clark
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer
I must be nicer

Edited by George.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Surprised that REME did not also work out the SA80 fixes as well as the SASC.

John Clark
John Clark
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Political manoeuvring and interference Graham, as it was and as it always will be unfortunately…

Did someone say Ajax??

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

We do. Not enough to equip 10,000 Ukranians though.

Simon
Simon
30 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thank you for the info. I guess holding onto every bit of kit we have confiscated or catched just in case it might be useful one day isn’t really practical (unless you are Russian & and than find when you want to use it has been stolen !!)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Simon

‘Trophies’ such as captured AKs used to end up decomissioned and mounted on a piece of mahogany in the Mess – or in a military museum. Not held in a depot en masse for future random use.

We don’t keep a lot of old kit in depots as a rule, since probably the mid-80s. Example – when Gulf War 1 started someone asked RAOC to issue desert clothing from pool stock at Donington – there was none there as they had been sold off a few years before….to Iraq! How embarrassing.

Dern
Dern
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Not all of them. The army has practically a museum of firearms squirreled away, many of which are still functional.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Don’t think we store AKs for random future use. I had not heard of that when I served. I believe we bought this batch recently to train the Ukrainians with. Although I saw the Ukrainians on the UK training course also learning SA80 (A2s, I think) skills and drills – not sure why.

Last edited 30 days ago by Graham Moore
Dern
Dern
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s to do with the BFA’s, apparently no AK BFA meets UK safety requirements. So practicing tactics with blank rounds have to be done on L85, while live and blank can be done on AK.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
29 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks Dern. I could have designed a proper AK BFA for MoD – I have a spare couple of days!

Dern
Dern
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Given the “10,000 troops every 120 days” objective I’d say do it! Do it Now! GET TO DA CHOPPAAA!!!

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Good job all round, as has been the case since the start of this illegal invasion by the new Nazi regime from Russia. Regardless what Putin thinks, he has polarised NATO and the West and has done more for recruitment, retention and defence spending than we could have ever done on our own. Cheers to the Nazi Putin, thanks a lot and hope you disappear soon with a “sudden illness”.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

You think putin must be slapping his forehead saying everything I didn’t want to happen I’ve now caused.
No nato expansion. Oops
Neutral ukraine. Nope they hate me even more
Less nato forces near Russia. Wrong again.
What a bell end

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Spot on 👍🇺🇦

Simon
Simon
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yep, must be the biggest home goal by a long way. What an idiot

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Unpopular thought but I do hope we’re keeping a close tab on where these chaps go, as in, none going awol for a quick ticket out of this mess.
Nasty memories of the various problems training Iraqi/Afghani troops/officers brought us…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Rudeboy
Rudeboy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

These guys are all volunteers, they’ve been waiting to go through the Ukrainian training system for months after signing up under no duress. I doubt there is even one without motivation.

Dave b.
Dave b.
29 days ago

Could someone tell me would the Ukrainins have brought the ak47 s over with them or would they be British stock if so would they likely have been purchased from china ?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
28 days ago
Reply to  Dave b.

I understand that MoD purchased the AKs for the course but I have no idea who from.

Paul.P
Paul.P
24 days ago

This is significant. F-16 and F-15 mean air superiority and precision guided air to ground support. Planning for the offensive.
https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/russia-ukraine-crisis/us-house-approves-100m-in-defence-budget-to-train-ukrainian-pilots-to-fly-american-jets-articleshow.html