The British Army is implementing a Mid Life Improvement (MLI) project for upgrade of its SA80 A2 hand held assault weapon to the A3 model.
The MLI project will see 5,000 weapons upgraded at first, with more weapons likely to be part of the project in future. The fielding of the first tranche began in February. The upgrade is being carried out by Heckler and Koch and will ensure that the British Army’s standard combat rifle will remain in service until 2025 and beyond.
The multi-million-pound upgrades have resulted in the SA80 A3, which will feature a more durable hardwearing coating in a “Flat Dark Earth” colour for better camouflage in a range of environments, weight reduction of 100g (as compared to SA80 A2) and a more streamlined fore grip that will make the weapon easier to handle. The A3 will also be able to secure new innovative low light sights which are smaller, lighter and require fewer batteries. The sights can clip on or in front of the day sight without needing to be removed and can operate just as effectively in low light/night conditions.