New combat rifle for British troops

New combat rifle for British troops

Soldiers in Afghanistan will be issued with a new infantry combat rifle for the first time in 20 years, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

More than 400 Sharpshooter rifles, which fire a 7.62mm round, are being purchased as part of a £1.5 million "urgent operational requirement".

The first batch will be sent to frontline troops later this year.

Quentin Davies, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said: "Troops in Afghanistan are already bristling with a variety of weapons they can use when fighting the Taliban.

"The Sharpshooter rifle adds to this arsenal and provides them with an additional, highly-precise, long-range capability.

"This is a concrete example of where we add to our range of equipment to ensure our brave forces have the best kit available to them on the frontline."

The MoD said the weapons were the first new infantry combat rifle to be given to troops in more than two decades.

Colonel Peter Warden, Light Weapons, Photographic and Batteries Team Leader at Defence, Equipment and Support, said: "The Sharpshooter rifle is very capable and has been bought to fulfil a specific role on the frontline in Afghanistan.

"It is a versatile weapon which will give our units a new dimension to their armoury.

"Initial feedback to the rifle has been very positive and the Army units deployed in Afghanistan are very keen to get their hands on it."

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