Multi million boost for manufacturing in Nottingham

Multimillion-pound plans to upgrade the British Army’s standard combat rifle will be a boost to Nottingham manufacturing.

The Ministry of Defence is upgrading the British Army’s standard combat rifle to ensure troops are equipped with the best possible battle-winning kit, Defence Minister Guto Bebb has announced.

An initial investment of £5.4m for the project – which will be carried out by Heckler and Koch – will help safeguard the roles at the company’s Nottingham Small Arms Factory.

The SA80 A2 hand-held assault weapon will be developed into the A3 model under the Mid Life Improvement (MLI) project, which is designed to ensure the gun has the enhancements needed to remain in service until 2025 and beyond.

Bebb says: “This multimillion-pound upgrade will give our army a lighter, more hardwearing, better-camouflaged combat rifle so our soldiers can perform on the frontline of some of the most dangerous locations across the world.

“This investment is also a boost to Nottingham’s highly-skilled gun-makers who proudly support our troops in their task to protect our country in the face of intensifying threats.”

The upgrades include developing a more durable hardwearing coating, making the weapon lighter with a more streamlined fore grip, and implementing a bracket to secure low-light sights.

About 5,000 weapons will initially be worked on as part of the MLI project.