The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) conducted a two-day exercise to study the effects of SA-80 L85A2 and L85A3 rifles.
For the purpose, a specially designed Soldier Weapon and Equipment Assessment Tool (SWEAT) course was installed on Salisbury Plain.
The tool is used to assess the impact of soldiers’ equipment on firing accuracy, consistency, and speed, as well as mobility.
With 14 firing points and 36 actions, the obstacle course required soldiers to fire at targets ranging from 25m to 400m from multiple firing positions.
The Dstl team engaged six soldiers from the 5th Battalion, The Rifles, for the pilot study.
Using the UK SA-80 L85 A2 and its latest variant, the participating personnel ran the course twice, allowing the Dstl to compare results.
The exercise was carried out as part of Nato Science and Technology Organization (STO) Research Task Group SAS-145.
The research seeks to promote the exchange of trial data and improve interoperability among Nato’s member nations.
STO’s System Analysis and Studies Panel, Nato’s Expert Panel for Analytical Advice, is supervising the research work.
Dstl member Jon said: “The idea behind the SWEAT course is that anyone can measure the effects of future soldier capability, such as a new weapons system, new boots, a new helmet, or new body armour, and assess the effect that will provide upon the individual’s lethality.
“The final objective of the trial is for it to be used and developed by Nato nations to develop their own courses that are similar enough to allow interoperability between nations.”