Battalion Level Weapons

In the Irish Army a battalion is an infantry combat unit. The Battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and is made up of 3 Rifle Companies, a HQ Company and a Support Company. The Support Company contains the heavy weapons the Battalion Commander needs to support the Rifle Companies and complete the Battalion mission. The Support Company consists of a Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) Platoon, an 81mm Mortar Platoon and an Anti-Armour Platoon. In addition to these platoons, Support Company HQ also contains 2 Sniper Pairs. Depending on the situation, Support Company can be broken down into elements with command of these elements being passed to the Rifle Company Commanders. In such a scenario the Support Company Commander will normally co-locate with Battalion HQ and assist in co-ordinating the Battalion Fire Plan. The Battalion Commander also has the option of requesting fire support from the Brigade Commander.

AI 92 Sniper Rifle

The AI 92 Sniper Rifle was introduced into service in the Army in 1992. It is the second generation of accuracy international rifles and is an improved version of its predecessor, the L96 AI. The weapon was designed by Malcolm Cooper and is based on a sporting rifle design. The weapon was selected in 1991 from a short-list of four rifles.

AI 92 Sniper Rifle Statistics
Manufacturer Accuracy International
Weapon Type Sniper Rifle
Country of Manufacture United Kingdom
Entered Service 1992
Calibre 7.62mm
Ammunition Feed Magazine Fed
Weight 9.1kg
Mode of Fire Single Shot, Bolt Action
Range 1000m
Rate of Fire
Length 1150mm
Sight Schmidt and Bender
Crew 2

Browning HMG

Heavy Machine Guns have been produced for most of the last century. There has been a resurgence of interest in their use as armies changed calibre of their small arms weapons from 7.62 mm to 5.56 mm, resulting in reduced ranges. The HMG can bring fire to bear at ranges out to 2200 metres. The HMG can also be used in an air defence role with special mount and sights and it is the main organic air defence weapon in the Infantry Battalion.

Browning 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun Statistics
Manufacturer Fabrique Nationale
Weapon Type Heavy Machine Gun
Country of Manufacture Belgium
Entered Service 1970s
Calibre 12.7mm
Ammunition Feed Belt Fed (disintegrating links)
Weight 96kg
Mode of Fire Automatic Fire
Range 2200m
Rate of Fire 550 rounds/min
Length of Barrel 1143mm
Sight Iron Sight
Crew 3

81mm Mortar

The 81mm Mortar long barrel with the C2 AI Sight Unit and its ammunition, together with the Morfire Fire Control Computer make this equipment among the most modern and accurate in service anywhere in the world. The sight unit and fire control instruments can achieve an accuracy of one mil (1 m at 1000m) both for direction and elevation. This accuracy can be maintained in environmental extremes and in periods of limited or reduced visibility. The use of laser range finders can increase the probability of a first or second round hit.

81mm Mortar Statistics
Manufacturer Hocthkiss Brandt
Weapon Type Medium Mortar
Country of Manufacture France
Entered Service
Calibre 81mm
Ammunition Feed Muzzle Loaded
Weight 41.5kg
Mode of Fire Single Shot
Range 5000m
Rate of Fire 12 rounds/min
Length
Sight C2A1
Crew 5

Javelin

The Javelin is a "fire-and-forget" missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self guidance. This means that after the weapon has fired, the missile does not need any human intervention and the gunner is free to reload, change position, or avoid enemy countermeasures. The Javelin weapon system consists of two distinct components:

  • The Command Launch Unit (CLU)
  • The Missile

The CLU incorporates an integrated day sight and a thermal imaging sight. The gunner’s controls for the missile system are on the CLU. The day sight is equipped with x 4 magnification and the night sight with x 4 and x 9 magnification optics. The Javelin has two attack modes:

  • Direct attack
  • Top attack

In direct attack mode, the missile travels to the target using the shortest route possible. This method is useful for covered targets such as bunkers and buildings. In top attack mode, the missile climbs above the target and strikes the roof of the target. This method is effective against armoured vehicles where the roof is the least protected area of the vehicle.

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Javelin Statistics
Manufacturer Raytheon/Lockheed Martin
Weapon Type Portable Anti-Armour Weapon
Country of Manufacture USA
Entered Service 2003
Missile Diameter 126mm
Ammunition Feed Preloaded Single Shot
Weight 22.3kg
Mode of Fire Single Shot
Range 2500m
Rate of Fire Single Use (Missile Component)
Length 1260mm
Guidance Lock-on Automatic Self-Guidance
Crew

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