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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