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.
|Weapon Type||Sniper Rifle|
|Country of Manufacture||United Kingdom|
|Ammunition Feed||Magazine Fed|
|Mode of Fire||Single Shot, Bolt Action|
|Rate of Fire|
|Sight||Schmidt and Bender|
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.
|Weapon Type||Heavy Machine Gun|
|Country of Manufacture||Belgium|
|Ammunition Feed||Belt Fed (disintegrating links)|
|Mode of Fire||Automatic Fire|
|Rate of Fire||550 rounds/min|
|Length of Barrel||1143mm|
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.
|Weapon Type||Medium Mortar|
|Country of Manufacture||France|
|Ammunition Feed||Muzzle Loaded|
|Mode of Fire||Single Shot|
|Rate of Fire||12 rounds/min|
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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|Weapon Type||Portable Anti-Armour Weapon|
|Country of Manufacture||USA|
|Ammunition Feed||Preloaded Single Shot|
|Mode of Fire||Single Shot|
|Rate of Fire||Single Use (Missile Component)|
|Guidance||Lock-on Automatic Self-Guidance|
More information about Defence Forces Weapons