Company Level Weapons

In the Irish Army a company is an infantry unit sometimes referred to as a Rifle Company. The Rifle Company is commanded by a Commandant and is made up of 3 Rifle Platoons and a Weapons Platoon. The Weapons Platoon consists of a GPMG SF section, a 60mm Mortar section and an 84mm Anti-Tank section, with each section containing 3 detachments. The Weapons Platoon gives the Company Commander extra fire support with which to support the Rifle Platoons. Although commanded by a Lieutenant the Weapons Platoon is considered a company asset and as such the Company Commander may give instructions for the platoon to be broken down and for control of the detachments to be distributed to the Rifle Platoon Commanders. In such cases the Weapons Platoon Commander will co-locate with Company HQ in order to assist with the company’s fire plan. The Company Commander also has the option of requesting fire support from the Battalion Commander.

GPMG SF

The GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) when used in the Sustained Fire (SF) role, i.e. tripod mounted, is used as a medium machine gun (MMG) to support the company in offensive and defensive operations, as well as during withdrawal. In this role the GPMG SF is very effective, and can accurately hit point targets up to 1800 metres away or provide fire over an area. The crew of three consists of the gunner, loader and the detachment commander. The weapon's C2AI sight is used in conjunction with an aiming post to allow the crew to engage targets that they cannot see due to fog, smoke or darkness. This system ensures that the GPMG SF can be relied upon to support troops during night time operations. Its relative lightweight allows the weapon and ammunition to be carried quickly into action by its three man crew.

GPMG SF Statistics
Manufacturer FN Herstal
Weapon Type Medium Machine Gun
Country of Manufacture Belgium
Entered Service 1964
Calibre 7.62mm
Ammunition Feed Belt Fed
Weight
Mode of Fire Automatic Fire
Range 1800m
Rate of Fire 650 - 1000 rounds/min
Length 1260mm
Sight Rear Ramp Type and C2A1 Sight
Crew 3

60mm Mortar

The Mortar Denel Vektor M1 60mm is designed for use by infantry units in all phases of battle. It is a smooth bore, muzzle loaded, high angle fire weapon. The Mortar is carried in a single unit, with three main assemblies, the barrel, bipod, and baseplate. Weighing only 17.8 Kg the mortar can be quickly and easily moved, ensuring support at all stages of action. This mortar has a modern sight similar to the C2AI sight in use with the 81 mm mortar. This sight is also compatible with the Morfire (Fire Control Computer) fire control system also employed with the 81 mm mortar. The mortar can also be fired in a commando role by removing the bipod and baseplate and fitting a special small baseplate and attaching sighting unit/handgrip. Planning range is extended to 2100 metres in the conventional role.

60mm Mortar Statistics
Manufacturer Vektor
Weapon Type Light Mortar
Country of Manufacture South Africa
Entered Service 2003
Calibre 60mm
Ammunition Feed  Muzzle Loaded
Weight 17.8kg
Mode of Fire Single Shot
Range 2233m
Rate of Fire 20 rounds/min
Length 650mm
Sight C2AI Sight
Crew 4

84mm Anti-Tank Gun

The 84 mm Anti-Tank Gun is a breach loaded and percussion fired weapon. There is no recoil as pressure is not built up in the barrel, but escapes backwards through the venturi. The gun can be fired in all positions; sitting, kneeling, standing, and prone. A gun mount housed in the shoulder butt supports the gun in the lying position and it can be used as a stabiliser against the chest in all other positions. As the gun is recoilless, it is much lighter than a weapon with a conventional breech.

84mm Anti-Tank Gun Statistics
Manufacturer Bofors
Weapon Type Anti-Tank Gun
Country of Manufacture Sweden
Entered Service
Calibre 84mm
Ammunition Feed Breach Loaded
Weight 8.5kg
Mode of fire Single Shot
Range
Rate of Fire 4-6 rounds/min
Length 1130mm
Sight Optical and Iron Sights
Crew 3

 

 

More information about Defence Forces Weapons