What if we told you the British SA80 squared off in a gun fight with the U.S. military’s M4? This SA80 versus M4 scenario took place as part of a combined-force exercise between Marine elements.
U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division conducted a force-on-force exercise recently with U.K. British Royal Marines with 45 Commando. Moreover, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., hosted the training exercise.
The Marines designed the exercise to create a challenging, realistic training environment to produce combat-ready forces capable of operating as an integrated Marine Air Ground Task Force, according to a Marine Corps report.
Footage shows Marines from both sides conducting MOUT techniques, maneuvering in and out of buildings and breaching entryways. Further, the video shows various elements coordinating and communicating throughout the different scenarios in this urban theater.
SA80 Versus M4
Of note to shooters is the opposing arms used by both elements. The U.S. Marines of course carry standard versions of the military’s M4 system. Conversely, Royal Marines carry updated variants of the famed, and sometimes infamous, SA80.
Royal Marines first fielded the SA80 in the 1980s, with several upgrades to fielded weapons occurring throughout the intervening years. The SA80 is the last weapon system manufactured at the famed Royal Small Arms Factory, once home to the Lee-Enfield family.
Last year, the UK Ministry of Defense awarded NSAF Limited, a Heckler & Koch subsidiary, with a $95 million contract to upgrade the L85A2 bullpup platform to the SA80A3. Moreover, H&K’s award calls for the company to modify 44,000 units in 5.56x45mm.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military’s M4 is again subject to another U.S. Army solicitation. Additionally, Tactical-Life covered the search extensively last year. However, the Army published a revised solicitation for bids just last month. So stay tuned.