Infantry: October 30, 2000


The Australian Army is conducting an evaluation on the possible return of 7.62mm machineguns to its infantry units. The Australian Army gave up its 7.62mm machineguns a decade ago to use the 5.56mm F89 Light Support Weapon. The weapon has proven unpopular with the troops, who regard it as inadequate. The Light Support Weapon cannot fire bursts of more than 3-4 rounds; the troops want to use bursts of up to 20 rounds on some targets. The 5.56mm round has an effective range of only 750m; the 7.62mm round can reach over 1,000m. The 7.62mm rounds proved able to penetrate targets (bricks, logs, sandbags) at 800m that stopped 5.56mm rounds at 400m.--Stephen V Cole


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