British Army Equipment and Vehicles


The following are equipment and helicopter used by British Army

Vehicles and equipment

The British soldier is the best piece of kit we’ve got but what they carry with them is part of the equation too. Whether they arrive by armoured vehicle, parachute or boat, British soldiers are trained to operate anywhere in the world.

The British Army’s equipment is constantly being updated and modified using valuable feedback from troops on the ground using the equipment wherever they are in the world.

Specialised trial and development units rigorously test all new enhancements in armoured vehicles, artillery, infantry equipment and clothing, making sure we have the very best available. Supplementing the Ministry of Defence’s long-term, planned equipment programme are Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR), which provide fast equipment solutions for operations.

Some of the latest equipment used in Afghanistan, delivered as UOR, includes the Supacat M-WMIK ‘Jackal’ vehicle, the heavily protected Mastiff and Ridgback vehicles, Foxhound protected patrol vehicle, grenade machine guns, underslung grenade launchers, mortar systems, and state-of-the-art personal equipment.

Support weapons

This group of powerful and versatile support weapons includes the combat shotgun for use at close quarters, the Heckler & Koch 40mm Grenade Machine Gun, which provides unrivalled infantry suppression, and the powerful L1A1 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun, which is recognised as one of the finest heavy machine guns ever developed.

81mm mortar

The L16A2 81mm mortar is a Battlegroup level indirect fire weapon which is capable of providing accurate high explosive, smoke and illuminating rounds out to a maximum range of 5650m.

The mortar platoon, in mechanised and armoured infantry battalions, are mounted in and fire from armoured personnel carriers, increasing mobility and enabling rapid disengagement and movement to new fire positions.

Calibre 81mm
Weight 35.3kg (in action)
Barrel length 1280mm
Muzzle velocity 225m/s
Feed 4.2kg HE L3682
Maximum range 5650m (HE)
Rate of fire 15 rounds per minute
Bomb weight 4.2kg
Manufacturer BAE Systems

Combat shotgun

The combat shotgun is used by the ‘point man’ of a section at close quarters within close country and complex terrain.

It allows the soldier to apply a quick rapid rate of fire over a large area using a variety of ammunition natures.

The Combat Shotgun is a semi-automatic, tubular magazine-fed weapon cambered for the 12 gauge cartridge.

The operating system is the ARGO (Auto-Regulating Gas Operated) Twin (two gas pistons) System with a rotating bolt head and dual locking lugs. It is fitted with an EOT tech sight for use day or night and a fixed iron sight. It has a telescopic buttstock. It can be fired from the conventional fire positions, except the squatting position.

Carried by the ‘point man’

The point man assumes the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation, that is, the lead soldier advancing through hostile territory. The term can refer to infantry or mechanized columns. The soldier, vehicle or unit ‘on point’ is frequently the first to take hostile fire. Point position is rotated periodically so as not to over stress an individual soldier or unit.

Range Solid shot: 130m / buckshot: 40m
Length 1010mm (extended buttstock) / 886mm (closed buttstock)
Weight 3.8kg
Magazine 7 cartridge
Calibre 12 gauge (18.4mm)

General purpose machine gun

The L7A2 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) is a 7.62 x 51mm belt-fed general purpose machine gun which can be used as a light weapon and in a sustained fire (SF) role.

In the SF role, mounted on a tripod and fitted with the C2 optical sight, it is fired by a two-man team who are grouped in a specialist Machine Gun Platoon to provide battalion-level fire support. In SF mode, the GPMG, with a two-man crew, lays down 750 rounds-per-minute at ranges up to 1800 metres.

The GPMG can be carried by foot soldiers and employed as a light machine gun (LMG), although it has largely been replaced by the lighter 5.56 x 45mm Minimi in this role, in most regiments. A fold-out bipod is used to support the GPMG in the LMG role.

Versions of the GPMG are mounted on most Army vehicles and some helicopters.

Calibre 7.62mm
Weight 13.85kg (gun plus 50-round belt)
Length 1230mm (light role)
Barrel length 629mm
Muzzle velocity 838m/s
Feed 100-round disintegrating link belt
Effective range 800m light role, 1800m sustained fire role
Cyclic rate of fire 750 rounds per minute
Manufacturer Manroy Engineering (UK)


The Army’s aircraft enable our soldiers to carry out vital roles including reconnaissance missions and casualty evacuations, as well as troop transport and high-tech, anti-tank combat. The Apache attack helicopter is probably the most sophisticated piece of equipment in the world available to front-line troops.

Apache attack helicopter

Designed to hunt and destroy tanks, the Apache attack helicopter has significantly improved the Army’s operational capability.


Apache attack helicopters from 4 Regiment Army Air Corps are serviced on the ground at Keevil Airfield during Exercise Joint Warrior

The Apache attack helicopter can operate in all weathers, day or night and detect, classify and prioritise up to 256 potential targets in a matter of seconds. It carries a mix of weapons including rockets, Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun, as well as a state of the art fully integrated defensive aid suite.

In addition to the distinctive Longbow radar located above the rotor blades, this aircraft is equipped with a day TV system, thermal imaging sight and direct view optics.

In service date 2001
Maximum mass 7,746kg (all up)
Engines 2 x 850shp Rolls Royce RTM-322
Crew 2
Length 17.57m
Main rotor diameter 14.63m
Height 4.9m
Maximum speed 330kph
Range 475km
Armament 16 x Hellfire missiles, 76 x 2.75 CRV-7 rockets, 1,200 x 30mm cannon rounds, 4 x air-to-air missiles
Manufacturer Leonardo Helicopters

Apache AH64E

The latest fleet of Apaches flown by Army Air Corps pilots from the Joint Helicopter Command, are more advanced and more capable than the previous model which will provide the Army with a continuous edge over any future adversaries.

The new AH64E model of the helicopter can also carry more weapons while being more fuel efficient, allowing the Apache to operate in more demanding conditions for longer durations.

The new helicopter’s improved computing capacity and updated sensors means the new fleet will also be receptive to upgrades in the future, ensuring it remains at the cutting-edge of technology.

The first UK helicopters are due off the US production line in early 2020 and will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022.

Wildcat Mk1

An entirely new platform, the Army Wildcat Mk1 helicopter will perform a range of tasks on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, transportation of troops and material, and the provision of force protection.

It is fitted with new Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) CTS800-4N engines, which are significantly more powerful than those in the current Lynx, enabling it to operate in extreme conditions and at high altitudes. It is also fitted with a nose mounted optical device.

The aircraft has a degree of commonality with its maritime sister and with increased versatility can be fitted for different roles quickly and easily. The Wildcat’s capability will be a significant advance on that provided by the current Lynx fleet.

The procurement of the LHTEC CTS800-4N engine has also been extended to a number of Lynx Mk9 aircraft resulting in the Lynx Mk9a. This is providing better performance and a much improved light multi role capability in the extreme environmental conditions in Afghanistan.

The name Wildcat recalls the name given to the Grumman F4F which was widely used during the Second World War. The aircraft ceased operational service in 1945 but some flying aircraft remain, including one in the collection of the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

In this video Captain Rob Hares of 661 Squadron 1 Regiment Army Air Corps, based in Yeovil, explains the Wildcat’s capabilities.

Engines Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) CTS800-4N
Length 15.24m
Span 12.8m
Max speed 291 km/h
Max altitude 12,000 ft
Aircrew 3
Manufacturer Leonardo Helicopters


The Lynx Mk9A helicopter in Afghanistan.

Upgrades to Mk9A standard Lynx deliver more powerful engines, strengthened airframes, increased firepower and more advanced instruments and electronics, improving the helicopter’s performance in the extreme conditions of Afghanistan.

Lynx is the British Army’s primary battlefield utility helicopter.

Lynx has been used extensively within the Army Air Corps for a wide variety of roles and tasks throughout the world. It is predominantly a battlefield utility helicopter although it has been used for anti-tank, reconnaissance and escort operations. The addition of Aviation Crewman has allowed Lynx to operate in the very close air support role in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Versions in service with the Army Air Corps – include Mk 7 (skids) and Mk 9A (wheeled undercarriage). The Lynx still holds the helicopter world speed record, and thanks to its semi-rigid titanium rotor head it is also superbly manoeuvrable. This makes it the centrepiece of Army Aviation display flying

Upgrades to Mk9A standard Lynx deliver more powerful engines, strengthened airframes, increased firepower and more advanced instruments and electronics, improving the helicopter’s performance in the extreme conditions of Afghanistan.

It is fitted with a more advanced communication system, improved surveillance equipment and the M3M Machine Gun – a 0.50″ calibre weapon, capable of firing over 850 rounds a minute.

Lynx Mk9A is currently deployed on operations in Afghanistan.

In service date: 1978
Maximum all up mass: 4875kg (Mk 7), 5330 kg (Mk 9A)
Engines: 2 x Rolls Royce GEM (Mk 7), 2 x T800 (Mk 9A)
Crew: 2 (3 with Crewman) + 6 troops
Length: 50ft 1inch
Main rotor diameter: 42ft
Height: 12ft 5inches
Maximum speed: 160knots
Range: 280NM
Armament: 7.62mm general purpose machine gun or M3M 12.7mm machine gun


The Britten-Norman Defender was introduced into service to replace its predecessor, the Britten Norman Islander.

The Defender is a larger, more powerful, version of the Islander and is normally employed in the command and communication role with limited use in transporting personnel.

This aircraft is mainly used in the UK.

In service date: March 2004
Gross weight: 8,925lbs
Engines: 2 x Allison 250 turbo props
Crew: 1 pilot, 1 crewman + passengers
Length: 12.30m
Wingspan: 16.15m
Height: 4.37m
Maximum speed: 180Knots
Range: 400NM