RM force protection unit goes AR
It seems a sizable portion of the Royal Marines are ditching the long-maligned L85 (SA80) Enfield bullpup in favor of an AR-15/M16 platform that, in basic design at least, predated it by about 25 years.
The unit that is making the switch, 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, was orignially set up as the Comacchio Group back in the 1980s to keep Soviet Naval Infantry and Spetnsaz types off of the North Sea oil derricks and from poking around HM Naval Base Faslane, where the Queen keeps her only nukes (remember, the UK only has SLBMs, having retired its last strategic bombers with the Vulcans in 1984, and has no ICBMs hiding in the moors).
As noted by Janes, the group’s 790 members will switch to the Colt Canada C8 carbine with its standard 14.5-inch barrel, which they have used in small numbers for years designated as the L119 in British service (as witnessed in the above image).
The Royal Navy said this was a “one-off” purchase and was not a signal that the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade was going to be re-equipped with new weapon.