French Army to replace marksman rifle

Surfguy

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SA80 a very poor weapon indeed. Failed under cold weather conditions. Subsequently trialled by RMs' in desert. Used in Afghanistan by RMs' under warfare conditions and failed again. Universally loathed and men tried to obtain virtually any other weapon available.

In my day I had the superb and war proven Lee Enfield Mk 4 303 and then the even better SLR.
A couple of Booties I know were issued Diemaco AR15`s when in Afghanistan , both preferred them over the SA80.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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I couldn't be bothered to look for a better thread to post this video. It's a competition of 13 groups of the best snipers in the French army. There will be a surprise cadeau for those that can guess which regiment wins. For those that are not really interested in the surprise cadeau skip through to 22mins 25.

 

Perun

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I guessed, and was wrong. I'll wait to see what I didn't win. :unsure:
Very good video.
 

Le petit caporal

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It was la Treize (13e D.B.L.E., that won... previously posted).
Adds : Now that the Treize is up to regimental strength... a possible change in denomination ? = 13 R.E.I.?
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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No mate. That was the year before. 2 REP. And besides it's Perun who won the mysterious prize.
 
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Rapace

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(...) It was la Treize (13e D.B.L.E., that won... previously posted).
Adds : Now that the Treize is up to regimental strength... a possible change in denomination ? = 13 R.E.I.?
Very unlikely. When the unit was created in 1940 it was called a demi-brigade because it had two regiments.
The unit kept this name up until today, regardless of the headcount, even during its time in Djibouti, when the number of permanent personnel was like 300. The fact that it is now to the level of a standard infantry regiment shouldn’t change anything.
 

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Very unlikely. When the unit was created in 1940 it was called a demi-brigade because it had two regiments.
The unit kept this name up until today, regardless of the headcount, even during its time in Djibouti, when the number of permanent personnel was like 300. The fact that it is now to the level of a standard infantry regiment shouldn’t change anything.
I would say that if the 13 had kept its name in the UAE, which was its smallest effective ever, probably smaller than the DLEM Detachment at Mayotte, there should be no need of changing it.
Having said that, the 6e "Reggae nights" created circa July '84 (I remember it was not long after I joined the Legion) later changed its name, 5 years later in 1999, to the 1er Régiment Etranger de génie, whom we all know and love.
 
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Rapace

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I'm not saying that units can't have their names changed, I'm just saying that 13e DBLE becoming 13e REI just because of the increase of its headcount in the last 3 or 4 years is unlikely. 6e REG was remaned 1er REG, when another Legion engineers regiment was created (2e REG). As for 6e DLB (Division Légère Blindée, Light Armoured Division) or 11e DP (Division Parachutiste, Airborne Division) becoming 6e BLB and 11e BP, it was a general reform in the French Army when divisions became brigades, in the wake of the French Army downsizing linked to the end of conscription in the late 90s and the swith to a 100% professional force.
 

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Surely if the Legion wanted to keep a consistent naming theme, it would've just renamed the 4RE to 4REI, and set up a different training regiment? I always wondered why they repurposed an infantry regiment into a training regiment in the first place.
 
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4e RE was created as a training unit in 1978 (off the top of my mind). They could have given it a completely different number but at that time the Legion decided that this new regiment would take over the traditions of 4e REI, created in Morocco in the 20s (again, off the top of my mind). They couldn’t name it RE“I” because it’s not an Infanty regiment any more.
Likewise, when the 6e REG was created, number 6 was chosen because it was taking over the traditions of 6e REI, created in Syria during the French protectorate.
 

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It's the FRF2 replacement in the squad. The FRF2 is the current DMR.
Why is the French military replacing the FR-F2 Rifle? Is there something wrong with it?

Hi Riley, a very good and valid question. there is nothing wrong with the FR-F2. In fact it is an extremely precise weapon. I’ve fired it on several occasions, never in anger (which is a pretty dumb expression as you are not going to shoot someone’s head off because you’re worked up.) No in fact at balloons from up to 500 metres away. I’m not a trained sniper which is why we fired at a ‘relatively‘ short distance. In the FFL, you are expected to be able to pick up any legionnaire's weapon and be able to use it effectively. Although the two times we were doing night shooting, I was away. What I can tell you is that it has a slight kick, so unless you are regularly shooting with it, be prepared to readjust your position each time. It is fairly light between 5.1 and 5.3 kgs depending on which manual you are using.
A quick side step here The FR F2 replaced the FR F1 in ’86 the FR stands for Fusil à Répétition. When I did my corporal's course, the weapons instructor weighed each of the weapons on scales in front of us and that was the answer that we were to give on our final exam.
OK, back on target, so to speak. Since it was first introduced in 86 as the FRF1’s replacement (not to be confused with when it was first produced)(there have been several small but significant changes to it. One of which was a black plastic sleeve to reduce its thermal image. Also hot desert conditions it helped to keep the barrel cooler.
It is a bolt action precision rifle accurate up to 800 m with a magazine of 10 NATO standard 7.62 rounds.
The French Ministère des Armées published an Invitation To Tender for 2,600 precision rifles to replace the 7.62mm FR-F2 bolt action sniper rifle in August of last year. Basically it is in ‘order to keep up with their allies’. The British and the US have marksmen rifles which are much better.
I’ll compare it with the Brit L129A1 sniper rifle. It is semi automatic and has a box magazine of 20 rounds. It is fitted with sights that can be used for long distances and short range, for close quarter combat zones and weighs a little over 4 kg. Accurate up to 800 m.

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In my opinion the FRF2 is a dated design, excellent in its day but there are far better long range rifles available now, see AI. The new semi-auto rifle is more of a DMR than a sniper rifle.
 

SnafuSmite

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In my opinion the FRF2 is a dated design, excellent in its day but there are far better long range rifles available now,see AI. The new semi-auto rifle is more of a DMR than a sniper rifle.
Your average Squad Marksman will not be shooting further than 600 m anyways. Also, with modern combat, there is a big variance on the battlefield. Afghanistan is a prime example, one minute you're engaging targets out to 800 m the next you're in a compound. Modern semi-auto DMRs fill that “niche” perfectly, a bolt action in CQB vs a guy with a AK is not going to be a very good outcome.
 
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In my opinion the FRF2 is a dated design, excellent in its day but there are far better long range rifles available now, see AI. The new semi-auto rifle is more of a DMR than a sniper rifle.
Let's keep in mind that when the FR-F2 was introduced (replacing the FR-F1), the concept of long distance sniping was non existent. So the rifle was not designed and not supposed to be used to engage targets beyond 400 or 500 m. When I was serving, in the mid-80s, there was one marksman per rifle squad and they were trained on targets at 400 m max. The best ones could hit targets beyond that distance, but the objective was 400 m. Long range sniping appeared, if my memory is correct, somewhere in the 80s with the introduction of heavy rifles in .50 caliber. In the French military, it's only in the 90s that the first evaluations of the concept were initiated and I recall that the 2e REP was one of the units participating in them, using the Barrett M82.

Your average Squad Marksman will not be shooting further than 600 m anyways. Also, with modern combat, there is a big variance on the battlefield. Afghanistan is a prime example, one minute you're engaging targets out to 800 m the next you're in a compound. Modern semi-auto DMRs fill that “niche” perfectly, a bolt action in CQB vs a guy with a AK is not going to be a very good outcome.
You hit the nail on the head. That's exactly the reason why the French military decided to replace the bolt action FR-F2 by a semi-automatic rifle. A semi-auto weapon is also very useful for a “double-tap”, when necessary. As mentioned already, the new FN Herstal SCAR that has been selected, officially designated in French as FPSA (Fusil de précision semi-automatique), is definitely not supposed to be a long distance sniper rifle. This need is covered by the PGM Hécate II in .50 caliber (12.7 mm), designated officially as the FR 12,7.
 

Surfguy

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Your average Squad Marksman will not be shooting further than 600 m anyways. Also, with modern combat, there is a big variance on the battlefield. Afghanistan is a prime example, one minute you're engaging targets out to 800 m the next you're in a compound. Modern semi-auto DMRs fill that “niche” perfectly, a bolt action in CQB vs a guy with a AK is not going to be a very good outcome.
Agreed, I think what annoys me is when the media refer to DMRs as sniper rifles, tthey aren't. A modern sniper rifle will shoot well under 1 MOA consistently out to 800m in 308W /1200m 300WM and maybe 1600m in 338Lap. By its nature sniping is long range precision shooting and as you say sniper rifles being bolt action are not always that suitable for FIBUA.
 
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