British forces to be equipped with Glock pistols for protection in Afghanistan

New weapons will replace venerable Browning sidearms that MoD says are too slow to fire in case of close-quarter attackBritish troops in Afghanistan – and on future operations anywhere else – will be better able to defend themselves with the help of the first new standard pistol issued to the armed forces in more than 40 years.Faced with the threat of attacks at close quarters – not least from members of the Afghan security forces turned by the Taliban or bearing individual grievances – the new weapons will enable them to shoot faster and more effectively, troops say.More than 25,000 Austrian-made Glock pistols will finally replace the clunky Browning sidearm that squaddies and commandos have had to cope with for decades, the Ministry of Defence announced on Wednesday.An £8.5m contract has been awarded to Glock after a tendering contest and trials stretching over two years. No British company competed; even the new pistol's holster is made abroad, in Italy.The MoD recently urgently ordered a consignment of Swiss Sig Sauer pistols to enable British troops to protect themselves better in Afghanistan.The new pistol, a variant of the Glock 17, will make it easier for British soldiers "to shoot back", said Colonel Peter Warden, head of the MoD defence equipment organisation's light weapons team.The 9mm Glock is lighter and tougher than the Browning but above all much easier to fire – advantages that have already attracted US law enforc...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Military News guardian.co.uk Technology British Army UK news Weapons technology Science Source Type: news

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