EF88 Rail Configuration
Here is an image showing the new MILSTD rail attachment configuration of the EF88. It also has a fluted barrel for heat dispersion.
It looks like the've made a whole lot of changes. The've completely changed the shape of the butt group - it's far more angular than the original, the trigger guard shape has been changed, and the join between the receiver and butt group is changed. It looks like the barrel release knob is now on top of the barrel forward of the top picatinny rail as well. You can't see the gas system though, so no idea if they've changed that.
The forward handguard the minister is holding looks interesting as well. It looks like its got a weapon light integrated into it, which would be an incredibly smart weight saving feature. The shape of it woulod make shooting far easier too.
I don't recognise the grenade launcher on the table either.
A few dumb questions:
1). that's either an ACOG or some similar red dot sight up top isn't it?
2). Is the barrel much longer than other F88s?
3). Is this bad boy going to go into production?
Not Sure if it is the H&K launcher but i know they are looking for a side loading 40mm so they can look at some of the longer rounds on the market
Raven strange you mention the change in butt group moulding, but there has been no significant change to the handguard moulding around the trigger. We were the first unit to be issued the F88 back in '88 and because the Centre Of Gravity (CoG) was at the trigger group, blkes when picking up their weapon were finding their fingers also impinging on the trigger - combine that with a push through safety that could be easily knocked off when the weapon was put down, and the number of UD's skyrocketed.
Our feedback to the Inf Cen was an additional guard to be moulded under the trigger between the pistol grip and the handguard, and an L shaped guard around the top and front of the safety catch to try to negate instances of it being pushed through when placed on an irregular surface.
DSTO developed a rotary fire/safety selector for the F88 as part of the AICW CTD but of course NIH applies between elements of the DoD so no sign of that here...
Here's a few pretty graphics of the EF88 from a DMO presentation that the bloke said I could nab. There were a few pics of the actual prototypes, but they were commercial-in-confidence.
The changes include:
1. Longer top rail, introduction of side and bottom rails – significantly increases the number of weapon ancillaries that can be attached.
2. Designed for Interoperable Ammunition – designed for optimal performance with new interoperable F1A1 5.56mm ammunition.
3. Length of Pull has been shortened by 15mm – improves the ability of the operator to handle the weapon while wearing body armour.
4. Modular Lower Fore End – enables operator to change ancillaries and roles in the field.
5. Floating Barrel – removal of attachment point from barrel increases the accuracy and reliability of the weapon.
6. Fluted Barrel – reduction in barrel weight and increase in performance.
7. Folding Cocking Handle – improvement in ergonomics and correction of vulnerability in current design.
8. Improved Butt design – increased strength to improve safety, ejection port cover recessed to improved operator interface and reliability.
9. Provision for Electronic Architecture – to allow centralised control and power management of ancillary devices.
10. Bolt-together Butt – to allow access to fit, maintain and repair the Electronic Architecture components.
11. Improved Butt Plate – Improves operator interface and correction of vulnerability in current design.
12. Improved Grenade Launcher Mount – improves the balance of the weapon, reducing operator fatigue and increasing accuracy.
13. Side-opening Grenade Launcher – can fire all currently available 40mm low velocity grenades (current M203 Launcher is limited).
14. Improved Grenade Launcher safety – reduces possibility of unauthorised discharge and danger to operator in the event of misfire.
There's a few things in there that I didn't know they were doing. I'm actually quite impressed. If they manage to incorporate the electronic architecture I will be very impressed - there won't be many other nations out there with a spiffier rifle than this.
I wrote some stuff about the OA electronics of EF88 a few years ago. It is actually from a new NATO standard for rails but the EF88 is out of the pack in this case. Thanks no doubt to the AICW CTD.