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Saturday, January 11th 2020, 6:38pm

British Army 1950

A look ahead at what new weapons and vehicles will enter service next year and updates on research and development programmes.

Armoured Vehicles
FV402: an observation vehicle with roof armour and armoured hatches, a variant of the FV401 Cambridge tracked carrier, to be issued to RA units within armoured units.

Carrier Tracked No.5 Mk I FV420: Designed in 1950 by the Armoured Vehicle Research and Development Establishment to replace the Oxford and Cambridge and to supplement the smaller FV310 and form the basis of a family of support vehicles. It is designed to carry a fully armed section of infantry in an enclosed hull and is armed with one TADEN MG on an AA mount. Planned to enter service from 1953.

Machine Guns
7.92mm BESA Medium Machine Gun No.2 Mk I/ Mk I*, development of this new machine gun by the Birmingham Small Arms Company to replace the venerable Vickers Mk. I began in late 1948 and the first prototypes began firing trials in 1949. The gun was designed principally for use in armoured vehicles, either as a fixed co-axial weapon or as a pintle-mounted weapon for AA use. As the Royal Armoured Corps supply chain is separate, it was decided to adopt a new cartridge for use in armoured vehicles, the 7.92mm x 57 Mauser. The gun entered full scale production in 1950.
Weight: 47 lb (21 kg) empty
Length: 43.5 in (1,100 mm)
Barrel length: 29 in (740 mm), 4-groove rifling with Right Hand twist.
Cartridge: 7.92×57mm Mauser
Action: gas automatic
Rate of fire: 450-550rpm (Mk I), 750-850rpm (Mk I*)
Muzzle velocity: 2,700 ft/s (823 m/s)
Feed system: 225 metal link belt