By Trainee Rifleman Bijay Gurung, 5 (Helles) Platoon

Since moving to the Initial Trade Training (Infantry) phase of the Combat Infantry Course, we have been learning various weapon systems to ensure we are ready for upcoming tactical exercises. Our Section Command Gurujis have introduced us to three new weapon systems used by the British Army. We have been learning about the general service pistol (Glock 17), General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and the New Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) this week.

The Glock 17 was not as heavy as I thought it weighs only 0.625kg. This pistol is semi-automatic and works with a simple mechanism of fire and recoil. It was truly fascinating to learn that this weapon system did not have as many heavy metals and complex connections as we expected, and it uses a 9mm calibre round. The trigger engages the firing pin and the rounds fire, then the force of the fired round recoils the case to be extracted and presses the new round in. A perfect example of equal and opposite motion of two parts. The pistol is very effective for quick fire and suppressing the enemy at close range.

Our next lesson was the GPMG, upon picking it up I realised the power of this weapon. The gun weighs 9.8kg and has a 7.62 mm calibre round. The GPMG is one of the most effective weapon systems in a battle, delivering sustained fire and suppressing the enemy. The most captivating aspect of this gun was its mechanism, that lets the system fire belts of ammunition rapidly. The weapon handling drills were a completely new set of actions, but with practice and effort of the class we soon mastered the process.

Finally, we were introduced to the Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW). This is a huge weapon system, and I never thought that we would get our hands on it so soon. Weighing 12.4kg and firing large missiles this weapon is powerful, destructive and easy to use. This weapon operates in two attack modes Overfly Top Attack (OTA) and Direct Attack (DA). OTA is for use against armoured targets where the missile comes from above to pierce heavy armour at its weakest point and the DA is for non-armoured opponents. We were astonished to know the reality that this weapon was portable and a one-time fire and forget weapon. This weapon gives precision from any position and only takes 3 to 6 seconds to identify its target. Additional sight systems and the activator makes this weapon very effective to use in any condition.

The most important lesson we learnt was to have confidence in our ability to use the weapon effectively. We were grateful to get this opportunity to learn and use new weapon systems and look forward to firing and carrying them on future exercises.