HMS Argyll tests new gunnery aid against speedboat and jet ski targets


Royal Navy gunners have given their approval to a new gun mounting tested on HMS Argyll for destroying small, fast targets.

Gunnery trials tested the weapon’s ability against small targets – like speedboats and jet skis – that are difficult to hit even with the many small arms fitted to Navy ships.

The .50 caliber heavy machine gun, known as the “50 cal”, is one of the most powerful weapons gunners can use. So when a potentially improved mount was developed for her, Navy technical specialists wanted to test her.

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Known as the ASP (agile, small travel, precision) mount, it was tested on the Aberporth ranges in Cardigan Bay, Wales, by the Plymouth-based warship.

This saw gunners aiming for both a static target and a moving radio-controlled target boat.

During a week of testing, the team laid down nearly 5,000 .50 caliber rounds – 3,500 fired with the new mount and 1,450 from a heavy machine gun on a traditional “soft” mount for allow comparisons.

They did more than three dozen shoots in different scenarios and weather conditions to give both mounts a thorough workout.


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