12.7mm – also known as .50cal – has experienced a resurgence in recent years, particularly by the British Army who found it highly effective during campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Phil Simon, Light Munitions Director at BAE Systems’ Land UK business, said:
“We’ve recently won several export orders for our 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition thanks to our advanced and highly efficient production methods. We intend to bring the same engineering expertise to producing 12.7mm ammunition, giving us the same cost advantage while maintaining a high level of quality.
“We are building a line capable of producing 10 million rounds of 12.7mm a year, which would fulfil current UK opportunities while allowing capacity for potential future exports. The new line will also enable us to further increase output, if required, with additional production shifts.”
We have recently invested £83m to enhance its Radway Green manufacturing facility, enabling over one million 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds to be produced each day.
These are tested by an automatic image capture and laser measuring machine, which takes thousands of accurate measurements of each round as it passes along the production line, helping to maintain a high quality output.