London: UK military scientists have developed a 5.56 mm “Dirty Harry round” bullet to be issued to British troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, as they complained that their current ammunition ‘SA80 rifle’ does not have the punch to kill the enemy at long range.
According to the Daily Express, the British troops would be able to start using the new bullet by next year.
Its development by UK defence firms BAE Systems and QinetiQ follows the Army’s concern in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, last year, that the SA80 round was failing to hit its target at distances of more than 400 yards.
The Taliban use more powerful rounds in Russian-designed AK-47 rifles and heavier 7.62 mm ammunition to hit British forces at a range of 600 yards.
However, the British troops` new round is expected to solve the problem.
Testing is currently being carried out by the Future Dismounted Close Combat research programme, before the MoD orders an initial batch of up to a million rounds.
“While our ammunition is fine at close quarters it has little impact over 1,300ft, we are able to bring in secondary weapons to supplement our firepower but the new ammunition will give us an edge which at present we are lacking,” a Royal Marine said.