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R6.2 million for R4

The Sout African National Defence Force has put some R5 million aside to maintain and repair its R4 assault rifle holdings. A further R1.1 million is being spent on R4-related training aids. The funding takes to R72.539 734.17 money spent on the R4 and R5 assault rifles since 2007.

About 420 000 of the 5.56x45mm-calibre rifles were manufactured to replace the older Belgian 7.62x51mm FAL battle rifles used in SA since the 1960s and called the R1 R2 and R3, depending on version. The R4 assault rifle is used by the bulk of the SA Army, while the R5 carbine is used by the airborne and armoured troops of the SA Army, the SA Air Force, SA Navy, Military Health Service and the South African police Service.

A licensed version of the Israeli Galil, itself based on the Finish Valmet m/62, inspired by the AK47, the R4 and R5 are heavy, bulky but reliable. Development started after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and production was underway by 1972. The weapon entered South African service in the early 1980s. There appears to be no funded plan to replace it at this time.

Denel Land Systems was last February awarded a R1.74 million contract to create a “dedicated marksman (DM) rifle system” from the R4. DM and DM rifles became popular in the US and other militaries after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The DM's role is to supply rapid accurate fire on enemy targets with a highly-accurate semi-automatic rifle equipped with a telescopic sight. Like snipers, DM's are trained in quick and precise shooting, but unlike the more specialised "true" sniper, they are also intended to lay down accurate rapid fire, the wikipedia says.

Designated marksmen are integral members of regular infantry sections or platoons, much like machine-gunners; whereas a sniper will generally work individually or as part of a two-man team independent of a small unit.

Snipers are ordinarily equipped with purpose-built bolt-action or semi-automatic sniper rifles while DMs are most often equipped with accurised battle rifles or assault rifles. The R4 modification falls into this category. For Project Warrior DLS gunmiths removed the rifle's forward handgrip and replaced it with a new assembly that includes four Picatinny rails. As this assembly does not allow for the bipod currently fitted to the rifle, this, too, was removed. The top Picatinny rail runs back over the R4's hull cover, and at defenceWeb's Border Control 2010 conference carried an Aimpoint sighting telescope. The other Picatinny rails were covered with synthetic pads to create a rounded handgrip. A vertical handgrip can be fitted to the bottom rail and several, with integral bipods , are available. A new adjustable buttstock, similar to that fitted to the US M4 carbine, is also part of the upgrade. By March that year 102 rifles had been delivered and issued to DM assigned to FIFA World Cup soccer security. At least 2000 more were to be modified as part of the scheme.

Completion of maintenance and repair of 5,56 mm R4 Assault rifle
ESCW/2010/393 24 Feb 2011 R4 385 743,55 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

R4 training aid rifles (sectionalised)
ESCW/2010/409 24 Feb 2011 R1 159 200,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Procurement of 5,56 mm R4 assault rifle spares
ESCW/2010/337 17 Feb 2011 R711 117,32 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Procurement of sling, small arms R4/R5; 1620; 0 mm LG; buckles both ends
ESCW/2010/107 19 Aug 2010 R688 360,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Procurement of lanyard, individual equipment carrying, yals for securing rifle to belt
ESCW/2010/108 19 Aug 2010 R118 800,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Procurement of SS77 spares and R-5 spares
ESCW/2009/366 21 Jul 2010 R4 170 631,15 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Cannibalization of BER 5,56 mm R4 assault rifles for spares
ESCW/2009/416 22 Apr 2010 R556 600,00 Weapring CC Raslouw

Maintenance and repair of 5,56 mm assault rifles - extension of ESCW/2009/317
SCW/S2009/1495 10 Mar 2010 R13 480 015,74 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Sling small arms R-4 rifle
ESCW/2009/443 18 Feb 2010 R172 090,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Improvement of 5,56 mm assault rifle R4 system to a dedicated marksman rifle system
ESCW/2009/502 11 Feb 2010 R1 740 529,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Maintenance and repair of 5,56 mm R4 assault rifle system
ESCW/2009/317 10 Dec 2009 R29 992 257,11 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

R4 and R5 breach bolt modification and accessories
ETMG/2009/106 29 Oct 2009 R468 640,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Procurement of R4 assault rifle spares
ESCW/2009/206 1 Oct 2009 R70 160,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Procurement of R4 assault rifle rubber bushes
ESCW/2009/105 20 Aug 2009 R413 440,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Conversion of R4 rifles into R4 rifle training aids
ESCW/2009/81 20 Aug 2009 R1 159 200,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

R5/R4 Assault rifle Z88 pistol spares and equipment
ETMG/2007/545 19 Dec 2008 R591 604,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Convert 5,56 mm R4 assault single shot to multiple shot rifles - extension of ESCW/2008/118
SCW/S2008/1283 30 Oct 2008 R3 952 256,88 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

Convert 5000, 5,56 mm R4 assault rifle single shot to multiple shot rifles
ESCW/2008/118 2 Oct 2008 R3 927 043,12 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

5,56 mm R-4/5 Assault Rifle Spares
ESCW/2007/175 18 Oct 2007 R2 539 740,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems

5,56 mm R-5 assault rifle and SS77 mm machine gun spares
ESCW/2006/471 11 Jul 2007 R2 242 306,30 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Land Systems



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