Braddick Defence Systems’ two new sniper rifles will be used in Decisive Solutions International (DSI) sniper training programmes. The new rifles are based on the .338 Lapua Magnum Braddick Sniper Rifle. The 12.7 mm anti-materiel sniper rifle will be ready by mid-year and the .308 by end 2015.
DSI sniper instructors are working closely with Braddick Defence Systems in terms of the design of the Braddick weapons. At the moment the two companies are selling a complete sniper system, with everything a sniper team needs to successfully execute its task. Braddick supplies the complete rifle with suppressor and muzzle brake (cera-coated), Picatinny rails, cleaning kit, cleaning materials, bipod, sniper scope, angle degree indicator, spotting scope and tripod, binoculars, thermal imager, Kestrel Horus 4500 weather station, ballistic calculator, drag bag/shooting mat, hard carrying case, technical manual, barrel logbook, and a tool kit. DSI supply ghillie suits, anti-tracking boot covers, sniper combat vests, shooting gloves, shooting glasses, face veils, sniper overalls, specially designed rucksacks, ballistic software, Mildot Master calculator, sniper logbooks, range cards, training manuals and aide memoirs and silenced pistols. Braddick Defence also supplies match grade ammunition for sniper training and operations.
DSI specialises in advanced military training, consulting and product supply, with a focus on special operations, special forces and humanitarian aid programmes, and has been offering its services for well over a decade. The company said it identified a need for a single sniper solution as many clients buy equipment bit by bit, which often causes logistic and compatibility problems and delays in training programmes. It is also very important that the sniper system, uniforms, ghillie suits etc. are of exactly the same camouflage colour and pattern to prevent contrast. As a result DSI and Braddick Defence Systems offer a complete sniper system with camouflage and patterns determined by the area the sniper will be training and operating in.
DSI said that to be able to read and understand the signs of the wild is a great advantage for the sniper team and for counter sniper actions – for example specific call sounds of birds or animals can act as an indicator of danger to the sniper team. As a result, DSI’s senior sniper instructor is also an experienced Professional Hunter hunting dangerous game on the African continent for more than twenty years. The other sniper instructors are also regular hunters which mean all the company’s sniper instructors know and understand the African bush and signs of the wild and are all expert trackers.
The DSI sniper training programme is specially designed to meet the needs of clients in Africa and the Middle East. Potential sniper trainees must be medically and mentally fit and have 20/20 vision. The final selection phase consists of a one week sniper entrance qualification shoot. Learners must pass the entrance qualification shoot to be accepted for the sniper training programme.
The 19 week sniper training programme is divided into two modules. Module A covers subjects such as introduction to sniper operations, unit organization and equipment, sniper rifles and optics, theory of small arms fire, ballistics, marksmanship fundamentals, spotting and target detection, range and wind estimation, observation techniques, camouflage and concealment, stalking and movement, sniper hides, day and night shooting and various sniper shooting exercises.
Module B covers more advanced shooting techniques and exercises such as engagement of moving targets, terrain angle firing (shooting up-and-downhill), counter-sniping, night sniping operations, shooting in special environments, urban sniping, special shooting situations such as hostage rescue shooting and shooting through glass, and mission preparation. This rigorous training programme ends with the final sniper qualification shoots with a pass mark of 80%. Trainees must also pass various evaluations such as hide construction, camouflage and movement, observation, wind and range estimation, stalking etc. The pass mark of all evaluations is 80%. Trainees who successfully completed Module A and B are qualified by DSI as snipers.
DSI also presents further sniper training such as heavy calibre sniping (anti-materiel), aerial sniping (from helicopters) and maritime sniping. Its Law Enforcement sniper training programmes are also specially designed for Police Task Forces.
For the military sniper great emphasis is placed on field craft as the sniper team must blend in with the terrain. To achieve this the trainee is taught to plan each move in the finest detail, to move very, very slowly, to use the terrain and cover, such as shadow, to his advantage and finally stalk like a leopard into his sniper hide. He must then calculate his firing solution and fires a very accurate cold barrel shot over a long distance. Once a shot is fired the sniper team must relocate to an alternative hide or move undetected out of the area leaving no trace behind. To do this requires field craft and anti-tracking techniques of the highest standard, DSI said. Exercises like this can take up to 36 hours to complete and throughout the whole exercise the sniper team is under close observation of DSI’s sniper instructors.
DSI’s sniper instructors deploy unique teaching techniques during the sniper training programme and trainees are under constant observation – each shot is analysed in the utmost detail and for the sniper to engage his target successfully must he apply exactly the same shooting techniques for each shot. Written, verbal and practical evaluations takes place on a continuous basis throughout the duration of the course.
Sniper training is without doubt one of the most difficult and advanced courses any soldier or police officer can go through, DSI said. The successful sniper never stops training and he practices his skills on a daily basis. During the so called Winter War in Russia during the Second World War, the famous Finnish sniper, Simo Häyhä, who operated alone in the snow on skis, killed over 700 enemy soldiers. When he was asked why he was so successful he replied “training and more training”
Snipers are perhaps the ultimate thinking soldiers, and in a time of shrinking military budgets they represent an incredibly valuable investment, but only for those who know how to make best use of them, DSI said, adding that, “A sniper is someone who has the skills and the mental attributes to make a major difference in a conflict.”