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Ministry of Defence police to get new specialised firearm

02/03/05

MDP police demonstrating new weaponThe Ministry of Defence has procured a new weapon for the Ministry of Defence Police force, making them better equipped than ever for the important role they play.

A 3.4 million contract will see more than 1,500 Heckler & Koch MP7 firearms delivered to MoD Police, who provide armed security for military installations across the country, including the guarding of Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Ministry of Defence Police Officers are currently equipped with the 9mm Browning Pistol and the military-issue SA80. The SA80, a battle-proven military assault rifle, is not ideally suited for use by MoD police who are deployed in defence environments in the UK.

The pistol, which has been in service since 1979, becomes less accurate at long range and cannot defeat today's latest body armour.

Defence Minister Ivor Caplin MP said: " It is essential that these officers, who police everything from residential camps to our sensitive research and development centres, are equipped with the most suitable firearm for their jobs.

"The team at the Defence Procurement Agency carried out an exhaustive series of tests before this weapon was selected, and the MP7 proved to be the very best available.

"What's more, an innovative approach to this procurement, which sees the UK Division of Heckler & Koch look after weapon support and logistics, is estimated to save around 250,000 a year until 2008 - another example of 'smart' procurement.

"Indeed, this project has been so successful that other UK PoliceConstabularies have been paying close attention to our results, with a view to possibly using them to inform their own future firearm procurement decisions."

Tests proved that the new firearm can penetrate body armour, yet the round will not 'overpenetrate' causing a danger to bystanders. It is also light, easily maintained and simple to use and, after training, will be delivered to Ministry of Defence Police Officers across the country, replacing both the Browning pistol and the SA80.

Notes For Editors

1. The project is scheduled to achieve its In Service Date (ISD) in April - two months ahead of the estimated timing.

2. The MP7 is manufactured by Heckler and Koch of Germany. The weapon specific 4.6mm ammunition will be provided by UK manufacturer Royal Ordnance Radway Green.

3. The 'smart' nature of this project will see weapons remain under manufacturer warranty for ten years - a first within small arms procurement. The exact history of each weapon will be tracked and monitored. The expected service life is 15 years.

4. More than 1,500 systems are being procured. Final delivery from the manufacturer will be made in June 2005.

5. The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) is the MOD's own dedicated civil Police Force of around 3,800 officers, all of them having full Constabulary powers. They provide armed security, uniformed policing and investigation of serious crime at MOD establishments and units throughout the United Kingdom. As a condition of service every officer is weapons-trained and at any one time 70 per cent of MDP officers on duty carry arms, either pistols or rifles. These are deployed at around 100 MOD sites where an armed security capability is required.


Last Updated: 3 Mar 05