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Army April 25, 2013
VCs at memorial for Pte Poate
Hands on new rifle
Townsville infantrymen the first to conduct end-user testing on the new EF88
Rapid fire: LCpl Jason Grimshaw performs an automatic fire test with the new EF88 rifle in Townsville.
Inset, the new weapon (top) bares some similarities to the current F88-SA2, but weighs less and offers more
Photos by Cpl Max Bree
Cpl Max Bree
THE next generation of assault rifle
was put through its paces by a group
of 1RAR soldiers in Townsville
from April 8-19.
The EF88 was pitted against the
current F88-SA2 to see how the newly
designed weapon would stack up in
terms of shooting, performance and
Maj Charl Cromhout, staff officer
of weapons at the Land Development
Branch, said soldiers fired the old rifle
alongside the new one to see if the
lighter, redesigned weapon delivered
an increase in lethality.
“It’s to establish a baseline,” he
said. “That allows for establishing the
increase or decrease in performance.
“You want to compare apples with
apples so you get the quality evidence.
“It must meet or exceed the perfor-
mance of the SA2.”
The user measure of performance
(MOP) trials looked at how the new
weapon was used by soldiers rather
than testing it in the lab.
“It looks at how the user interfac-
es with the weapon, it looks at the
human factors,” Maj Cromhout said.
“We can measure engagement times
and soldier immediate action drill,
like changing a magazine and engag-
ing different targets at various ranges.”
Maj Cromhout said the appear-
ance of the new weapon was unlikely
to change much through the rest of
the testing process but the eventual
attachments would depend on Army’s
“As you see the weapon here, that
might not be the way you see the
weapon used because a novel ena-
bling system [of attachments] might
be found to reach the requirements of
the Army,” he said.
“It might be a sight that’s of a
certain variant to reach out to a cer-
tain distance, it might be a day sight,
to watch the
new Last Post
Photo by Lauren Black
a night sight, a thermal imager or
whatever enabler you have to pick to
reach out to the specifications set out
by the Army.”
The EF88 received intermediate
pass approval in 2011 and testing and
trials of the weapon are set to fin-
ish by the end of this year. Meaning
it could be ready for service shortly
Results of the MOP trial will be
analysed by Thales and DMO over
the next month and further bench-
testing will continue through the win-
ter. A user trial of the new grenade
launcher attachment will occur later
More details – centrepiece
THE Australian War Memorial officially launched the
new Last Post ceremony in the presence of more than
half of the world’s living Victoria Cross recipients and
hundreds of onlookers on April 17.
Present out of the nine living VC recipients
worldwide were WO2 Keith Payne (retd), Cpls Mark
Donaldson, Ben Roberts-Smith and Dan Keighran,
and NZ VC recipient Cpl Willie Apiata. They were
joined by George Cross recipient Const Michael
Pratt, CDF Gen David Hurley and CA Lt-Gen David
Cpl Keighran launched the new ceremony, reading
an account of the life of Pte Robert Poate, who was
killed in Afghanistan on August 29, 2012.
“Although I didn’t know Pte Poate, I was honoured
and humbled to be asked to read his story on behalf
of his family, his mates and his unit, 6RAR,” Cpl
He said he thought the new Last Post ceremony
was a fitting tribute and a great way to enhance the
visibility of the Australian War Memorial.
“The new format gets more people involved and
also gives uniformed members the chance to take
part,” he said.
“To remember those who lost their lives and reflect
on what they did for our country is a good thing.”
AWM director Brendan Nelson said he wanted to
start the new closing ceremonies with a recent soldier’s
“I want Australians to understand there are still men
and women who are in our uniform risking their lives
for us and our values every day,’’ he said.
“No one is more or less important than anyone else,
but to focus on someone who has given his life within
the last 12 months, hopefully there will be Australians
who realise this is real.’
The new ceremony is broadcast daily from the memorial’s
website at www.awm.gov.au
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