Reliable, light and easy to carry, the Glock inspires confidence and performs exceptionally well

WO1 Mark Anderson RM

Commando units, such as 40 Commando currently deployed in Helmand, typically use the weapon for close-quarters fighting, room entry, and when reconnaissance teams are on missions.

All Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel deployed to Afghanistan are pistol-qualified and those working in forward headquarters carry a pistol.

Away from the sands of Helmand, pistols are used heavily by Royal Marines boarding teams from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, by Viking vehicle commanders – they can be exposed in their turrets and have limited ability to bring longer-barrelled weapons to bear.

As for the dark blue world of the Senior Service, pistols are carried in Royal Navy armouries for use by aircrew, divers and officers involved in boarding operations.

WO1 Mark Anderson RM, who tested the new Glock before the contract was awarded, said:

“Pistols are vital in close combat and are a key part of a soldier’s armoury. Reliable, light and easy to carry, the Glock inspires confidence and performs exceptionally well.”

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne said:

“We are determined to provide our troops with the best possible personal kit available and these new Glock 17s will give them greater firepower and accuracy on operations.

“Now that we have balanced the budget we can invest with confidence in the equipment our Armed Forces need for the future.

"I have seen this pistol demonstrated in target ranges and am impressed that this new lighter, safer generation of pistol provides both better value for money for the MoD and will complement the wide range of weapons already available to front line troops."

The new Glocks, manufactured in Austria, will complement the wide range of weapons already available to the forces, including:

  • SA80A2 assault rifles, which fire 5.56mm rounds;
  • Light Machine Guns, which fire 5.56mm rounds;
  • Sharpshooter rifles, which fire 7.62mm rounds;
  • General Purpose Machine Guns, which fire 7.62mm rounds;
  • Combat Shotguns, which fire 12-gauge cartridges; and
  • Sniper Systems, which fire 8.59mm rounds.

After four decades of trusty service the long-standing Brownings were proving increasingly difficult to maintain so a contract for a replacement was put out by Whitehall two years ago.