Military Organization > United Kingdom > British Army Armoured Infantry Platoon (Current)

British Army Armoured Infantry Platoon (Current)

The following is the current organization of the British Army Armoured Infantry Platoon effective as of 2019. This organization followed the adoption of the L85A3 in 2018, as well as other organizational changes that are hot off the presses (such as the removal of the L110A2 or FN Minimi Para at the section level). These lads are typically mounted in FV510 Warrior IFVs. If you're interested in how light and protected mobility infantry platoons are organized, you can read that article here.

Contents:

  1. Organization

  2. Mounted Configuration

  3. Discussion

  4. Posters/Prints

Modern Armoured Infantry Platoon-01.png
 

Organization

  • Type: Mechanized Infantry Platoon

  • Origin: British Army (United Kingdom)

  • Personnel: 1 Officer and 35 Enlisted

​→ Platoon Headquarters (1 Officer and 5 Enlisted) [A]

  • 1× Platoon Commander, Second Lieutenant/Lieutenant (OF-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle

  • 1× Signaller, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle
     

  • 1× Warrior Sergeant [B], Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle (stowed)

  • 1× Driver, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle (stowed)

  • 1× Gunner, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle (stowed)

​→ 3× Rifle Sections (10 Enlisted Each) [C]

  • Charlie Fire Team (4 men)

    • 1× Section Commander, Corporal (OR-4), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle and 1 Glock 17 pistol

    • 1× Rifleman, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle

    • 1× Grenadier, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle and 1 L123A2 under-barrel grenade launcher 

    • 1× Sharpshooter, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L129A1 rifle

  • Delta Fire Team (3 men)

    • 1× Second-in-Command, Lance Corporal (OR-3), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle and 1 Glock 17 pistol

    • 1× Rifleman, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle

    • 1× Grenadier, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle and 1 L123A2 under-barrel grenade launcher 

  • Vehicle Crew (3 men)​

    • 1× Vehicle Commander, Lance Corporal (OR-3), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle (stowed)

    • 1× Driver, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle (stowed)

    • 1× Gunner, Private (OR-1), armed with 1 L85A3 rifle (stowed)

 

[A] When deployed to Afghanistan, all personnel are issued Glock 17 pistols.

[B] Commands mounted element when Platoon Commander dismounts. Usually does not sit in the same vehicle as the Platoon Commander.

[C] Two NLAW disposable ATGMs (or 1 NLAW and 1 MATADOR recoilless rifle in theory) are available to each rifle section, but not assigned to any specific section member. They are stowed in the vehicles weapon racks

Mounted Configuration

FV510 Warrior (1)

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Platoon Commander [A]Second Lieutenant/Lieutenant (OF-1)

  • 1× Signaller, Private (OR-1)

Mounted Personnel:

  • 1× Vehicle Commander [A], Lance Corporal (OR-3)

  • 1× Gunner, Private (OR-1)

  • 1× Driver, Private (OR-1)

FV510 Warrior (2) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant (OR-6)

  • 1× Rifle Section

Mounted Personnel:

  • 1× Warrior Sergeant [A], Sergeant (OR-6)

  • 1× Gunner, Private (OR-1)

  • 1× Driver, Private (OR-1)

​→ FV510 Warrior (3) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Rifle Section

Mounted Personnel:

  • 1× Vehicle Commander, Lance Corporal (OR-3)

  • 1× Gunner, Private (OR-1)

  • 1× Driver, Private (OR-1)

FV510 Warrior (4) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Rifle Section

Mounted Personnel:

  • 1× Vehicle Commander, Lance Corporal (OR-3)

  • 1× Gunner, Private (OR-1)

  • 1× Driver, Private (OR-1)

[A] When mounted, the Platoon Commander commands their vehicle as well as the mounted element. When they dismount, the Vehicle Commander in their vehicle takes command of the vehicle and the Warrior Sergeant in another vehicle takes command of the entire mounted element.

 
Armored Infantry Platoon 2019-01.png
 
 

Discussion

Overview

The British Army Armoured Infantry Platoon consists of a Platoon Headquarters, 3 Sections, and 4 FV510 Warrior infantry fighting vehicles. This is roughly equivalent to a U.S. Army Mechanized Infantry Platoon. These platoons are the elementary small unit of the Armoured Infantry Battalion. Armoured infantry brigades are typically a part of the 3rd (UK) Division, deemed "The Reaction Force" in the British Army's 2020 restructure. The basic heirarchy for armoured infantry units is as follows:

  • 3rd (UK) Division "The Reaction Force" (3× Armoured Infantry Brigades, 1× Air Assault Brigade, 1× Logistics Brigade)

    • Armoured Infantry Brigade (1× Armoured Regiment, 1× Armoured Cavalry Regiment, 2× Armoured Infantry Battalions, 1× Heavy Protected Mobility Infantry Battalion, Logistics/Supporting Elements)

      • Armoured Infantry Battalion (3× Armoured Infantry Companies, 1× Manoeuvre Support Company, 1× Headquarters Company)

        • Armoured Infantry Company (3× Armoured Infantry Platoons with 4 Warriors each, 1× Headquarters with 2 Warriors)​

          • Armoured Infantry Platoon​

 

The Platoon Headquarters consists of a Platoon Commander (second lieutenant or lieutenant), Platoon Sergeant (sergeant), Warrior Sergeant (sergeant), Signaller/Radio Operator (private), Gunner (private) and Driver (private).

Unlike a light role or protected mobility infantry platoon, the armoured infantry platoon has 2 sergeants. One acts as the 2IC for the dismounts (Platoon Sergeant) and 1 acts as 2IC for the mounted element (Warrior Sergeant). The Platoon Sergeant typically sits in a different vehicle from the Platoon Commander (who acts as the vehicle commander of the Platoon HQ vehicle when mounted) as does the Warrior Sergeant. This is what is typically done in practice, although as per doctrine the Platoon Commander and Platoon Sergeant should sit in the same vehicle. This is like a unit-to-unit decision. When the platoon dismounts, the Platoon Sergeant (sitting in the rear of a vehicle) dismounts before the Platoon Commander (sitting in the Platoon HQ vehicle's turret) and organizes the dismounts. When the Platoon Commander dismounts, he is personally replaced as the Platoon HQ's vehicle commander by another Vehicle Commander (Lance Corporal) sitting in the passenger compartment. At this point, the Warrior Sergeant, who remains mounted, takes command of the mounted element. The Platoon Commander is accompanied by the Signaller (Commonwealth terminology for a Radio Operator or RTO) who sits in the passenger compartment of the Platoon HQ's vehicle.

 

Each Rifle Section consists of 10 enlisted personnel. They are each commanded by a corporal assisted by 2 lance corporals; 1 Section Second-in-Command (2IC) and 1 Vehicle Commander. This is also unique to the armoured infantry, as standard rifle sections only have 1 Lance Corporal by design. The section is further subdivided into 2 dismounted fire teams and the vehicle crews.

 

The Section Commander typically commands the Charlie Fire Team, which consists of 4 soldiers (Section Commander, Grenadier, Sharpshooter, and Rifleman). The Section 2IC commands the Delta Fire Team, which consists of 3 soldiers (Section 2IC, Grenadier, Rifleman). With the exception of the Sharpshooter (who is armed with an LMT L129A1 SS designated marksman rifle), all dismounts are armed with the L85A3 IW. The Grenadiers are also armed with L123A2 under-barrel grenade launchers (the Heckler & Koch-produced AG36, also known as the M320 in US service). Unlike in the standard infantry rifle platoon, armoured infantry typically do not take out the L7A2 general-purpose machine gun at the section level. This is possibly due to the presence of integral vehicle support, which essentially provides each section with a heavily protected heavy machine gun team. Further, the L110A2 light machine guns (FN Minimi Paras) once available at 2 per section have been removed from the infantry platoon for similar reasons they were from U.S. Marine Corps Rifle Platoons: prioritising accurate fires (in this case from the L85A3 and L129A1) over the less accurate volume of fire from a less maneuverable belt-fed light machine gun.

When the sections are dismounted, the vehicle crews are commanded by a Vehicle Commander (Lance Corporal) with a Driver and Gunner (Privates). The Gunner and Vehicle Commander sit in the turret of the vehicle, while the Driver sits in the driver seat forward and to the left of the turret. All vehicle crews are armed with L85A3 rifles which are stowed in the vehicle when they are mounted. The L22A2 carbine - a shortened variant of the SA80 - is exclusively used by Challenger 2 tank crews and helicopter pilots by contrast.

Although the platoon lacks any combat medics, with combat medical technicians (CMT) concentrated at the company level, every man in the sections receive some rudimentary combat life saver (CLS) training (MATT 3 BCD). Meanwhile, one member of the section receives more in-depth CLS training, called a "Team Medic."

Each Rifle Section has the additional armament of 2 NLAW disposable anti-tank guided missiles, which are stowed in the vehicles weapon racks. Although MATADORs are also available in theory, the doubling up on NLAWs is more common based on feedback from current servicemembers. Additionally, when the units are deployed to Afghanistan or other counter-insurgency environments, the personnel are issued Glock 17 semi-automatic pistols. Otherwise, issue and training vary and is not universal in rifle platoons.

 
 

Available Prints:

"The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious."

      - Marcus Aurelius

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