Royal Marines will get a new Colt C7 assault rifle and a complete rebrand

Royal Marines will get a new Colt C7 assault rifle and a complete rebrand Royal Marines will get a new Colt C7 assault rifle and a complete rebrand
Marine John Allen of Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines (Photo: Royal Navy)

The Royal  Marines will get a new Colt C7 assault rifle and a complete rebrand. The need for a full rebrand of the British Royal Marines comes as commanders of the 350-year-old Corps seek to end the blurring with Army counterparts and adopt a more “commando raid” approach, with smaller units using a hi-tech kit.

Direct support to British Special Operations Forces

The future British Royal Marines plans will see the green berets provide more direct support to British Special Operations Forces, including both Special Air Service and Special Boat Service. A very first move should be positioning of units onboard of the pre-positioned motherships, ready to strike in areas such as the Mediterranean and the Gulf. Other plans should include the wider integration of autonomous platforms, such as remote-controlled vessels and drones, while, at the tactical level, they are to be issued with a new digitally-enhanced camouflage combat uniform which will be distinctive to them.

British Royal Marines
The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the United Kingdom‘s amphibious light infantry force, forming part of the Naval Service, along with the Royal Navy (Photo: British Army)

New superior Colt C7 assault rifle

Though only some Royal Marines now have access to the superior Colt C7 assault rifle, the move will see it rolled out to all members and mark the Corp’s ditching of the standard-issue SA-80. In fact, all Royal Marines will get a new Colt C7 assault rifle as a standard-issue assault rifle. As part of the push to return to its maritime role, discussions are currently underway to change officers’ rankings to match those of the Royal Navy, rather than the British Army, though this is still under review.

What has been decided, however, is that they will retain their iconic green beret and cap badge.

“The scale and ambition of our transformation is significant. Nothing is off-limits and we aspire to be at the cutting edge of defence,” said Royal Marines Commandant General Major General Matt Holmes.

Senior sources confirmed that the new “force distribution” policy was inspired by recent US Marine Corps guidance. Ironically, however, it will mark the green berets’ return to their original “commando” roots. Currently, the regiment uses concentrated force to pit its strength against an enemy’s weakness.

New Special Operations approach

Further plans include the adoption of a more “special operations” approach by using more and smaller units, complemented by technology such as the use of remote-controlled boats to set up a decoy while another unit speeds ashore with a remote-operated UAV to help identify their targets. This has to be reached within the next three years.

British Royal Marines operator posing with his weapon
British Royal Marines: ‘The scale and ambition of our transformation is significant’ (Photo: PA)

The other major change is related to the basic Royal Marines unit, a Troop. It will be reduced from 30 operators to 16.

The regiment currently operates one specialist maritime unit, 42 Commando, which is deployed in small groups in areas such as the Gulf and mounts maritime interdiction operations against piracy and to protect shipping from potential Iranian attacks in the Strait of Hormuz.

But now Maj-Gen Holmes wants the entire 3 Commando Brigade – the Royal Marines’ main fighting arm –  to become a special operations force, similar to its USMC counterpart, Express reported.

  1. there are enough experienced marines to perform these specialised tasks and to get rid of the light infantry role. at most we need 1500 marines for rapid reaction, recce, interdiction of pirates, guarding nuclear and petroleum assets. the rest get p45 or re-role
    our airborne friends shd suffer the same fate- there are few of them anyway and they cant fight any well armed enemy of any size for long. para soldiers should do the sneaky stuff behind the lines, not pose as yet more useless light infantry.
    PS all regt and battn shd be abolished along with all cap badges- inf soldier are then part of a corp and all the stupid internal rivalries can be dumped

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