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The Royal Artillery

Commonly known as the ‘Gunners’, the Royal Artillery provides firepower to the British Army. We are responsible for finding the enemy using a variety of high-tech equipment and then, when we need to, striking them using everything from explosive shells to advanced precision rockets.

AS90 in action You Tube video

The AS-90 was first deployed by the British Army in 1993, which replaced the 105 mm FV433 Abbot SPG, the M109 155 mm Self Propelled Gun and the FH-70 155 mm towed gun.

The AS-90 is used by three regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Artillery (1 RHA, 19 Regt RA and 26 Regt RA).

The equipment we use

Download the full transcript for this video

Light Gun - The versatile 105 mm Light Gun is used by the Parachute and Commando Field Artillery Regiments of the British Army.

MAMBA Weapon Locating Radar is an air portable, small and accurate system. MAMBA automatically detects, locates and classifies multiple artillery, rockets and mortars and carries out a threat assessment based on weapon or impact positions.

HVM - The Starstreak HVM (High Velocity Missile) is designed to counter threats from very high performance, low-flying aircraft and fast 'pop up' strikes by helicopter attacks

GMLRS - The weapon system is manned by three Gunners and is mounted on a tracked armoured launcher, which is highly robust and manoeuvrable. The launcher easily copes with the harsh environment and challenging terrain.

MUAS - The British Army's 'eye in the sky' in support of Land Forces on operations. Desert Hawk III is a small man-portable UAS surveillance system which provides essential day and night aerial video reconnaissance.

Rapier Field Standard C is a technologically advanced Short Range Air Defence System (SHORAD) and is in service with the Royal Artillery.

Parachute and Commando Regiments are specialist Regiments, serving alongside the Parachute Regiment or Royal Marines.

Modern electronic communications systems coupled with available computer processing power give today's commanders an unrivalled picture of battlefield developments as they happen.

The Role of Our Soldiers

In order to do the job we need to do, on operations and at home, we rely on capable, highly-motivated soldiers and officers to operate and command a growing number of assets.

Some of our soldiers specialise in finding the enemy. They do this using unmanned aerial systems, digital cameras, radars and by being right at the front-line with the infantry. Others will specialise in delivering a kinetic effect, that is to say, they operate the Royal Artillery’s guns, missiles and rockets.

We also have soldiers who specialise in providing the communication and logistic support to enable the Royal Artillery to function.

We have regiments that support the Paras and the Commandos, and as a Combat Support Arm all of our regiments work closely with the infantry, tanks and attack helicopters.

Finally, we even have a ceremonial role- the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which has remained largely unchanged for almost 100 years!

The Royal Artillery today

The Royal Artillery comprises both Regular (full-time) and Reserve (part-time) units, located all around the UK and in Germany. We were originally formed in 1716 in Woolwich, in South-East London, which remained our Regimental home for almost 300 years.

Our home is now in Larkhill, on the southern edge of Salisbury Plain, which is a perfect setting for training and preparing our soldiers, officers and equipment. Our Regiment is unique in the British Army because of the emphasis we have always placed on our sub-units: our batteries. Batteries can deploy independently, move around between regiments and even perform different roles to one another within a single regiment.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Royal Artillery’s Captain General. This means that the Royal Artillery answers directly to our reigning sovereign. We do this through the Master Gunner, St James’s Park who is Her Majesty’s chief advisor on artillery matters. The Royal Artillery is constantly changing and adapting to the requirements of a changing defence environment.

We introduce new, state-of-the-art equipment into our arsenal every year, and our soldiers and officers have to be intelligent, flexible and fit enough to cope with the demands of the modern battlefield.

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