When I visited Thales Australia to conduct a T&E of the EF88 assault rifle and ML40AUS grenade launcher in September, I took a few basic photos of the (relatively) new F1A1 ammunition. The cartridge differs from the earlier standard F1 cartridge in several ways, featuring green painted tips, modified case wall thickness, a new propellant AR2210V01, new primer cup design, and a projectile with modified boat tail length and meplat (tip diameter). Some information is available in this Thales presentation.
I’m hoping to get a better look at the manufacturing facility (in Benalla, Victoria) for the F1A1 and at the relevant components in the future, but here are a few images:
Examples I saw were 2010 and 2011. The dashes on either side (3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions) designate the cartridge as F1A1, rather than F1 etc. As you can see, the tip painting was fairly haphazard. The rounds we received were packaged in two ways:
1.) in 50 round plastic trays, with each 5 rounds being sealed in individual ‘blister packs’.
2.) in 15 round plastic chargers. These sit atop the mouth of the magazine, and are fast and easy to load.
A photo of a loaded charger from the Lithgow Small Arms Museum:
Please forgive the limited and expedient photography; the focus of the day was the weapons systems. Hopefully some more detailed images and information will follow.
[…] M856, and F3A1 cartridges, with the weapon performing satisfactorily with all cartridges tested. The F1A1 cartridge has an optimised projectile (modified boat tail length and meplat diameter), a redesigned cartridge case, and utilises […]