When the SA80 was introduced in the 1980s it was the first infantry rifle fielded by the British Army that came with an optical sight as standard. The SUSAT sight, standing for ‘Sight Unit, Small Arms, Trilux’ is a very robust unit and can take a lot of punishment, but it was recognised that a sight cover would be needed for use in the field just to protect the lenses of the sight from accidental damage. The first sight covers issued were made of a plain green cordua nylon, similar to the fabric used in the contemporary first issue of the PLCE web set:The design of the cover is very simple, with a square profile to each end of the cover, the panels being made up of a separate piece of fabric sewn to the main body:A channel is sewn around the base of the cover for a cord to pass through:Originally this cord would have had a plastic toggle on it, but this has been lost and the two ends just tied together:The cover was placed over the sight and the cord drawn tighter to prevent it from coming off the rifle. This design was soon found to be inadequate as the covers could easily become dislodged in the field. An updated version of the sight cover was introduced with a piece of elastic around the base rather than the cord. Again this was initially made in plain green, but later versions included DPM and MTP material to match the rest of the user’s equipment. Vinyl action and hand guard covers were also produced for use with the rifles when they were used for ceremonial duties.
This sight cover does not have any visible markings on it, however they are usually stamped on the inside of the cover with an NSN number and date.