A few years ago we looked at a Small Arms Weapon Effect Simulator harness here. This harness was only part of the system, and to accompany it a laser emitting module attached to the rifle was needed. This was originally produced for the SLR rifle, however on the introduction of the SA80, the fixing points on the sights were modified to allow them to be attached to this rifle. The sight itself is a large black box unit which would have had a cable running from the front of the sight down to an activating switch secured to the trigger, which is missing on this example. Mounted to the top of the SA80, the sight is large and bulky but not impossible to use:

Taking the sight off of the rifle allows us to better look at it. It is a black metal casting, with a rail on the base to secure it to the rifle, with a pair of twist screws to hold it firm:

Cast into the side of the sight are its designation ‘SAWES’ and an arrow pointing to the battery box- it takes a square 9V battery to power its internal laser. As it does project a laser, it has the requisite safety labels on the side to indicate this. The small attached label with the number on it looks like a rack number added by an armourer for internal auditing purposes so the sights can be tracked when issued and returned by soldiers, the sight being presumably quite an expensive bit of equipment when new:

The opposite side of the sight has a label with the NSN number and designation, together with a large /|\ property mark. The red screw is for pressuring the sight with the inert gas it needs to operate or to flush it with dry air to remove condensation and prevent the lenses blooming:

As mentioned above, the sight would have a cable running from it to a trigger switch. This attaches to the front of the sight and a small metal cap is fitted to protect the electrical connector when the cable is not attached:

The opposite end of the sight has the eyepiece, with a rubber cup for comfort:

The reticule inside the sight consists of a large, downward facing pointer and so mirrors the older SUIT sight, rather than the upwards pointing arrow of a SUSAT:

I suspect that this sight was originally for use on the SLR as it has a date of 1984 on it, and was then adapted to the new rifle later and so replicates the earlier style of sight.

The SAWES system has remained in use for many years. I am unclear if it is still used, but pictures from as late as 2015 still show soldiers using the system, although it is unclear if the sights had been updated by that point. The sights themselves do appear on the collector’s market occasionally although rarely are they cheap. I have now got the vest and sight, I still need to find the helmet band and the trigger control cable to finish the set however.

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