Taden gun

The TADEN was a British experimental light machine gun firing the .280 in (7 mm) intermediate round. Alongside the bullpup EM-2 rifle design, it formed part of a proposal to reequip the British Army with new small arms which would use a round smaller than the .303 inch which was shown to be impractical for use in a modern assault rifle.

TADEN machine gun
TypeLight machine gun
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1951
Used byUnited Kingdom
Length889 mm
Barrel length623 mm

Cartridge.280 British
Calibre.276 (7 mm)
Actiongas operation
Rate of fire450 to 600 round/min
Feed systemNon-Disintegrating Metal-Link Belt

The TADEN used the action and gas system of the Bren but would fire from 250-round non-disintegrating metal-link belts rather than box magazines. The light machinegun model used a buttstock and trigger group like the Bren and the medium machine gun model used spade grips and a butterfly trigger like the Vickers.

The TADEN would replace the Bren gun as the light machine gun and the Vickers machine gun as the medium machine gun. The EM-2 would replace the Lee–Enfield rifle and 9 mm submachine guns.

The TADEN and EM-2 projects were discontinued when the United States Army refused to consider the .280 cartridge for the new NATO standard on the basis that it was less powerful than their .30-06 Springfield round (and, as others have suggested,[1] the reluctance to adopt a round developed outside the USA).

It was decided that the TADEN and EM-2 could not realistically be reworked to take the new NATO round and alternatives were sought. The British Army reequipped with licence-built variants of the Belgian 7.62 mm FN MAG and FN FAL respectively. A belt fed derivative of the Bren gun had been considered for the GPMG role, but although not selected the Bren was kept on after adaptation to use the NATO round.

Notes and references

  1. Hogg, Machine Guns, p.172: "Not Invented Here".
  • Hogg, Ian (2002). Machine Guns: 14th Century to Present. DBI Books. ISBN 0-87349-288-9.
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