The U.S. Army’s PEO Soldier has awarded Remington Arms Company a contract for the modification of 250 M24 sniper rifles, a first batch of up to 3,600 M-24s to be modified into the XM2010 weapon systems – what the Army calls the M24E1 ”reconfigured Sniper Weapon System”. The modified rifle is chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges, (originally the M-24 was designed for 7.62mm NATO .308 Winchester) significantly extending the weapon’s maximum effective range from 800 to 1,200 meters. The Army expects to begin fielding the upgraded weapons to deployed U.S. Army Snipers by the end of December 2010. The current upgrade is expected to sustain the XM2010 weapon system in service for at least 10 years and will serve as a precursor to future sniper systems. The value of the current award is $192,000 while the potential value of the entire program could reach $28.2 million
According to LTC Chris Lehner, Product Manager Individual Weapons at PEO Soldier, the program has matured within less than a year, through close cooperation between the Army and industry. “The XM2010 had pinpoint precision,” said SFC Robert Roof, NCOIC/Chief Instructor, United States Army Sniper School. “We were able to achieve shots well within the weapon’s capabilities both during limited visibility and during the day. The optics were clear and easy to use and the ergonomics of the weapon made it very comfortable to shoot.”
Besides the chambering to match the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge, The M24 Sniper Weapon Systems upgrade comprises a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm Extended Range / Tactical riflescope with advanced scalable ranging and targeting reticlel fielded with the AN/PVS-29 Clip-on Sniper Night Sight, and quick attach/detach suppressor to reduce audible and visible signature with an available thermal sleeve that reduces mirage effect on heated suppressors. The weapon uses a five-round box magazine, offering easier load and reload with the additional option to change out ammunition quickly. Each modified M-24 rifle has also gets rail endowed chassis and free floating barrel that allow for easier mounting of weapon accessories and greater accuracy, a folding and adjustable stock that includes comb and length-of-pull adjustments.
DSM Dyneema has been awarded a contract for the development of an improved combat helmet based on advanced Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) material solution. DSM Dyneema has been focusing on research and development of new UHMPWE series of materials to substantially lighten the load for military and law enforcement. As part of the contract the company will develop new unidirectional (UD) materials suitable for the improved combat helmet next generation improved combat helmet application, offering superior ballistic performance at lower weight.
The company launched the Dyneema HB80 in June 2009. Initially known as Prototype Dyneema X31, this UD composite material has undergone extensive ballistic and secondary property testing, demonstrating the potential to significantly lighten the load carried by soldiers, providing greater comfort and mobility for soldiers wear protective gear. HB80 offers over the highest ballistic performance on the market today. With 35 percent greater protection against fragmentation threats and its advanced ballistic properties, SWAT helmets made of HB80 could be produced with half the weight of today’s models. This material has now been selected for both body and vehicle armor applications where ultra-light weight and enhanced performance are required.
The HB80 has been extensively tested and evaluated in different helmet constructions and is currently in the final development testing phase of ECH program. The ECH will use manufacturing techniques different from those associated with resin-impregnated para-aramids while the UHMWPE uses advanced thermoplastic processing.
According to DSM Dyneema the company is already working with all major helmet manufacturers involved in the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) program. Unlike previous models made of Kevlar, Improved versions of the ECH will employ the high tech UHMWPE developed specifically to address the requirements of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The program is a joint PEO Soldier/Marine Corps Systems Command developmental effort that will provide increased protection against ballistic and fragmentation threats. Previous reports about the ECH mentioned that the new lightweight helmet will match or exceed the ballistic fragmentation resistance of current helmets offering a significant weight reduction of approximately 20%, which means above 0.5 pounds as compared to the older designs (reference).
ReconRobotics has introduced a new, versatile add-on to the Recon Scout Micro Robot enabling the use of the robot either as a remotely controlled sensor or static, elevated ‘Pole Cam’. The novel device enables military scouts to mount the Micro Robot on the 20 inch (0.52 m) long ‘Recon Scout Search Stick’, a quipped with actuated jaws that grasp the 1.2 pound Recon Scout micro robot.
The telescopic pole can be extended to 72 inch (1.78 m) in fully retracted mode, enabling scouts to easily see over a 12 foot (3.65 m) wall or into a second story window while maintaining protective cover. Throughout such inspections the robot transmits live video to a handheld operator control unit. The SearchStink can also be used to quietly place the robot at elevated or confined space, where it can then search the location for adversaries, IEDs or other threats. Once the inspection has been completed, the operator can use the jaws on the SearchStick to retrieve the robot.
According to Alan Bignall, president and CEO of ReconRobotics, more than 1,200 Recon Scout Micro Robots are currently operational, and the new device will provide users unique new capabilities to gaining visual access into walled compounds, rooftops, attics, ventilation systems, tunnels and crawl spaces. And because most Recon Scout robots are equipped with infrared optical systems, this visual reconnaissance can be conducted even in complete darkness. “This ‘Know Before You Go’ capability allows tactical teams to quickly and safely clear large multi-level structures before personnel enter these environments” Said Bignall.
Several branches of the U.S. military and international forces have deployed Recon Scout robots around the world, and are employed in route clearing operations, remote reconnaissance and IED inspection. Nearly 200 police and security agencies use Recon Scout robots for tactical reconnaissance, including the many police tactical teams as well as the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Border Patrol, DEA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When multiple robots are employed simultaneously in the same location, by different agencies, each robot operates on any of three transmitting frequencies, allowing police and military personnel to operate up to three robots in the same environment at the same time.
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd. was established after privatization of the former Israel Military Industries (IMI) Small Arms Division, which has been the leading weapon manufacturer in Israel for over 70 years.
Company Website: israel-weapon.com
IWI Product Line:
Today, IWI is part of a group of companies specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of defense products for the local, and international market, offering equipment to customers, including military forces and law- enforcement agencies.
Employing state of the art design, development and manufacturing technologically, IWI has consistently provided weapons favored by the best military and police forces around the world – from the legendary UZI SMG to IWI’s latest addition, the TAVOR, X-95 Assault Rifles and NEGEV Light Machine Gun.
Development, manufacturing, testing and quality assurance, specified to the most stringent military standards, are carried out in-house at IWI’s facilities, enabling the company to operate efficiently, maintain highest quality standards, while rapidly adapting to customer- requirements and market trends.
IWI’s firearms are developed in close collaboration with the IDF. IWI and the IDF established joint Research and Development (R&D) teams, to create the weapons, whose ultimate configuration is the product of ongoing interaction, field tests and modifications, applied from most recent combat requirements.
IWI Product Line:
IWI is one of the world’s leading producers of combat proven small arms for over 70 years. The company’s range of weapon systems include:
The Tavor was developed by IWI in cooperation with the IDF. Its compact rifle and long barrel are key attributes for its excellent usability for modern, asymmetric combat. The weapon has an integral, advanced and accurate sighting system attached directly to the barrel. Designed with optimal ergonomics Tavor increases the user’s comfort and confidence level.
The standard LMG of the Israel Defense Forces. High reliability and versatility that suits a large variety of operations. NEGEV can optimized for dismounted operations. It can also be used as vehicle mounted weapon, on helicopters or naval crafts.
Galil is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine fed multi-purpose personal weapon. It is designed for firing from the shoulder or hip. The Galil was combat proven as a highly reliabile weapon, proving itself in difficult and extreme conditions. The ACE is based upon the reliable mechanism of the GALIL. It is perfectly suitable for modern battle field, with enhanced human engineering. The five Picatinny rails allow adding an array of optical devices and accessories. The ACE is easy to use and simple to maintain.
This is a semi automatic sniper rifle, designed for high accuracy, ease of operation and convenient carriage under tough operating conditions. The weapon is offered with a folding stock for use by special units and law enforcement. Galil Sniper Rifle is in service with military and government agencies worldwide.
The first and leading SMG. The legendary UZI has been the most popular weapon for over 50 years. Since the introduction in 1956 over 2 million units were sold worldwide. The combat-proven UZI has proved itself as the most reliable SMG to date.
IWI is offering two types of handguns – the Jericho and Barak. Jericho is built on a high quality, all steel construction. Its barrel has polygonal rifling for greater accuracy and longer barrel life. Among the ergonomic features are the forward-positioned center of gravity providing for reduce barrel jump, polymer stock and safety on slide. Barak Is a lightweight, ergonomically designed handgun offered for self-defense and law enforcement needs. It is available in 3 cal: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.
Thales Australia is supplying the Australian Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) over 35,000 Bullet Trap Blank Firing Attachments (BTBFAs) designed for the Australian assault rifle Austeyr F88. The BTBFA is a patented technology registered by Thales Australia. The bullet trap is attached to the end of the rifle barrel and enables the weapon to function when firing blank ammunition. If a live round is inadvertently fired, the bullet is retained within the BTBFA, preventing injury to bystanders or the soldier firing the weapon. It is colored red to enable easy identification of their use during exercises. It will be used on training ranges.
BTBFAs weighs about half the weight of the current in-service bayonet, and are optimized for the new Thales F3A1 blank round. A major advantage over conventional Blank Firing Attachment (BFA) is that the BTBFA is designed to actually stops an accidental firing of a live round, before it leaves the barrel, compared to conventional BFA which provides the back pressure to enable blank firing. According to Thales, BTBFA can stop a live round travelling at 800 m/sec down the barrel, in the space of 6cm. Thales Australia has also designed BTBFAs for use with other in-service weapons.
The VBL-H employs a LED light flashing at a high rate – strobe of up to 30 flashes per second, producing a high
intensity white light or infrared beam with low power consumption. The effective range is one kilometer. Beam angle can also be tuned from a 1° spot to 20°.
VBL-H is part of a day/night target acquisition and fire control solution for crew served weapons, known as MDNS-CSW. An Operator equipped with the MDNS-CSW system is able to recognize, engage, and defeat enemy personnel and targets during close-in or extended range combat in open terrain or urban area. The system comprises a day and night sights, the VBL-H illumination device, and high-power laser aiming light.
Fire control solutions are provided by the ballistic processor module that interfaces with all sights to provide targeting data and aiming corrections. The weapon employing the MDNS-CSW can be operated manually from a remote control unit configured with two-grip handler. MDNS-CSW is designed to match four typical crew-served weapons employed by the U.S. Special Forces, including the M2HB, .50 Cal heavy machine gun, the MK44 Minigun, M240 series 7.62mm medium machine guns and Series MK-19 and MK-47 automatic grenade launcher.
In April 2010 General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) has won a $3 million contract for a technology demonstration (TD) and evaluation of its competing MPM-NLWS candidate system known as ‘Medusa’, developed in cooperation with ATK Aerospace Systems.
The GD-OTS ATK team plans to modify the advanced 66mm grenade and launcher technology to provide improved counter-personnel and non-lethal capabilities that temporarily incapacitate targets through intense light, sound and pressure stimuli.
The Medusa uses an articulated launcher and fire control system, firing non-lethal grenade munitions with electronic, in-tube, range-programmable fuzing that provides precision placement of the non-lethal effect. In addition to the new MPM, the launcher will retain its capability to deploy the current inventory of 66mm non-lethal and obscuration-effect.
Australian based Metal Storm ltd. has recently won two contracts for non lethal variants of its stacked, electronically fired weapon system. These wins underline the company’s recent shift into the developing market of non-lethal weapon and munitions, expected to rapidly grow in the coming years. The first contract was an order worth $3.36 million received from Papua New Guinea, to equip the island’s corrective service with 500 MAUL weapons and 50,000 non-lethal ammunition rounds. The second was a $1.48 development contract awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps in April 2010. This contract funds the development and demonstration of Mission Payload Module for the Non Lethal Weapon System (MPM-NLWS) based on Metal Storm’s FireStorm weapon system.
According to Dr. Lee J. Finniear, CEO of Metal Storm the two contracts indicate the company’s focus on non lethal weapon systems, realizing that its core technologies – lightweight, high firepower and capability to deliver accurate scalable response are essential capabilities for moderate warfare, peacekeeping and law enforcement applications. The employment of several payloads in succession without reloading is a unique advantage of the electrical firing method employed by Metal Storm. “This requirement is growing rapidly and few, if any technologies can compete with the clear advantage of Metal Storm.” Said Finniear.
The U.S. Army began fielding the new second generation Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), with first kits delivered to soldiers scheduled to deploy to the Afghan theater. Shipments will soon follow to units already in theater. “The latest design Gen-II IOTV vest includes 17 improvements over the Gen-I vest. The new IOTV is designed with more versatile, modular approach, allowing units to configure their gear to better confront multiple threat levels in their unique environment” said Major Craig Fournier from PEO Soldier.
Improvements include a totally redesigned and removable yoke and collar, reversible and detachable side carriers and universal side pouch, and equipment anchor points on the front and rear which interface with items such as hydration systems and the Tactical Assault Panel or (TAP). In addition, the new design has better adjustability in the shoulders and hips, to better fit all sizes. The newly designed location for the side-plate is also adjustable to the wearer. Given the enhanced flexibility and modularity of the new kit, soldiers will be able to wear a more comfortable vest, and carry just the equipment they need for a mission. When required or possible, they could strip the IOTV down to its basic function, becoming a light weight load carrying vest, retaining effective protection, maneuverability and flexibility.
“A mounted soldier manning an MRAP turret has the option to utilize all accessories such as deltoid, front, and back protectors for maximum protection, while a dismounted soldier in the mountains can strip the IOTV down to the base vest, removing the side pouch, side plates, and accessory pieces, slimming the IOTV down to a trim 9.86 pounds, minus the plates” Maj. Fournier added, “this configuration gives the commander the flexibility to reduce the combat load while still maintaining increased fragmentation and 9mm protection.” Kits are currently produced in Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (Multicam) and the Universal Camo Pattern (UCP).