Jan 31, 2011

Photo of the Month January 2011

0.50 cal Ammunition
Click picture to enlarge

Advanced illuminating rounds give Soldiers fighting edge at night

Soldiers now have the ability to engage the enemy far more effectively at night after the recent full materiel release of three infrared illuminating cartridges/projectiles.
The term “full materiel release” means that the Army has rigorously tested and evaluated the item and determined that it is safe, operationally suitable, and logistically supportable for use by Soldiers.
The M1064 105mm Infrared Illuminating Cartridge; the M1066 155mm Infrared Illuminating Projectile; and the M992 40mm Infrared Illuminant Cartridge were approved for full materiel release via the Program Executive Office for Ammunition (PEO Ammo), headquartered at Picatinny.
“PEO Ammo manages and oversees the acquisition and lifecycle of all conventional ammunition for U.S. warfighters,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan Maddux, Picatinny Senior Commander and the Program Executive Officer for Ammunition.
“Products like infrared illuminating cartridges and projectiles are just a few examples of how we strive to be leaders in providing the best conventional, leap-ahead munitions that bring new and more effective capabilities to our joint warfighters.”

M1064 105mm Infrared (IR) Illuminating Cartridge

Approved for full materiel release on Dec. 9, 2010, the M1064 provides enhanced covert capability over the current 105mm, M314A3 Illuminating Cartridge (visible light) due to the candle’s faint visible signature while descending in the air.
Fired from an M119 series howitzer, the IR illumination capability of the M1064 greatly improves visibility in tactical operations against enemy targets during periods of darkness when using Night Vision Devices.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army photos.

Approved for full materiel release on Oct. 8, 2010, the M992 provides an illumination/signaling capability via an infrared candle – a first of its kind for the M203 and M320 grenade launchers. The round can also be fired from the legacy M79 grenade launcher

Ground coverage of IR illumination provides over 2.5 times the diameter of visible light illumination, which enables friendly forces using the M1064 greater fields of view to make a better assessment targets and to engage the enemy.
“IR illumination increases mobility during night operations, allowing the commander to shape tactical engagements, mass effects and support maneuverability from disparate locations and lessen over reliance on direct fires,” said William Vogt, Project Officer for Mortars and Artillery Illumination, Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM-CAS), the PEO Ammo group that manages the M1064.
Additionally, the M1064 uses the same firing solutions as the M314A3, which allows the use of two capabilities—infrared light and visible light—without firing adjustments.
The Army has 8,300 M1064s in inventory and plans to procure an additional 5,500 by the end of fiscal year 2011. Plans call for acquisition of approximately 3,000 cartridges every other year. The M1064IR Cartridge is slightly higher in cost than the M314A3, but it provides improved capability.

M1066 155mm Infrared (IR) Illuminating Projectile
Approved for full materiel release on Oct. 14, 2010, the M1066 IR illumination artillery projectile provides approximately 120 seconds of IR illumination.
This round provides enhanced covert capability over the current 155mm M485 Visible Light projectile and greatly improves visibility in tactical operations against enemy targets when using Night Vision Devices.
In addition to the visibility enhancement, IR Illumination provides a covert capability due to its faint visible signature while in the air. Ground coverage of IR illumination provides over two times the diameter of illumination when compared to the M485A2 visible light illuminating projectile now in the U.S. inventory.
The M1066 can be fired from a 155mm howitzer system like the M109, M777, and M198 howitzers. It is fired with the M762A1 electronic time fuze and could be fired with the M119A2, M231, M232A1 propelling charge.
Like the M1064, the M1066 also provides warfighters the opportunity to use both infrared and visible light.
Also managed by PM-CAS, the Army plans to procure 7,000 M1066 rounds in fiscal year 2010, and 4,000 every other year. The U.S. Marine Corps plans on procuring 8,000 in fiscal year 2011 and approximately 4,000 every other year. The cost of the projectile is about the same as the visible light projectile.

M992 40mm Infrared (IR)Illuminant Cartridge

Approved for full materiel release on Oct. 8, 2010, the M992 provides an illumination/signaling capability via an infrared candle – a first of its kind for the M203 and M320 grenade launchers. The round can also be fired from the legacy M79 grenade launcher.
“The M992 provides a capability not previously available to the Soldier that takes advantage of U.S. Armed Forces technology to improve night-time operation success,” said Gregory Bubniak, Project Officer for 40mm Ammunition, Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS).
“It enhances night operation capabilities of troops equipped with night vision equipment, while producing minimal visual signature outside of the infrared spectrum. This will allow users to access the approximately 90,000 cartridges available in inventory."
Managed by PM-MAS, the Army plans to field approximately 22,000 M992 cartridges in 2011.
The M992 is approximately 50 percent more costly than visible light spectrum cartridges fired from the M203 and M320 (such as the M583A1, M661 and M662) due to the small quantities purchased. However, increased quantities would cut cartridge cost sharply, Bubniak said.
“The product cost is justified by the M992 capability when compared to limited alternative IR device options currently available to the user,” he said.

Jan 30, 2011

Armys Next-Gen Helmets For Troops

The U.S. Army’s next-gen helmets will offer high-tech communications, a heads-up-display and more ballistic protection…
The U.S Army is looking into new high-tech helmets that will feature state of the art communications, a heads-up-display and most importantly, more protection for troops on the battlefield.
With over 800 IEDs being found every month in Afghanistan, these make-shift bombs have literally become a soldier’s worst nightmare. And it’s not surprising; when an IED is detonated, it unleashes a shock-wave that travels around 1,000 feet per second, with a pressure of 100lbs per square inch.
These kinds of forces can easily cause brain damage, and while the Army’s standard-issue Kevlar combat helmet absorbs some of that force, it does not protect the face.
Research has shown that shockwaves still pass through the eyes, nose and mouth, and can still damage the brain. A software blast model developed by Institute of Technology aeronautical engineer Raúl Radovitzky and his colleagues, calculated that adding a face mask to a helmet could reduce the ballistic force by up to 80 percent.
One option already on the market, the Predator Facial Armor, does offer protection for the face, and it’s exactly that type of technology the Army wants to incorporate into its next-gen helmet.
Don Lee, the project officer of the “HEaDS-UP” Army Technology Objective, is currently developing shields for the face, as well as other helmet technologies, which they hope will be ready for review by 2013.
Another area where traditional helmets lack protection is support for the neck, movement and position of the head. Blasts often force soldiers off their feet, and this can jerk and twist the neck and head in ways that can and does cause damage.
That’s why other researchers are looking into customized shoulder harnesses to protect the head from being whipped forward, or side to side.
A similar technology is already utilized by NAS car drivers; however Army analysis shows that the system would be too restricting for troops.
Shawn Walsh and his team at the Army Research Lab are working on a design that won’t restrict movement, but will still offer the same kind of support. The team hopes to have a working model ready sometime later this year.
Although it may still be a few years before a next-gen helmet becomes standard-issue, it’s clear what the Army are working towards. Here’s a quick list of feature we can expect to find when they finally get deployed.

U.S. Army's Next-Gen Helmet Concept Drawing
Possible features of the U.S. Army’s next-gen helmets

Head up display – Would most likely by an updated version of the Land Warrior system. Inside the helmet is a transparent display where soldiers can view maps, track fellow soldiers and enemies and make use of computer-aided weapons sighting.
Communications – Special noise-reducing ear-buds could instantly reduce any noise louder than 85 decibels, this is considered a safe level for the ears. The ear-bud would also play incoming transmissions directly and covertly into the troop’s ear, and a microphone would relay outgoing transmissions to other troops in the network.
Face Shield and Integrated Mandible protection – As mentioned already, this would help deflect the shock-wave of the blast away from the eyes, nose and mouth.
Shoulder Mounted Exoskeleton - This would help reduce the added weight of a high-tech helmet. It would also prevent the head from being snapped or jerked side to side.
Radar System – In 2009 the Army announced that it was researching a helmet-mounted radar system that would provide a 360-degree field of view Moving Target Indicator. In other words, the system would be able to scan for, and warn the soldier of any threats lurking out of view.

Jan 29, 2011


01.26.2011– Montreal, QC, Canada – Revision, leading developer of ballistic protective eyewear for militaries worldwide, has secured a $2.7 million contract with the Canadian DND to supply Air Force members with Ballistic Eyewear (BEW), also known as the Sawfly Spectacle System. The initial contract is to supply 33,000 kits and 40,000 additional lenses in 2011 with a 5 year option period. Revision’s Sawfly Ballistic Eyewear was selected for its excellent ballistic and optical properties as well as the company’s past performance record. Revision first won the BEW contract for Canadian land forces in 2003 and has supplied this eyewear through the 2003 – 2010 period.

“Revision is proud to provide the Canadian Air Force with their protective eyewear needs,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO of Revision. “Today’s battlefield requires protection from a growing list of threats, from IED shrapnel and flying debris to harmful laser wavelengths. Revision’s Sawfly Ballistic Eyewear is a single system that provides powerful ballistic protection and, at the customer’s request, the ability to protect against laser threats with high-performance, specialty lenses.”

Revision’s Sawfly Ballistic Eyewear is an all-purpose spectacle designed to provide protection on a 24-hour, all-weather continuum. Maximizing fit, function and comfort, Sawfly Eyewear provides superior ballistic protection, exceeding stringent Canadian performance specifications, ANSI Z87.1-2010 and U.S. military ballistic impact requirements (MIL-PRF-31013, clause and MIL-DTL-43511D, clause 3.5.10); flawless optics for distortion-free vision; and rugged durability to protect and perform through all the rigors of combat. This versatile eyewear system can be outfitted with laser protective lenses to block multiple wavelengths of light. It is also prescription capable with an optional Rx Carrier.

Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic)

The Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) debuted at SHOT last week. The scope has been put together with law enforcement officers in mind. The basic optic is comparable to the Aimpoint CompM2 but with the more popular 2 MOA dot (emitter) rather than the larger 4 MOA dot. It features a QPR2 quick release mount which is also found on the military Aimpoint CompM4. With its 30,000 hour (3 - 4 year) battery life Aimpoint recommends turning it on and leaving it on. The MSRP is $440.

Jan 25, 2011

Magpul Dynamic’s Art of the Precision Rifle

Magpul Dynamics is going to release a new precision shooting DVD to add to their “Art of” video series.
Magpul Dynamics teamed up with world class precision marksman Todd Hodnett of Accuracy 1st training to create the new Magpul Dynamics Precision Shooting Video.

Jan 24, 2011

New Magpul product, shot show 2011

This is the newest product coming from Magpul dynamics. This product is not for Mall Ninjas or Armchair commandos, it is intended for only the most Tier 1 Tactical operators that like to stay hydrated with there favorite Tactical Tier 1 energy drink...Monster Assault.

                          Very funny video...........must see

Jan 23, 2011

SAAB A/T Carl Gustaf Trainer

The Carl-Gustaf system is designed and suitable for a wide range of missions. It is light and ruggedized and its multi-purpose capability provides freedom of action for the commander in all environments. There is a suitable type of ammunition for any kind of advanced operation, making the Carl-Gustaf the true multi-mission system. 
For training activities, Carl-Gustaf offers sub-calibre trainers, full-calibre practice rounds and simulators to meet different training objectives such as gunnery training and combat training. A cost effective training solution can be tailorised. 


Jan 22, 2011

Meprolight Mepro Mor

Meprolight, a provider of innovative weapon sights, today announced the global availability of MEPRO MOR–a multi-purpose, multi-activated “red dot” reflex sight with laser designators. Meprolight has started mass production of the innovative sight, and the product is already being used by a number of military forces around the world.
MEPRO MOR is the only sight that actually includes three possibilities in one sight: passive sight (operated without batteries), an active reflex sight for low light conditions, and dual laser pointers (red laser and/or infrared). The possibility of using the sight without batteries offers cost and energy savings, and enables the soldier to stay in the field longer. Reserve units can store the sights for years and use it immediately when necessary.

The user can adjust the passive sight’s illumination intensity, according to the external illumination level, using a special switch. The sight has also a one-time zeroing procedure that enables the user to set only one aiming point, and the other sights are zeroed accordingly.
MEPRO MOR is designed and fabricated to the highest military standards, to assure years of reliable operation under all field conditions. The sight weighs only 450 grams and the laser intensity can be adjusted to 1-5MW, according to the client’s request.

The MEPRO MOR, which was developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), is specially designed for quick and instinctive accurate shooting. The large field of view (30 mm diameter) assures effective use of the sight under extreme conditions, such as bad weather or firing after physical stress and under pressure. It also assures rapid target acquisition with one or both eyes open, and rapid transition between long range and close quarters engagements.
“MEPRO MOR enables quick action and instinctive, accurate shooting ability,” said Golan Kalimi, Meprolight’s Vice President of Marketing.

  • "all-in-one-sight" boosts ability while lowering costs by eliminating the need to purchase separate laser and\or IR designator
  • Operates under extreme temperature and weather conditions
  • Daytime confidence under low-light conditions
  • Totally integrated day/night sighting
  • Passive self-illuminated system
  • Large 30mm diameter lens provides a large FOV for rapid target acquisition and quite shooting in urban areas
  • LED for extra bright modes
  • Variety of adapters
  • Passive reflex – always ready for action
  • Active reflex – extra bright LED dot for special conditions
  • Red laser designator for urban or close quarters
  • IR laser designator – for covert operations

ATF posts 2010 southern California Gun data.

John A. Torres, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announces the release of aggregate trace data for crime guns submitted to ATF for tracing for calendar year 2010.
A review of the trace data compiled from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010 (from a data set run Jan. 4 through 6, 2011) of several regions within Southern California revealed the following:

32,673 crime guns were recovered statewide by California law enforcement agencies and submitted to ATF to be traced.
21,802 crime guns were traced by Southern California law enforcement agencies.
Statewide, recovered handguns outnumbered long guns by nearly 2 to 1 – this ratio is consistent statewide.

35 percent of all firearms recovered in California were recovered by Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies, and 17 percent were recovered by the Los Angeles Police Department, primarily within the City of Los Angeles.
Approximately 2,000 crime guns were recovered and traced by ATF Agents from the Los Angeles Field Division as part of ongoing ATF investigations. Additional traces are also initiated by local law enforcement agencies and other federal law enforcements agents as part of joint investigations.

There were over 3,200 crime guns recovered and traced in Southern California from young adults aged 18 to 24, and another 600 recovered from youths aged 12-17.

“One of the tools to protect the public is the tracing of firearms that are recovered and working to solve those crimes with our law enforcement counterparts,” said Torres. “Tracing crime guns is a valuable tool when dealing with crimes of violence involving firearms. These traces provide law enforcement another piece of evidence or a starting point when trying to identify suspects in senseless acts of violence and firearm trafficking crimes.”
A key component of ATF’s enforcement mission is the tracing of firearms on behalf of the thousands of federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies. Analyzing the comprehensive trace results gives ATF the ability to track illegal trafficking patterns and dismantle the organizations that put firearms into the hands of gang members and violent felons. ATF also gains insight into the types of criminal offenses committed in Southern California.
A firearm trace may be initiated by any law enforcement agency. There is no comprehensive federal database of firearm purchases. Firearm traces may result in stolen firearms being returned to an owner who was unaware that the gun was stolen.
One case in particular involved two murder investigations that spanned several years in the Los Angeles County.
Firearms trace information along with NBIN, (National Ballistics Identification Network), helped identify the suspect who was arrested and charged with both crimes in 2010.
Significantly, ATF has received and processed nearly 280,000 firearm traces in California in the last 10 years.

California has considerably more traces than any other state in the country, the next highest state being Florida with approximately 163,000 traces for the same time period.
California Penal Code 11108.3, which went into effect in January 2002, requires law enforcement agencies to trace all firearms recovered in a crime. Since the laws inception, the number of firearms traces increased from 16,000 to more than 27,000, nearly double the number of firearms traced in 2001. The number of traces have continued to increase since then, averaging about 33,000 traces a year in the last four years. (It is anticipated that training provided by ATF and continued system enhancements by CA-DOJ, will result in even more successful traces each year.

“If we can prevent just one violent crime by tracing crime guns with our state and local partners, I will consider this program a success,” said Torres.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.

Jan 20, 2011

FN Herstal Wins French Competition for 7.62 Machine Guns

The French DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement) has selected the MAG machine gun manufactured by Belgium-based FN Herstal to replace its existing AN F1 machine guns.

MAG Machine Gun

The DGA confirmed this decision on December 15, 2010 as a result of an international competition.
The FN MAG machine guns will be mounted on vehicles in service with the French army. Transformation kits will be supplied as part of the contract to enable rapid conversion into dismounted weapons.
The contract includes the manufacture and supply of more than 10,000 MAG machine guns (7.62x51mm NATO caliber) over a period of several years.
An order for the first 500 units has already been placed by the DGA for delivery in 2011.

Jan 19, 2011

Picatinny 'squeezes in' solution for MRAP ammo stowage

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Duct tape, bungee cords, straps, netting, plywood. Do these items sound like safe and secure ways to store 200 pounds of ammunition on a combat vehicle in the middle of a war zone?

For years, Soldiers have been relying on their own makeshift methods to secure ammo containers inside Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, because they were not provided with any other solution. Virtually every cubic inch within an MRAP is occupied with mission-essential equipment, making ammunition stowage a challenge.

The situation posed several problems. Once Soldiers cut the straps or removed the bungee cords, it was difficult (and sometimes impossible) to re-secure the ammo again, especially in the rapid pace of a combat mission. Moreover, in the event of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion, loose ammunition containers and the make-shift storage materials Soldiers used could become deadly missiles inside an MRAP, even when the bomb failed to pierce the crew compartment.
But as a result of the innovation and expertise of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Soldiers are now using an Army-approved ammo stowage system that is safe, reliable and effective.

The system is called MARS, which stands for Modular Ammunition Restraint System. ARDEC has already sent more than 700 into combat zones. But that is only the beginning. The Army estimates that several thousand MARS will be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan within the year.

Custom design provides safer stowage.

Essentially, MARS is a custom-engineered bag, similar to a camera bag or backpack that holds standard metal ammunition containers. Inside the bag is a steel, L-shaped bracket that not only supports the weight of a full ammunition box (about 50 pounds), but it also provides a strong surface for mounting the bag to a custom interface rail, another component of the MARS system.
Additionally, the adjustable hook and loop closures (most-commonly known as Velcro) and specially-designed buckle allow Soldiers to tailor MARS for smaller ammunition containers

"The buckle used is called the 'Cobra' and is manufactured by Austi-Alpin," said Mike Ivankoe, an inventor of the MARS design with ARDEC's Packaging Division. "It's widely used in both military and mountaineering applications as it is extremely strong, reliable and easy to operate," Ivankoe said. "The design allows Soldiers to easily open, close and adjust it with gloves on or in the dark."
Manufactured by Black Hawk Products, MARS is made of commercially available, easy-to-manufacture materials, another reason the invention was able to be prototyped and mass-produced quickly. MARS is a government-developed and government-owned design that has been submitted for a patent from the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mike Ivankoe (left) and Peggy Wilson, engineers with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Packaging Division, and Lt. Col. Glenn Dean (currently Project Manager for Bradley Fighting Vehicles, not pictured) were the three inventors of the Modular Ammunition Restraint System (MARS), which provides Soldiers safe and effective ammo stowage on Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

From blueprint to battlefield

The story of MARS began in November of 2009 when ARDEC received a request from Soldiers in the field for better ammo stowage. Because loose ammo containers presented a risk of injury in the event of an IED blast or vehicle rollover, the Army sought an effective and timely solution.
The ARDEC team, including the Packaging and Future Concepts Division, Warfighter Central and the Quick Reaction Cell, responded immediately. Funding was provided through efforts by the Quick Reaction Cell and RDECOM's Forward Advisory Team for Science and Technology (FAST) office.

"We had an RG-31 at Picatinny, so we immediately went to the vehicle and spent hours inside it talking about our ideas," Ivankoe said. "We thought about shelves or collapsible racks. But then Lt. Col. Glenn Dean (currently PM for Bradley Fighting Vehicles) mentioned the concept of a bag, and the design just took off from there."
The three inventors of MARS - Ivankoe, Dean and Peggy Wilson, ARDEC Senior Packaging Engineer - fashioned an initial blueprint design in one weekend.
Within three months, ARDEC sent a working prototype to Afghanistan for Soldier feedback. This timeline is nearly unheard of in the world of research, development and acquisition. But because ARDEC used innovative thinking with in-house and industry resources, the prototype came together quickly.

The Joint Program Office (JPO) for MRAP has also been a key partner to the success of MARS. After the first MARS prototype came back along with excellent Soldier feedback, JPO-MRAP helped secure a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement, or JUONS - a necessary milestone to fund and field a new product.
"JPO-MRAP enabled ARDEC's innovation to become a reality for the warfighter," Ivankoe said. "Jennifer Johnson, Chief Engineer Vehicle Systems, JPO-MRAP, and Brian Ernst, Vehicle System Engineer, JPO-MRAP have been excellent partners in giving the project high priority to meet the urgent need."

The team made several design revisions to MARS based on feedback from Soldiers and load exercises conducted on MRAP variants. The final design was tested for high G-force shock survivability using an in-house fixture that was designed and modeled by Rob Kim, a senior packaging engineer who works within Ivankoe's group.
The next step was determining the best place to mount the interface rail inside the RG-31. The problem is the inside of the vehicles are already cramped for space.

There was no simple solution.

JPO-MRAP arranged for General Dynamics Land Systems, the original equipment manufacturer of the RG-31, to study optimal placement of MARS, including the repositioning of some equipment.
The manufacturer was also tasked to design the interface rail specific for the RG-31.
With these modifications, the team incorporated the MARS interface rail (which holds three MARS) into the current production of RG-31 vehicles.

"Kyle Bruner, JPO-MRAP and project manager for RG-31, has been a tremendous help in integrating MARS into the vehicle," Ivankoe said. "He and his team were just as committed to the project as we were."
ARDEC is supplying more than 700 MARS to be installed on 250 newly-arrived RG-31 vehicles in theater.
But the RG-31 isn't the only potential use for MARS. The team is also developing an interface rail for the M-ATV and Caiman MRAPs, among other variants.
"We are working with the JPO-MRAP project managers and the original equipment manufacturers for these vehicles," Ivankoe said. "We expect to have MARS integrated over the next few months."

Further updates to MARS include the development of a jumbo-sized MARS that can hold much larger ammunition containers, including those used to store 40mm grenades. The team is constantly looking for ways to expand, retrofit and integrate the invention to maximize Soldier benefit.
"MARS is a perfect example of how teamwork, motivation and a drive to achieve results can bring a much needed technology to our Soldiers in record-breaking time," Ivankoe said.

Jan 18, 2011

Gray Eagle UAS program expanding

Photo credit U.S. Army. The 3,200-pound Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) waits for its mission at sunset during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Jan. 14, 2011) -- Despite Defense budget constraints, the Army's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are growing, especially the Gray Eagle program.
"And with the budget movements afoot for the 2012 Fiscal Year, we will accelerate the Gray Eagle from two companies per year to three companies per year," said Tim Owens, deputy project manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Owens was among Army leaders speaking at the Association of the U.S. Army Aviation Symposium and Exposition, which brought more than 500 military, government and industry professionals together to discuss how to best sustain and acquire the required materiel to directly support the aviation warfighter and combatant commander during combat operations.

Although the theme for the Jan. 12-14 event at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, at National Harbor, Md., was "Full-Spectrum Aviation: Resilient and Adaptive for the Future Security Environment," the Unmanned Aircraft System garnered much interest with its ability to save lives on missions that are often referred to as too dull, dirty or dangerous for manned aircraft.

"We also expect to be funded to fill our needs for both video and wide-area surveillance capability," Owens said of the UAS program, adding that the Army will be asking for procurement of five additional attrition aircraft in February.

The Gray Eagle, one of the largest programs managed by UAS, will provide combatant commanders a much-improved real-time responsive capability to conduct long-dwell, wide-area reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and attack missions, Owens said.

The Gray Eagle addresses an ever-increasing demand for greater range, altitude, endurance and payload flexibility. At 3,200 pounds, this UAS has improved take-off and landing performance, coupled with the flexibility to operate with or without satellite communications data links. These are just some of the characteristics that make this system a combat multiplier.

"Gray Eagle is really the ultimate enabler for what we're trying to do," said Owens.

"With the Shadow class of systems at brigade, and the smaller class at battalion and below, you need to have a way to cue those systems to the targets, which we do with a variety of intel feeds," Owens said. "But the Gray Eagle will allow us to carry wide-area surveillance sensors, a wider array of payloads, and become a top-level cueing platform for us.

"It also becomes the network enabler in order for us to increase dissemination, not just from Gray Eagle, but from our other stuff because you can pass the information through Gray Eagle to the ground and things of that nature. So from that perspective, it is super important," Owens said.

"The other important breakthrough is MUSIC, which stands for Manned-Unmanned Systems Integration Capability. This will showcase complete and seamless interoperability between manned assets, unmanned assets and Soldiers on the ground," Owens said.

"So, in effect, what you're going to have is a universal operator being able to fly - whether it's a mid-range Shadow system, a larger Gray Eagle system, a Hunter system - be able to switch back and forth between those, or hand off control of that UAS to an Apache operator who can use that vehicle to 'laze' for him or something of that nature, but for the Apache operator to be able to see the image and control the aircraft from the cockpit of the Apache," Owens said.

Lt. Col. Jennifer Jensen, product manager for Common Systems Integrations, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, said a demonstration of these capabilities will occur at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, later this year.

"The Army has always been seen as a leader in making our systems as interoperable as possible. So, we're going to leverage off the one system remote video terminal that we started fielding in 2007 and expand that capability to the manned aircraft, because we put that technology into the Apache and the OH-58 and also the command and control Black Hawk," Jensen said.

"But what we're going to do on September 16th at Dugway in Utah is demonstrate these capabilities and go a little bit farther," she said.

According to Jensen, the Shadow, the Hunter and the Gray Eagle will be flown using the new universal ground control station that UAS has been fielding.

"Along with that, we're going to demonstrate the control from that One-System Remote Video Terminal - we call the OSRVT - from a couple of our platforms - their payloads. And that's the first time that we've ever done that for an audience in real life, not just in the simulation environment," Jensen said.

Also being highlighted, she said, are the Apaches, and the OH-58, doing some other operations, as well as relays with the unmanned systems and potentially even firing weapons.

"And, lastly, we're going to demonstrate our small aircraft family, the Raven and the Puma, being flown from a single controller. So we're very excited about this demonstration." Jensen said.

UAS will announce this demonstration in more detail this spring.

"This MUSIC demo is going to show all this integration, all this interoperability, and how everything is now coming to fruition. This has always been a plan for the Army and the direction we want to go to have all this seamless integration," said Col. Rob Sova, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command capabilities manager.

"Ground control becomes our center of gravity, and the systems in it will allow us to continue to operate whatever new technology comes not only from an air platform standpoint, but working with our maneuver center of excellence, from our infantry, as well. We have that capability and technology now," Sova said.

Night vision just the beginning for Army technology

The PVS-7 and PVS-14 night vision goggles are the latest generation night vision technology from the U.S. Army. The goggles allow the Warfighter to spot infrared illuminators not visible by the naked eye.
SAN ANTONIO -- Night vision technology developed by the U.S. Army now allows the American warfighter to own the night.

The PVS-7 and PVS-14 are third-generation binocular and monocular night vision goggles currently being used by the Army Infantry Soldier. The goggles have evolved significantly from previous generations as the Army continues its effort to empower, unburden and protect the warfighter.

The improvements to the products are a result of the partnership between the fighting force using them in combat and the Army science and technology community.

"Our biggest asset is getting feedback from Soldiers in the field. Our engineers modify technology after working with the warfighter to critique it in a manner that will be more beneficial to them in several different ways," said Tony Tice, with the Operations for U.S. Army Night Vision Lab.

"We want our Soldiers to own the night," he added.

The evolution of night vision technology has resulted in the PVS-7 and PVS-14 having increased durability, less weight, batteries with extended power and length of life and an improved ability to distinguish objects in the field of vision. The goggles run off two AA batteries rather than previous versions which ran off of battery packs resulting in heavier equipment.

"I used something similar way back when I was in the Navy, but it was nothing compared to these. The binoculars I had were heavy, but nowadays, they are quite light," said Gary Korzec, a resident of San Antonio visiting the All-American Bowl, Jan. 8.

The goggles are part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Army Tech Zone display within the Army Strong Zone at the Alamodome. The displays, along with an extensive outreach effort, are part of the many activities surrounding the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which was played Jan. 8.

"We all appreciate the warfighters, but seeing this technology really gives you a sense of what they do for us. And it's an honor when they share their appreciation to us, too," Tice said.

Jan 16, 2011

Barrett REC7 PDW

Barrett announces the newest configuration of the REC7 piston-operated rifle line; the 8-inch REC7 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) is now available.

Compact, accurate and completely trustworthy, the REC7 is designed specifically for situations in which there’s no room for error. Styled in the familiar AR configuration, it’s a no-nonsense rifle you can trust with anything—including your life.
This tough-as-nails rifle was designed specifically to answer the call for a low-maintenance, enhanced reliability carbine.
The REC7 rifle’s dependability stems largely from its innovative operating system. Using a minimum number of parts, the piston system separates heat and powder residue from the bolt carrier and trigger assembly. The rifle runs cool and clean, reducing maintenance requirements and increasing endurance.
The patented chrome-lined fluted gas block prevents excessive carbon buildup from operation under adverse conditions. The one-piece 17-4 stainless piston transfers energy to the anti-tilt bolt carrier. Machined from a monolithic block of 8620 steel, the carrier features an integral piston strike face.
The Barrett Enhanced Bolt is made from high-strength 9310 steel. The bolt is designed specifically for use in the piston operated REC7, not just adapted from a direct gas bolt. The bolt’s gas-ring-free design is easy to clean. Reinforced at critical areas, every bolt is proofed and magnetic-particle inspected to guarantee reliable performance.
At the heart of the operating system is a nitrided, two-position, forward-venting gas plug that retains the piston. The piston can be accessed through the front of the gas block without removing the hand-guard so optical sights or laser devices do not need to be zeroed after routine maintenance.
The REC7 rifle’s forged 7075 aluminum upper and lower receivers are Type 3 hard-coat anodized. The lower houses an ultra-dependable single-stage trigger. The upper supports a free-floated, hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel with M4 feed ramps machined into the receiver and the barrel extension. A mil-spec A2 flash hider protects the muzzle.
In 5.56 NATO and 6.8 SPC, the REC7 is everything you’d expect from a Barrett rifle, and then some.
Retail price list reflects U.S. commercial sales only. For international, military or law enforcement pricing, please contact Barrett.

Germany bans Heckler & Koch arms exports to Mexico

Germany's government says weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH must cease all arms deliveries to Mexico amid concerns they are ending up in parts of the country where Berlin has forbidden weapons exports over human rights issues.
In a letter from the Economy Ministry to the arms manufacturer obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, the government says the company's applications for exports of "weapons and other defense goods" to Mexico are suspended pending the outcome of judicial investigations.
Heckler & Koch is under investigation by prosecutors for allegedly providing its G36 assault rifle to Mexican police in states such as Chihuahua where Germany prohibits such exports.
The company, whose headquarters near Stuttgart were searched by prosecutors late last month, denies any wrongdoing.

Marine dies as amphibious vehicle sinks off Calif.

Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., work on a rescue mission Friday after an amphibious assault vehicle sinks.
 CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A Marine died after going down with an amphibious assault vehicle that sank Friday during a training exercise in a harbor in Southern California, authorities said.
According to a spokesperson with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, search and rescue crews had pumped oxygen into the vehicle to increase the chances of the Marine's survival.
The man was pulled from the vehicle at about 2:15 p.m. and flown to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where he was pronounced dead, the Marines Corps at Camp Pendleton said. His name was being withheld until relatives were notified.
Five other Marines escaped without injury from the training vehicle as it became submerged shortly before noon in the Del Mar boat basin in San Diego County's Oceanside Harbor, the  Corps said.
The training vehicle, which moves Marines between ships and shore, was part of the Amphibious Assault Vehicle Schools Battalion, KNSD said.

Three instructors and three students from the Assault Amphibian School Battalion were conducting initial driver training when the vehicle sank, Maj. Daniel Thomas, the executive officer or second in command of the battalion, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. It wasn't immediately known whether the dead man was an instructor or a student.
They were operating about 300 feet offshore in water 30 to 40 feet deep while a companion vehicle waited nearby, he said.
"We are not placing a hold on training. But obviously we are going to take a look at this and then the commander will make a decision before anything goes back into place, to make sure any safety briefings that need to be given are conducted," Thomas told the Union-Tribune.
The Marine Corps said the incident was under investigation and it was not known what caused the vehicle to sink.
The vehicle is a type of seafaring tank armed with a .50-caliber machine gun and a grenade launcher that is used to transport Marines to shore, according to the Union-Tribune.
When driven off a ship, the 32-ton armored vehicles often drop below the surface before they pop above water. They travel at about 8 miles per hour on water and 45 miles per hour on land, and can carry as many as 24 fully loaded combat Marines into battle.

By Associated Press 

Jan 15, 2011

Sage International Ltd, M14ALCS/PMRI

The modern M14/M1A Sage EBR platform rifle was deployed in 2004 with the Navy under the designations MK14 Mod 0 and MK14 Mod 1. This was due to their need for a compact M14 with a collapsible stock, which would facilitate easier deployment in the confines of ships, vehicles and in air operations. Shortly after, the U.S. Coastguard adopted the Sage EBR, also under the designation MK14 Mod 0. Other forces followed suit, with the Army’s M14EBR-RI, the Marine Corps’ M39 EMR, and the Air Forces’s MK14 Mod 0.

Now, Sage offers a newer version of this classic rifle in the M14ALCS/PMRI configuration. Aimed at precision shooters or snipers requiring an adjustable stock comb height, the traditional EBR chassis is now fitted with a MagPul PRS2 stock.
Visit Sage at SHOT Show 2011, Booth # 20540

Sage International Website


Jan 14, 2011

Surefire shows off High Capacity Magazine & marketing skills in video

Watch as SureFire's new (and soon-to-be-released) 60- and 100-round high-capacity magazines are put to the test in live-fire scenarios conducted by U. S. military and law enforcement professionals. Compatible with M4/M16/AR-15 variants and other firearms that accept STANAG mags.

Kruger Dual Tactical Sight GEN II

The Next Generation of Tactial Riflescopes...

1-8x40 Dual Tactical Sight Gen II

Designed for complex engagement situations, the Dual Tactical Sight™ (DTS) GEN II is two scopes in one compact package. For close combat situations, the sight is a high-resolution 1 MOA dot with a 60 MOA circle reflex sight. A flip of a lever transforms it into a 2-8x40 sniper scope with Mil-dot reticle. All adjustments can be quickly made while looking through the sight, so there is no need to lose sight of a target. Constructed from ultra-strong carbon fiber, the GEN II scope is shorter, lighter and sleeker than the original version.

DTS features:
• One-touch illumination system with six brightness levels, with an “off” setting between each level.
• Locking ¼’ windage and elevation adjustments with “unlocked” indicator.
• Rapid Target Technology (RTT) eyebox combing large exit pupil with long, constant eye relief to ease target acquisition.
• Mil-dot reticle calibrated at 8x.
• 1x reflex sight with 1-mil red dot.
• Waterproof/fogproof/argon processed.
• Picatinny accessory rail attachment.
• Integrated mount system.
• Shockproof.
• ≈30 ounces.
• Patent pending design.

Ruger displays first and 25 millionth firearm at SHOT Show.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. will proudly be displaying the very first Ruger firearm and the recently produced 25 millionth Ruger firearm at the 2011 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The original Ruger Standard Pistol that founded Sturm, Ruger & Co. will sit next to the 25 millionth Ruger firearm – an SR9c™ compact pistol that has been embellished and engraved to commemorate this remarkable achievement. The dramatic differences between these two firearms serve as an illustration of the growth and development of Sturm, Ruger & Co. over the course of its 62-year history.
William B. Ruger and Alexander Sturm founded Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. in 1949 with a mere $50,000 investment and one unique firearm design. Bill Ruger had invented the Ruger .22 Standard Pistol, a rimfire autoloading pistol with a cylindrical bolt that moved inside a tubular receiver, creating a strong yet simple action. With a profile resembling the popular German Luger pistols, the .22 Standard Ruger (later to be known as the Mark I pistol) proved to be reliable, affordable and incredibly popular. Mark I pistols were produced until 1981, when they were replaced by the next generation Mark II™ pistols. This classic firearm is still produced today in the form of Ruger Mark III™ pistols and the similar, 1911-style inspired 22/45™ pistols.
The 25 millionth firearm is a highly polished stainless steel version of the popular, award winning SR9c compact pistol. The pistol is engraved with the words “25 Millionth” and an enlarged Ruger Eagle on the left side of the slide, while the right side has the words “Ruger SR9c” engraved into the slide serrations. The SR9c is a centerfire pistol with a glass-filled nylon frame and a slim, compact size that is perfect for discreet carry. This modern, high tech handgun represents well how the traditional Ruger company has developed into an innovative, cutting edge leader in the firearms industry.

Ruger SR9c 9mm Luger
  The Ruger booth at the SHOT Show is number 11740 and is located on the upper level in the firearms and ammunition section. Stop by to see the very first production Ruger Standard Pistol – serial number 0012 – and the embellished 25 millionth SR9c pistol, along with the entire line of Ruger firearms.

Jan 13, 2011

782 Gear Unveils New Designs

782 Gear is located in Fall River, MA and operating from remote offices in Spokane, Washington and Northern Virginia, 782 Gear was born from the inspiration of those who put their lives on the line each day in the defense of our freedom in the GWOT. Professional users such as military, law enforcement, and first responders demand the utmost in comfort and performance from their clothing and equipment... it may mean the difference between life and death. With over fifty years of industry experience and world class in-house design capability, our vision of what our customers need and want is crystal clear.
Duro Textiles, LLC has a tradition going back to 1947 and is one of the country's largest dyers, printers, finishers and distributors of textile products. Duro has maintained a leadership position within the textile industry through a commitment to new technologies, customer service and product innovation. The company is headquartered in Fall River, MA and employs 500 people. Duro Textiles is owned by Patriarch Partners LLC. The Patriarch platform is a vertically integrated distressed private equity firm with robust in-house operational turnaround expertise. Patriarch has managing funds with over $7 billion of equity and secured loan assets with equity investments in more than 70 companies, and controlling interests in approximately two-thirds of these. 

Velocity Softshell ¼ Zip Pullover

Product Description

We can't make you faster...but you might feel that way in this high-function, ultra-light piece. Essential lightweight ops gear, packable, with an amazing warmth/weight ratio. Superb protection from wind and water.  Athletic cut, 2 and 4-way stretch materials provide mobility and comfort.  2-way quarter zip design allows added ventilation even while still keeping the collar closed.  Full-zip jacket version also available.
  • Schoeller® NanoSphere® treated 2-way stretch shell
  • Tweave DURASTRETCH® 4-way stretch panels
  • Moisture-wicking lining
  • Zippered pocket for wallet, MP3, smokes or dip
  • Weight (medium) - 9.6 oz (272g)
  • Available in Multicam®

Rogue Parka

Product Description

An amazing 3-season parka merging the best of hard-shell and stretch soft-shell technology without sacrificing mobility.  A core-insulating, fleece lining enhances comfort.  Zip access to chest and belt mounted items enhance functionality.  A best-in-class hood (optional, #7825002) compliments this amazing piece of foul-weather gear. 
  • Ultra-durable  3-Layer Gore-Tex® military hardshell
  • Tweave 4-way stretch softshell with DWR
  • Polartec® Power Stretch® fleece
  • L&R 2-way side zip access to belt hung essentials
  • Zip chest pockets, pencil/Maglite sleeve pocket
  • Zip core vents allow access to shirt pockets
  • ID panel stows in tail pocket (optional, #7825003) 
  • Available in black, Multicam® (m/c available Jan/Feb '11, $80 up-charge)
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