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Thread: M16, M4, HK416 et al................

  1. #101

    Army Draft RFP for Improved Carbine

    by christian on January 31, 2011

    The Army has moved one step closer to replacing the current M4 carbine by releasing an initial request for proposals from industry for a so-called “improved carbine.”

    There are no specifics on caliber, performance or configuration except that the service wants a rifle that can engage…

    …enemy combatants with a highly reliable weapon system throughout the range of military operations and environments.
    The rifle will have to be able to use current accessories, like IR pointers, lasers and grips and optics and leverage “commercial technology advancements” in carbine manufacture and design.

    And here’s the kicker:

    The IC requirements support future system enhancements for accuracy, lethality, reliability, signature suppression, ammunition improvements, maintenance and other weapon/accessory technologies.
    So this addresses the concerns over fouling and lethality that have been pushed by some lawmakers in Congress. It’s also interesting to see the “signature suppression” requirement in there.

    The Army says it will hold an industry day in March to brief gun makers on the specifics of the requirement and timeline.

    (Thanks to FormerDirtDart for the gouge)

    Read more: http://kitup.military.com/#ixzz1CfEAcZUc

  2. #102

    Army announces carbine competition details

    By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer

    Posted : Monday Jan 31, 2011 11:35:13 EST

    Sgt. Matthew C. Moeller / Army A soldier with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, fires an M4 during a gun battle with insurgent forces in Barge Matal, Afghanistan on July 12, 2010.

    The Army has outlined the competition that will select the best new carbine — and one that ultimately will face off against the improved M4A1 in a battle to become your next weapon.

    The overall schedule of competition, testing, production and fielding is approximately three years to first unit equipped.

    A draft solicitation to industry released Monday morning said the down-select will occur in three phases covering two years. The Army will host an industry day in March or April to solicit feedback and answer specific industry questions. The final solicitation will go out in May, and competitors typically have a couple of months to present their submissions.

    The weapons will then square off in what officials have described as “extreme and extensive” tests expected to last 12 to 18 months. The Army will fire more than 2 million rounds to produce piles of data. Weapons will be tested to their destruction point and to determine whether they maintain accuracy throughout their life cycle — something the military has not tested before. A weapon typically loses accuracy as it ages.

    No caliber restriction has been placed on a new design. It will be at least a 500-meter weapon and have a higher incapacitation percentage. It can have a gas or piston system. Interchangeable barrel sizes and calibers are not required, but many early contenders such as the FNH SCAR and Colt CM901 already incorporate this capability.

    As the $30 million carbine competition is conducted, the Army also will move forward with the second half of its “dual path” strategy — an overhaul of the M4. The first phase essentially distributes an improved M4A1, which is notable for its heavier barrel and automatic fire. The heavier barrel reduces warping and erosion, resulting in better performance and longer life. It also allows for a higher sustained rate of fire. The Army also is adding ambidextrous controls.

    The second phase will focus on increasing the M4’s effectiveness and accuracy, with emphasis on the bolt, bolt carrier assembly and the forward rail assembly.

    The third phase, focusing on the operating system, will begin in about 18 months. The goal is to improve the gas system by allowing less gas and dirt in, or replacing it with a conversion kit.

    Once the carbine competition’s winner is determined, the Army chief of staff will determine whether the service should go with the top carbine or the improved M4 as it recapitalizes the force. In an era of diminishing budgets, the winning carbine must hit financial goals as well as it hits targets.

    This reality is not lost on the manufacturers. Remington, for example, had four carbines on display at the 2011 SHOT Show in Las Vegas last month. On one side there was an M4A1 and another M4A1 with a few more improvements. On the other side was the Adaptive Combat Rifle and the Modular Gas Piston.

    While the ACR is Remington’s prized carbine, the MGP presents an improvement over the M4A1 at a lower cost than the ACR and its fellow competitors, said Jason Schauble, vice president of Remington's Defense Division. The ACR will cost less than the M4, and the MGP will coss “far less,” he said.

    An M4 runs about $1,300 per copy.

    Schauble said he feels the carbine competition will be “a fair and honest” endeavor, but he is not convinced the winner will become the Army’s weapon of choice. With an eye on diminishing defense dollars, he has shown Remington’s ability to produce the M4A1.

  3. #103

    Marine Corps watching Army carbine search

    By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer

    Posted : Thursday Feb 10, 2011 5:46:45 EST

    Lance Cpl. Mary D. LaCombe/Marine Corps
    A Marine fires an M4 rifle aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.

    As the Army prepares for a two-year, $30 million competition to identify a possible new carbine, the Marine Corps is watching closely and evaluating what its own future weapons should look like.

    Marine officials still plan the service’s infantry weapons around the 5.56mm M16A4 service rifle, but “that doesn’t mean we can’t be getting smart” about other options, said Lt. Col. Mark Brinkman, head of the infantry weapons program at Quantico, Va.-based Marine Corps Systems Command.

    “The thought process for us is very similar to what’s going on in the Army,” he said Feb. 1 at the Soldier Technology U.S. conference in Arlington, Va.

    The Army released a draft request for proposals for its carbine competition Jan. 31. The desired weapon must “support future system enhancements for accuracy, lethality, reliability, signature suppression, ammunition improvements, maintenance and other weapon/accessory technologies,” the RFP said. No caliber restrictions were set in the document.

    The Army intends to issue up to three indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts in a three-phase competition, said Army Col. Douglas Tamilio, project manager for soldier weapons. The Army will assess whether submissions can be mass-produced in the U.S. in the first phase. The second phase calls for the firing of at least 700,000 rounds, with the Army whittling competitors down to three rifles or fewer for a final third phase.

    Soldiers will fire 850,000 rounds in phase three, compiling reams of data for the Army. The weapons will be tested to their destruction point to determine whether they maintain accuracy through their entire life cycle — something the military has not tested before.

    To win a mass-production contract, the winning company also must exceed the ability of the M4A1 currently fielded in Afghanistan. Army officials have launched an aggressive campaign to enhance the M4A1, with a heavier, more durable barrel; strengthened sight rails; a piston-charged operating system and the ability to fire in full-automatic mode.

    “We’re going to say, ‘Here’s weapon X that won the competition,’” Tamilio said, speaking at the same conference. “Is it worth buying it instead of using the M4A1?”

    The competition leaves Marine officials playing the waiting game. With its massive size and budget, the Army can afford to test options the Corps cannot. If they like what they see, Marine officials could adopt the solution the Army identifies, at least to replace the Corps’ existing arsenal of M4s.

    Nearly all infantry soldiers use M4s, but in the Corps, they are fielded primarily to vehicle operators and other Marines whose jobs render the M16A4 too cumbersome. The trade-off is accuracy and stopping power, of which the M16A4’s longer 20-inch barrel offers more. The M4 has a 14.5-inch barrel, making it difficult for service members to take down targets beyond 200 yards.

    Brinkman said the Corps eventually has tough choices to face about its rifles, like whether fielding a new weapon, or a family of new weapons, makes more sense.

    Advancements in the weapons industry also may allow the Corps to explore debates it had put aside, like whether it should replace its arsenal of rifles with more powerful 7.62mm rifles. Fielding weapons chambered for larger ammunition has been debated for years, but the Corps hasn’t swapped because the weapon’s larger recoil affects accuracy, Brinkman said. Industry may eventually develop a convincing way to mitigate the recoil and get the Corps’ attention, he said.
    Last edited by buglerbilly; 12-02-11 at 12:24 PM.

  4. #104

    "Lance Cpl. Mary D. LaCombe/Marine Corps A Marine fires an M4 rifle aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif."

    I'm not sure I'd be calling this marine "Mary" without some confirmation of identity!!!


  5. #105

    Ya prune! The Lady who took the photo is called "Mary".............look at the edit correction.................

  6. #106

    Vltor meets the HK416

    February 11th, 2011 | Product Announcement | Posted by Stickman

    Guys looking to cut weight on their HK416s will find the upcoming Vltor rail to be of interest. While at SHOT, the Vltor crew was nice enough to show us a stack of new items they are working on, and this one caught our eye. Eric Kincel explained that Vltor had a request to develop a lighter rail from a military team using the 416. This rail looks to be part of the CASV family of rails, which means it installs easily, and also comes apart quickly for cleaning underneath. These rails are smooth, and allow users to install rail sections where needed. Anti-rotation tabs are evident in the below pictures for those who were wondering. We did not get any trigger time, but in the limited time we did have, this rail felt good in our hands. It will be interesting to see where this goes, especially with the IAR looming so close.

    While the HK416 might be in limited use right now, its always nice to have options.


    (Its not on their website yet.............)

  7. #107

    Army Asks for M4A1 in FY 2012

    by christian on February 23, 2011

    Putting its money where its mouth is, the Army has requested almost 20,000 M4A1s for fiscal 2012.

    We’ve been hearing from PM Soldier Weapons that the Army was going to start buying the full-auto model of the M4, but until the budget docs are written and submitted, the program isn’t formally a go.

    The request for $35 million to buy 19,409 of the weapons comes as the Army is also seeking funds to upgrade existing M4s with ambidextrous controls. The M4A1 has a heavier barrel and full-auto functionality.

    Interestingly, the budget documents go on to list out the contractors for prior year buys (Colt Defense) but for the FY ’12 buy the manufacturer is listed as “TBD.”

    Read more: http://kitup.military.com/2011/02/ar...#ixzz1Epv8A0o4

  8. #108

    Quote Originally Posted by buglerbilly View Post
    Ya prune! The Lady who took the photo is called "Mary".............look at the edit correction.................
    I looked at the time of the edit too!! I shouldn't be such an avid reader of your posts.

    Glad you did it though, I almost switched to de-caf. Bad mental images of servicewomen and sex scandals, damaging stuff for a pure mind.



  9. #109

    From the NRA website...............

    The SCAR Program: Present and Future

    The U.S. Special Operations Command is going forward with the MK17 7.62x51 mm NATO SCAR-H program.

    By David Crane

    On April 14, 2010, FN Herstal (FNH) received notification from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Program Executive Office that the FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) program achieved the Milestone C phase, authorizing the production and deployment of the following: MK16 5.56x45 mm NATO SCAR-L (SCAR-Light) (Short Barreled Rifle); MK17 7.62x51 mm NATO SCAR-H (SCAR-Heavy); MK20 7.62x51 mm NATO SSR (Sniper Support Rifle); and 40x46 mm MK13 Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM). According to an Aug. 16, 2010, FNH USA press release, SOCOM approved the SCAR systems for full-rate production on July 30, 2010. This created some confusion at the time, however, since SOCOM quickly let it be known that it would not be purchasing the MK16.

    The approval on the rest of the SCAR systems was a long time coming, considering that SOCOM had awarded FNH the SCAR development contract in November 2004. The program was actually conceived in 2002, and SOCOM drafted the Joint Operational Requirements Document (JORD). The original objective of the SCAR program was to develop a modular, multi-caliber platform for Special Operations Forces (SOF). Six years later and after spending $19 million on research, development and procurement, SOCOM is on the verge of achieving this end. SOCOM and FNH are presently developing the FN MK17 SCAR-H “common receiver,” which takes the MK17 to the next level of modularity, past its quick-change barrel function. The MK17 common receiver will be capable of accepting a 5.56 mm conversion kit, consisting of a trigger module, bolt, firing pin, magazine and barrel. According to FNH USA’s Marketing Director Combat Rifles & Technical Support Gabe Bailey that the recoil spring and guide remain the same, and there’s no need to change the case deflector.

    As of December 2010, FNH has been actively developing the SCAR common receiver platform/system for about the past year and a half, and it has been testing it for roughly the past six to eight months. The common receiver is currently approaching the final phase of government testing. Bailey informed me that they’re looking at fielding the SCAR common receiver system sometime in 2011, most likely around the mid-year mark.

    FNH made a wise choice in developing the common receiver, since SOCOM has decided not to purchase the MK16 variant. The reason for this is pretty straightforward: According to SOCOM Public Affairs Officer Maj. Wes Ticer, “The MK16 does not provide enough of a performance advantage over the M4 carbine to justify spending limited SOCOM funds when competing priorities are taken into consideration.” This is a diplomatic way of saying that the MK16, although it is a capable weapon system that offers more than 80 percent parts commonality with, and identical ergonomics to, the MK17, it doesn’t offer any measurable combat-relevant performance or lethality advantage over the M4 carbine. Put another way, there’s nothing a military operator can accomplish tactically or ballistically with a MK16 that he can’t already accomplish just as well with an M4, i.e., putting rounds on target quickly, accurately, and reliably in a fight. Rifle on rifle, the two look pretty evenly matched.

    The FN MK17 SCAR-H common-receiver platform is a very different story, however, as its light weight (7.91 pounds in standard configuration with 16-inch barrel), multi-caliber capability, semi-quick-change barrel system, and monolithic upper receiver with integrated quad-rail system provide a new level of usability and mission adaptability/versatility over the M14. This allows the MK17 to “fill an existing capability gap for a 7.62 mm rifle,” wrote Bailey. Right out of the box, the MK17 “adds no more than one m.o.a. over the ammunition at 100 meters; this is really more precision than accuracy. In regards to accuracy, with the MK16 and MK17, it is really tied to other factors, i.e., reliability and barrel life. In basic terms, the MK16 and MK17 had to fire a minimum of 15,000 rounds with a mean-rounds-between-stoppages better than in 2,000. I believe we came in around 1 in 3,600 on both weapons and maintain 70 percent of hits on an e-type target at 300 meters. Of the 15,000 rounds, 50 percent were full-automatic fire and 25 percent were suppressed.”

    The MK17 common receiver’s caliber convertibility is arguably one of the most profound threats to the M4’s survival with SOCOM, and potentially with U.S. infantry forces, since it provides long-term production and training cost advantages. Greater production increases absolute cost savings. A single SCAR common receiver can double as an assault rifle/carbine/SBR and battle rifle/carbine/SBR, as opposed to the M4, MK18 MOD 1, M16, MK12 MOD 1 and M14, which are all individual systems, and the AR-type arms and the M14 are completely different platforms. This may be one of the reasons Colt Defense has designed and developed the Colt CM901 7.62x51 mm NATO AR-10 type modular/multi-caliber battle rifle with a “universal” lower receiver, to match the capabilities of the SCAR series.

    The MK17’s reception by SOF warfighters has generally been positive. Operators enjoy the rifle’s light weight and adaptability. The only controversial aspect of the system of which I am aware is its reciprocating charging handle, which some military operators find unwieldy. I am not a big fan of reciprocating charging handles either, and I would like to see a non-reciprocating charging handle developed for SCAR.

    FNH’s and SOCOM’s goal with the MK20 SSR (Sniper Support Rifle) was originally to give military snipers a one m.o.a. gun that can fire 4,000 rounds between stoppages, fire accurately on full-automatic, and be used as a full-capability battle rifle. However, it would appear that the MK 20 is now a semi-automatic-only rifle with a 45-degree-throw safety/selector lever. The MK20 features a beefed-up barrel attachment system, utilizing more barrel retention and barrel extension screws; an extended receiver for mounting in-line night vision and thermal optics and standard day sniper optics; a modular single-stage/two-stage trigger; a non-folding adjustable precision buttstock; and a thicker, free-floating heavy barrel.

    According to FNH, it is to be fielded in May 2011. The MK20 offers more than 60 percent parts commonality with the MK17. Its trigger-pull weight is 4 pounds (+/- 0.5 lbs.) versus the MK16’s and MK17’s 6-pound (+/- 1.5 lbs.) trigger-pull weight. Accuracy is a claimed 0.25 m.o.a. at 100 meters over baseline ammunition. The MK20’s threshold barrel life is a claimed to be 7,000 rounds, but 15,000 rounds is the objective goal, while maintaining a group size under 2.5 m.o.a. SOCOM has deemed the MK20 “Operationally Effective /Operationally Suitable and Sustainable.”

    A bit lower down on most people’s SCAR radar is the under-barrel-mounted/stand-alone 40 mm MK13 EGLM (Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module), which replaces the M203. Unlike the M203, the MK13 swivels left and uses new low-impulse 40 mm munitions that allow the operator to engage the enemy out to 800 meters.

    In my opinion, the hands-down most interesting and ambitious SCAR variant is the aptly named FN Heat Adaptive Modular Rifle (HAMR), which is FN’s Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). Where other IARs feature open-bolt, full-automatic/closed-bolt, semi-automatic operation to avoid cook-offs, the HAMR’s thermal regulation system controls the bolt carrier position. The FN HAMR will initially fire from the closed-bolt position in both either semi-automatic or full-automatic. Once the chamber reaches a certain temperature, however, it will transition automatically to open-bolt operation before it reaches its cook-off threshold. Once the chamber’s temperature comes back down below its cook-off threshold, the gun will return to closed-bolt operation. The HAMR hasn’t landed any U.S. military contracts, yet.

    SOCOM’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget submission for all SCAR variants is $3 million. According to SOCOM Public Affairs, “SOCOM will use the existing contract with the manufacturer to procure the weapons. SOCOM is in the process of determining the exact quantities of the MK17, MK13 and MK20 variants that will be purchased,” said Maj. Ticer.

  10. #110

    Army Wants Hyper Burst in Improved Carbine

    by matt-cox on March 10, 2011

    Nobody makes this capability in 5.56mm, you almost-certainly wouldn't need it in the right type of 7.62mm round, yet the US Army thinks this can somehow miraculously happen!? Talk about an intent to ferk up a programme...............Metal Storm got a mention in the comments as did G11, with the latter possibly the only Western system to have gotten cloe to or achieved this aim. Needless to say its NOT 5.56mm...........

    The Army has a new leap-ahead challenge for gun makers — build an improved carbine that fires so fast it can put two bullets through the same hole.

    Small arms companies are already baulking at the “hyper burst” requirement the Army wants as a feature on potential replacements for the M4 carbine. It’s not specifically identified in the draft solicitation the service released in late January, but Col. Doug Tamilio, the head of Project Manager Soldier Weapons told me the Army wants a weapon with hyper burst.

    Apparently, putting two bullets through the same hole could potentially penetrate some types of foriegn body armor more effectively and incapacitate a foe more quickly.

    Officials from Heckler and Koch, Remington Arms Company, LWRC International, Knight’s Armament Company and others told me that they know of no company in the U.S. that’s has this capability.

    Gun makers are describing it with phrases like “That’s a significant requirement.” and “It’s not going to happen.” My favorite is from a Remington official who said “It’s just silly.”

    The only company that seems to have it is Izhmach, a Russian arms company that produces the AN94. The AN94 has a burst mode that fires at a rate of 1800 rounds per minute.

    The Russians, who are notorious for over-selling their weapons, boast that the AN94 can put a two-round burst through the same bullet hole at 100 meters.

    Experts from the small arms community maintain that the AN94, which was fielded to Russian forces in limited numbers in 1994, is not that impressive. Its an extremely complex system that relies on the barrel assembly recoiling reward when the weapon is fired. Those who have fired it say it jams more than it works.

    It certainly looks cool on YouTube. Here’s video that seems to be in Russian but shows the AN94 firing a lot.

    Matthew Cox, a free-lance, defense writer, can be found at http://www.tacticalwriter.com/

    Read more: http://kitup.military.com/2011/03/ar...#ixzz1GF9Z5xq4

    Read more: http://kitup.military.com/2011/03/ar...#ixzz1GF8evjUd

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