Archive for the 'Army' Category



Textron To Develop Squad Automatic Rifle Prototype For Army BCTs

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Army Technology:

The US Army has awarded a new contract to aerospace and defence manufacturing firm Textron Systems to develop a functional prototype for the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) programme.

Textron’s prototype could be used to replace the army’s light machine gun, the M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW), in the Brigade Combat Teams (BCT).

The scope of the contract involves the development and delivery of a new system demonstrator, which would be based on Textron Systems’ current portfolio of Cased-Telescoped (CT) weapons and ammunition.

The company intends to produce a high-velocity, magazine-fed system of an intermediate caliber.

A new automatic rifle with a new ammunition from a manufacturer who has no history making guns.  I’m sure this will work out well.

The U.S. Army Still Wants A Gun That Does Everything

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Military.com:

“The NGSAR will address operational needs identified in various capability-based assessments and numerous after action reports,” according to the PON solicitation document.

“It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a rifle, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range, and lethality,” the document continues. “The weapon will be lightweight and fire lightweight ammunition, improving soldier mobility, survivability, and firing accuracy.”

It will also be able to go to the latrine for you, take you to the dance, find your car keys, and most important, can sprinkle magic pixie dust from unicorn farts as they fly over the moon.

Then there’s this.

“They have some pretty aggressive goals with respect to lethality and weight and size and some other performance characteristics,” he said. “All of those things individually may be relatively easy but, when you start stacking them all together, that is really where it becomes complex and you need a new design.”

“There is not an easy button here …”

Well, you’d better try, because it’s what necessary for the brass to tell the demons, gargoyles and pit vipers in the Senate that women can actually do what God didn’t design their bodies to do, i.e., go to war and engage in combat.

My former Marine strongly believes that we’re going to have to lose another war in order to be recalibrated.  This next one will be bloody, and girls will come home in caskets while their parents were told this would be easy and clinical because of all the unicorn pixie dust rainbow farts.

Army Research Lab Shows Off “Third Arm”

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Source.

Comments from a former Marine with combat experience in Fallujah.  I’ll try to keep it where web browsers don’t flag the site.

What the f***?  “It takes the weight off their arms.”  If I had a Marine tell me that I would punch him in the dick and make the entire platoon make fun of them.  Of course, they have a fat ass army retard practicing using it.

And this is what our tax dollars are going for.  Not logistics or how not to have convoys carrying my water and MREs getting blown up … but a big donkey dick attached to my waist because I’m a little bitch who can’t carry a weapon.

Imagine what I would look like trying to do squad rushes with that thing.  It’s new name is “donkey dick,” not third arm.”

DOD Briefing On The Ambush In Niger In October 2017

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Following up this lengthy discussion in the article and also in comments, this video is quite instructive and informative.

Army Updating Procedures Because Of Misfiring M4s

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Stars and Stripes:

The Army is updating procedures for use of the M4A1 automatic rifle after a soldier recorded cellphone video of his weapon firing when it shouldn’t have.

The video, recorded in late March, shows the soldier operating a rifle that has been converted from a standard M4, which can fire a maximum three-round burst, to the fully automatic M4A1, according a safety message sent to troops on Tuesday.

The soldier places his carbine’s selector switch between “semi” and “auto” and squeezes the trigger but it doesn’t fire, until the switch is moved to “auto” and immediately discharges a round, the message says.

The Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, or TACOM, first warned soldiers about the problem in March and April.

The M4A1, previously used exclusively by Special Operations troops, is now the Army’s primary individual weapon.

Inspectors were able to replicate the malfunction depicted in the soldier’s video in about 10 percent of the weapons they checked, defense industry journal Soldier Systems reported.

Testing also revealed that carbines from a different manufacturer malfunctioned when switched from “safe” to “semi-automatic,” the journal reported.

The latest safety messages concern M4s and M4A1s, as well as M16A2, A3 and A4 rifles. They order personnel to change the way they check functions on the weapons and perform immediate action drills to diagnose weapon stoppages.

Um … what?

What?

There is no reason a shooter should intentionally misplace the selector switch between modes, but then again in the stress of battle anything is possible and this failure mode is entirely plausible.

The genesis of the problem appears to be a feature of the gun not a part of the original specification, and it seems to me that this is a huge, huge problem.

They don’t need to send this problem to armorers.  They need civilian gunsmiths to tackle this and work the problems out, and that should have done that before deploying the modification.

I’m also not clear as to exactly why they need fully automatic anyway.  This gun can never be an effective area suppression weapon.  Not for long anyway.

Good grief.

Assessment Of SOF Ambush In Niger, The Gun, And Major General Bob Scales

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Whether it’s worth it to the reader notwithstanding, I’m going to give some initial thoughts on the Islamic ambush on the SOF (Green Berets) in Niger in 2017, and then conclude with a few thoughts on guns and generals.  I expect pushback, just as I got with A Marine Corps View Of Tactics In Operation Red Wings, a very well visited post, and also a very controversial one.  With this former post, not very many commenters understood what I and my son were saying concerning the boundary conditions for the fight, i.e., we were questioning not just the weapons and staffing of the operation, but why it was conceived the way it was to begin with.  I expect SF and SOF to disagree with elements of my assessment here too.

First of all, let’s dispense with the preliminary necessities of acknowledging that the operation had a very sad ending, in spite of the heroic efforts of some brave men.  Let’s also stipulate that it was very sad that men had to sustain this sacrifice for an army is Islamists created by George Soros and the CIA (along with DynCorp, the CGI, the deep state and others appurtenant parties).  Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, we need to learn from the operation in a clinical manner.

First of all, read this CNN article, and then read this Military Times article (which is better) for background.  For a redacted DoD assessment, read this document (PDF).  I’ll embed a video later, but for the time being, this is necessary reading in order to understand the context.  Now for my assessment.

[1] There is absolutely no question that they “continued to engage the enemy” throughout the event.  That is stated a number of times in the formal report, and the report is correct and honest about that.

[2] The SOF soldiers had M4 carbines with EOTech holographic sights, not scopes with magnification.

[3] A larger caliber weapon would have been irrelevant without long distance sighting capability.

[4] The M4s they deployed with were sufficient to the task given the distances they were shooting.

[5] A small caliber weapon (5.56mm) was the best choice for the engagement anyway given that they were having to lay down very quick fires and needed rapid recovery of sight picture.

[6] The entire operation was poorly conceived and poorly planned.

[7] It isn’t clear to me why they chose to engage the enemy when they did via dismounted operations rather than evasion, egress and escape more quickly.  The vehicle they were using was driving very slowly, leaving them exposed with no cover or concealment.

[8] When they were laying down the only suppressive fires they could, with M4s, there was no coordination of fires.  One soldier was shooting while another was waving for the driver to hurry, and vice versa.  I understand conservation of ammunition, but this was a high intensity rather than a protracted fire fight.

[9] There was no combined arms fires because there were no combined arms to deploy.

[10] They needed a suppressive weapon and didn’t bring one.

[11] The presence of an M249, while perhaps not changing the outcome, would have made it much more difficult for the enemy.

[12] None of the soldiers in the video had an M203, which has a long range of somewhere around 400 yards and an effective range of somewhere around 150-200 yards.

[13] The presence of an M79 would have made it much more difficult on the enemy.  I understand that M79s are still in use.  It has an effective range of somewhere around 400 yards, which I estimate to be within range of the cover and concealment used by the enemy.

[14] Sadly, they were vastly outnumbered.  Furthermore, the enemy had combined arms.  More specifically, they had a crew served truck mounted machine gun.  This was likely determinative for the engagement.

[15] Finally, the M4s didn’t jam.  They functioned well, they were able to shoot within the range of the cover and concealment used by the enemy, and given the rapid sight picture recovery of the weapon, they were probably the best choice if all you had was a rifle.  This was a high intensity engagement.  There was no time for designated marksmen or snipers.  They needed to break contact more quickly, evade, find concealment, and ensconce with a suppression weapon (which they didn’t have).

In my opinion, the video you are about to watch, combined with the reports I cited, bear out much of what I’m saying.  This video was from a helmet camera, confiscated by an Islamic fighter, and now on YouTube.  I don’t vouch for it’s presence on the internet for any specific length of time.  I cannot say how long it will be available.

Again, this is all so very sad that these men perished the way they did.  It should serve as a warning to American politicians on the dangers of open borders for our own country, but it won’t.

And in spite of all of this, Major General Bob Scales indicated this.

He pointed to lives lost due to small arms and other infantry equipment holes from Vietnam to Afghanistan to last year’s deaths of special operations soldiers in Niger.

If you’d listened to me three years ago, those soldiers in Niger would have had this rifle in their hands,” Scales said. “So, take that to bed tonight.”

He is specifically saying that having a rifle of his own choosing would have changed the outcome of the engagement in Niger.

He is an awful man.  Not only is he an idiot and ass-clown, he’s cravenly using the deaths of soldiers in an operation-gone-wrong (because it was conceived wrong) to push his own agenda.  He’s blood dancing on the graves of those soldiers to get his way.

Bob … Scales … has … no … shame.  He is incapable of shame and has no scruples.

Prior: Wait, Defense Secretary Mattis Put Bob Scales In Charge Of WHAT?

Wait, Defense Secretary Mattis Put Bob Scales In Charge Of WHAT?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Military.com:

The lead man tasked by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with transforming everything infantry and close combat on Tuesday challenged industry and government leaders to put a leap-ahead rifle in his boss’ hands in less than two years — or else.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales was a keynote speaker at the annual National Defense Industry Association Armament Systems forum here, and he didn’t waste any time launching into a takedown of key components that equip the close combat infantryman.

Scales recounted how he’d spoken at the conference three years ago, pushing industry and government procurement officials to create an intermediate caliber rifle with a piston action, polymer ammunition casing, a suppressor and digital fire controls.

“Now, in 2018, does any of that sound familiar?” he asked.

Scales is the chairman of the Department of Defense’s recently created “Close Combat Lethality Task Force.” The task force formed at Mattis’ direction and has $2.5 billion to fundamentally transform all things close combat for Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations troops.

The rifle he described in his opening remarks is handled under the Next Generation Squad Weapon project, headed by the Army.

But there, too, are problems, he noted.

The NGSW program was aimed at making a rifle or carbine to replace the flawed M16/M4 system, which Scales has railed against since his own experience with early versions of the M16 in Vietnam.

But an incredulous Scales told the audience that developers on the NGSW are now prioritizing the light machine gun in a program called the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle to replace the Squad Automatic Weapon, with the rifle or carbine to come later.

“It’s the Next Generation rifle or carbine, damn it,” Scales said.

The change in focus means that under current schedules, the rifle/carbine won’t be ready until 2024.

That is not acceptable, Scales said. To either him or his boss.

“Let me tell you something, folks. It’s not working,” Scales said. “Make the rifle by 2020. My God, folks, it’s a nine-pound piece of steel. The cost isn’t as much as a lug nut on a B-1 bomber.”

I confess I didn’t know this.  Scales is an imbecile.  Mattis is an imbecile for putting Scales in charge of anything except taking out the trash.  Scales isn’t qualified as a gunsmith, engineer or mechanic to order decisions on cartridge size, type, caliber, or anything else, much less to order that it be a pistol gun rather than DI.

Good Lord.  What an idiot.

So, Scales, here are some questions for you to ponder as your play Napoleon with the would-be weapons makers.  Are you prepared to change not only weapons, but training and doctrine?  You see, the notion of a light, small caliber, automatic gun with high projectile velocity, line of recoil along the axis of the gun, and quick sight-picture recovery, is necessary for the doctrines on which the current militaries of the entire world are built.

They are aided by snipers and DMs carrying larger caliber guns.  So where is the money coming from to change everything?  Why do you want a piston system?  Who told you it is better?  Do you know more than my friend the training NCO in the Army, who told me this?

The Marines have established in their 24-72 hour protracted, static, fire fights in Southern Afghanistan, that three 30 round magazines will do the job, if you have NCO directed, well aimed and properly spotted fire. Shoot from cover, control your security and do not allow an element to maneuver unobserved on your position. Maintain indirect fire back-up for surprises and to exploit enemy error’s. It sounds basic but we (Army) do not routinely practice this doctrine. So we kill and maim our troops because of and regardless of, the grain count of our issue rounds. As you point out.

My friend goes on to explain that the gun isn’t the problem – it’s the shooter.  It’s almost always the shooter.  Hey Scales, do you know more than my buddy does about what’s happened in any theater of conflict in the past 40 years?

Hey Scales, tell me all about the caseless cartridge you want so badly?  I want to hear the engineering aspects of this thing.  I also want to know all about how easy you think it is to keep recoil down while giving the shooter better ballistic coefficient, less weight, more reliability, a cleaner weapon, and instant recovery of sight picture?

Where did you get your engineering degree to insult design engineers like that, you insufferable old fart?  If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it?

What do you know about the cost of a bolt on a B-1?  Why did you use that analogy?  As for this gun, it’s a nine pound piece of steel.  Steel?  Is that what it is, Scales?  Steel?  None of it is polymer or aluminum?  And it’s nine pounds?  Nine pounds?  I own a 6.09 pound AR, and you’re going to put a 9 pound gun in a woman’s hands to carry?

Hey, speaking of that, how much of this has to do with trying to reduce weight for women in combat?  Or are you trying to reduce weight?  Nine pounds isn’t a weight reduction.

How much has changed since you saw the gun in action in Vietnam, Scales?  Is it the same gun, or not?  Have you shot one lately?  Field stripped it and cleaned it?  Are BCGs even made of the same material these days, Scales?

You moron.  The fact that Mattis put you in charge of this effort makes me laugh and sad at the same time.  This is a living example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.   Without metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

You’re an incompetent dumbass.

Prior:

USMC M38 DMR Not Ready For Battle

Scales Traffics In Half Century Old Rhetoric On Stoner Design

Problems And Solutions In Rifle Caliber And Training

Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses

Will The Army Pick A Bullpup For Its New Rifle?

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Army Times:

As Army leaders look to the service’s next standard issue rifle or carbine, a lot of options are on the table.

One such option has been around awhile but still strikes many U.S. troops as a futuristic form of the rifle they think they know.

This past fall, officials with the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence’s lethality branch laid out several concepts being considered for the Army’s Next Generation Squad weapon and likely new designs for the ultimate replacement for the M4.

Some of those include major advancements to the fire controls and a likely change in caliber. But one was a possible bullpup design.

The bullpup has been around for more than half a century, and it was adopted by some foreign militaries. It reverses the design of the standard rifle or carbine by putting the action and magazine behind the trigger, automatically shortening the length of the rifle considerably.

Hey, that’s a swell idea.  Take the location where the explosion occurs, and the place where the initial sound wave goes greater than Mach 1 (not inside the barrel), and put it closer to the shooter’s ears.

Or otherwise, make wearing hearing protection with electronic communication with all of your teammates mandatory for all engagements, even unplanned ones.  Don’t patrol listening to the people or the crunch of the sticks in the bush, or even enemy fighters.

I read some forums today on noise from shooting, and the term “perceived noise” came up by some contributors.  There is no such thing as “perceived noise.”  That’s a myth.  Noise functions as dictated by Gauss’s law, where it increases or decreases as a function of the square of the distance.

I predict that use of the bullpup design will also make the shooters less accurate at distance than with any other design.

Yet Another “New Rifle” For The Army?

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

Good grief.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has waged a relentless war against the Department of Defense’s acquisition process (hereafter referred to as “purgatory”) to replace the decades-old weapons currently in soldiers’ kit with new pistols and other small arms. So far, he’s had some major successes on the pistol front with the Army’s adoption of the Sig Sauer P320 as the XM17 to replace the M9 Beretta as the branch’s sidearm of choice.

But finding an upgrade for the M4 carbine has proven a more elusive challenge. In November, the Army’s plans to purchase a 7.62 mm off-the-shelf rifle as an intermediate solution finally gave up the ghost after months of budget-related uncertainty.

Now, the Army is currently evaluating a rifle that could actually be fielded relatively soon, Milley said Wednesday at an Association of the United States Army event in Crystal City, Virginia.

“There have been some research and testing done down at Fort Benning, [Georgia] and with industry partners that indicates that we could — it’s possible — have a rifle in the hands of American soldiers or Marines in the not too distant future — I don’t want to put a timeline — that can reach out at much greater ranges than currently exist with much greater impact or lethality and with much greater accuracy,” Milley said.

The rifle’s increased lethality can be attributed to the type of ammunition it uses, its chamber pressure and its optics, Milley said at AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare breakfast. He did not reveal any specific information about the rifle, such as whether it chambers a 5.56mm or a 7.62mm round or if it is fully automatic, like the M27 infantry automatic rifle used by the Marines.

“It’s an excellent system,” Milley said. “They’ve done some proof of principles on it. It is real. It is not fantasy and industry is moving out quickly and we expect that, with appropriate funding, we should be able to have this particular weapon in the not too distant future – I won’t define what ‘not too distant future’ is.”

Although Milley said that soldiers currently have a rifle capable of matching adversaries anywhere in the world, the problems with the M4 and M16 have been well documented.

The M4s biggest design flaw is its gas impingement operating system, which can easily be fouled, causing the weapon to jam, said retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales.

“That’s the fatal flaw of the M4,” Scales told Task & Purpose. “You cannot fix it.”

Here’s what cannot be fixed.  Old farts who don’t know when to shut up because they’re being paid to say ridiculous things.

Hey, here’s a unique idea.  I just thought of it.  Why don’t you train Soldiers to shoot, and then supplement their units with a designated marksman like the Marines, and hold them to higher standards?

Army Considers 6.5mm For Its Future Battle Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
10 months ago

Kitup at Military.com.

The U.S. Army’s chief of staff recently made a bold promise that future soldiers will be armed with weapons capable of delivering far greater lethality than any existing small arms.

[ … ]

As Milley was speaking, Textron Systems officials were showing off their new Intermediate Case-Telescoped Carbine, chambered for 6.5mm on the AUSA exhibition floor.

Textron’s cased-telescoped ammunition relies on a plastic case rather than a brass one to hold the propellant and the projectile, like a conventional shotgun shell.

The ICTC is a closed bolt, forward feed, gas piston operated weapon, weighing 8.3 pounds. The 6.5mm case-telescoped ammunition weighs 35 percent less and offers 30 percent more lethality than 7.62mm x 51mm brass ammunition, Textron officials maintain.

“I think the most important thing is what we have been able to do with the intermediate caliber, the 6.5mm in this case,” Wayne Prender, vice president of Textron’s Control & Surface Systems Unmanned Systems told Military.com. “We are able to not only provide a weight reduction … and all the things that come with it – we are also able to provide increased lethality because of the ability to use a more appropriate round.”

Textron officials maintain they are using a low-drag “representative” 6.5mm bullet while U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, is developing the actual projectile.

“We actually used three different bullet shapes and we scaled it,” said Paul Shipley, program manager for of Unmanned Systems. “We scaled 5.56mm up, we scaled 7.62mm down and took a low-drag shape and ran that between the two” to create the 125 grain 6.5mm bullet that’s slightly longer than the Army’s new 130 grain M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round.

Textron officials maintain that the new round retains more energy at 1,200 meters than the M80A1. At that distance, the 6.5mm has an impact-energy of 300 foot pounds compared to the M80A1 which comes in at about 230 foot pounds of energy, Textron officials maintain.

“The increased lethality we are referring to has to do with the energy down range,” Shipley said. “You can take whatever kind of bullet you want, compare them and it’s going to have increased energy down range.”

Okay, so let me get this straight.  The Army doesn’t know how to shoot as it is, and while focusing on racial diversity, gender issues, gays in the military, women in combat arms, and declining physical standards, are going to teach young boys and girls in the “Big Army” how to shoot 1200 meters with a battle rifle that will have a larger punch (to the shooter), be more physically demanding to shoot, and have no civilian analogue?

Consider.  Most of the real advancements to weapons design are made in the civilian market.  PMags came from the civilian market.  The 6.5mm Creedmoor came from the civilian market.  Less weighty rails and barrel shrouds came from the civilian market.  I could go on, but you get the point.  The military is the beneficiary of what happens in the civilian world, no vice versa (this is one reason I think that the limitation on civilian ownership of machine guns will eventually weaken the military, because no one is designing an open bolt system that gets vetted by the civilian market).

If you’re in the military, you use what you’re given.  If you are not, you get to spend your money however you want, and you do the research necessary to find the best product that meets your needs.   Innovation is driven in the market, not by the military.  If a company designs a poor product for the civilian market, it gets called crap ten thousand times over the forums and people don’t buy it.  The company goes out of business.

I see much pain if big army goes down this road.  They will have recoil issues, parts breakage, no one to whom they can turn for counsel who has actually shot this thing before, ammunition problems, accuracy problems, and on and on it goes.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.  If the military wanted this to work, they would have to vet it in the civilian market first.

But it all looks like a solution in search of a problem to me.


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