TAMPA – M134D Minigun maker Dillion Aero is showcasing a new Multi-Mission Configurable System(MMC) designed to provide a plug-and-play replaceable turret ring, gun mount and magazine to support a range of possible gun options.
“This is designed to take the place of a standard turret system,” said Aaron Kirch, research and development specialist, Dillon Aero, at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference here. [click to continue…]
Defense Tech recently released their “top service inventions of 2011″ if you missed it. It took until nearly the end of 2012 to make the announcement and the “Gear Oscars” won’t be celebrated until 2013 (I won’t be moderating) but it’s still an interesting read. Their list includes:
120mm Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative Cartridge
A 120mm Global Positioning System-guided mortar cartridge that provides infantry commanders with new precision-strike capability…
Caiman Explosively Formed Penetrator Add-on-Armor Kits
An armor package that can be integrated into a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle with little modification to an existing armor package, protecting the driver and commander sides and mitigating the exposed area from explosively formed penetrators…
A helmet sensor and data retrieval system that measure impact and pressure events continuously…
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The Jeep J8 at AUSA
Keeping with the spirit of next generation vehicles, for those of you that know, Jeep and AM General are in a cage match over the next generation military vehicle. While this is big Army, Jack had a good SOCOM post back in July you can check out about Jeep vs. Flyer. I’m personally not a fan of the Hummer. Big, clunky, expensive to repair and sticks out like a turd in a punch bowl in any Area of Operation. I hated driving the Hummer when I was in Afghanistan and much preferred the Toyota Hilux four-door. [click to continue…]
Combat Vehicle of the Future?
Looks like those crazy folks at DARPA are trying to partner with industry to build the combat vehicle of the future. There aren’t much in the way of requirements or funding information available on the street right now. Kit Up will be watching for updates in the future and I’ll keep you guys posted. Out of all the R&D agencies DARPA actually does/facilitates some great work now and then. Even though most the guys I’ve met that worked there can’t put on a matching pair of socks…Read below for more. We’d also like to hear your thoughts on what would make a kick ass future combat vehicle. -Brandon out. [click to continue…]
My attention was recently brought to Force Protection’s JAMMA, or Joint All-Terrain Modular Mobility Asset vehicle. As I’ve reported in the past, SOCOM has dropped the requirement for a V-22 compatible vehicle from it’s request to industry for a Humvee replacement, however, the JAMMA comes in two flavors. Narrow track for the V-22 Osprey and wide track for the MH-47 Chinook.
From Force Protection:
“The Joint All-Terrain Modular Mobility Asset (JAMMA) was built as a first response vehicle to better equip and protect those who put their lives at risk in crisis situations. A technological leap over similar vehicles, this high performance platform can handle challenging terrain at high speeds even with a combat payload. JAMMA has innovative rollover protection and modular, threat-specific armor for multiple mission profiles – reconnaissance, rescue/recovery, med-evac, mobile security, and more. The optional state-of-the-art hybrid engine optimizes vehicle efficiency and generates 22kW of continuous exportable power.”
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The Special Operations community often moves in a circular motion when it comes to adopting and employing new weapons, equipment, and vehicles.
Take for instance the US Army’s bouncing from the 7.62 round, then forcing 5.56 down NATO’s throat, before now swinging back in the other direction with Rangers and Special Forces making good use of the 7.62 SCAR-H. Light infantry maneuver tactics grew out of the Vietnam War before the Army gradually moved towards heavy armored vehicles and burying soldiers under undue amounts of body armor.
Today, SOF units in Afghanistan are now moving back towards lighter combat loads and unarmored, but highly mobile, tactical vehicles.
Currently, Army Special Operations is seeking to identify a new Ground Mobility Vehicle to replace the Humvee. USASOC put out the word some time ago that it was looking for a SOF specific all-terrain vehicle that seated four troops to include the turret gunner.
At the moment Jeep and Flyer are the two front runners competing for the contract. Jeep has submitted it’s entry based on it’s new J8 platform. Initially having constructed a prototype Light Patrol Vehicle, Jeep responded to inputs from the SOF community to create a new truck to suit the requirements of the units involved.
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Kit Up! friend and best selling author CJ Chivers strapped on his body armor and pulled out his notebooks and pen for a wild ride with the so-called Forces of Free Libya over the last couple weeks.
(Photo: Bryan Denton from the CJ Chiver blog)
He’s had a number of great dispatches on the New York Times’ At War blog and at his website about the gear and tactics being employed by the rag-tag group of anti-Gadhaffians. But the latest post left me gasping.
Looks like our friends tooling around in DShK-wielding Toyotas have started welding aircraft rocket pods to their technicals in hopes of matching Libyan army firepower.
When it comes to mounting aviation weapons systems on pickup trucks, these kinds of weapons are, in a word, a sight. They are also a fright. They seem to spring from some post-apocalyptic dream, and in the eyes of many rebels their mere presence among otherwise lightly equipped forces suggests promise and power. But this is not quite so. In truth, the men who fire them have little idea of how far these rockets fly, a limited ability to change their elevation, and, (depending on the makeshift mount), often have no ability to traverse them left or right. Often times, those who fire them fire them this way: They point the front grill of their truck in the rough direction of the intended target, and commence launching a barrage. The result is obvious even before the first rockets whoosh into the air. Those involved can make their high-explosive rockets go up. They have only the faintest sense of where the rockets will come down.
And Chivers brings up a good point later in his post when he makes the uncomfortable admission that since these things can’t in any way be even close to accurately fired, they border on the indiscriminate.
Now, isn’t that what NATO forces are dropping bombs in Libya — to protect civilians. How can we be assured that the Libyan Mad Max weaponry isn’t hitting the very people we’re trying to “protect?”
Many Libyan rebels – more spirited than experienced – nonetheless approve of their rocket brigades. With their almost sci-fi aesthetic, and the tremendous noise and show they make when fired, they are a morale-booster for troops who know little of effective tactics or of how modern weapons actually work.