Warfighting

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Beretta USA said the U.S. Army has rejected the gun-maker’s request that the service reconsider its M9A3 pistol as an alternative to the Modular Handgun System (MHS) program.

Beretta officials sent the Jan. 30 request in response to the Army’s formal rejection of the M9A3 Engineering Change Proposal to the current M9 contract.

“Needless to say, we are disappointed,” Gabriele de Plano, vice president of Beretta Defense Technologies (BDT) Marketing Operations, said in March 2 email.

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nrBK4

It has been widely reported that the Russian military has adopted the AK12 rifle for its elite forces, but there is very little info available about its other new rifle choice – the AK 103-4.

Deputy Minister of Defence Yuriy Borisov announced on Russian radio on 24 January that the Russian armed forces had selected the AK12, chambered in 5.45×39 mm, and the AK-103-4, chambered in 7.62x39mm, according to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

Without question, the AK12 is the big news. Improved ergonomics is the key feature that sets the AK12 apart from the AK family, according to AK12-maker Kalashnikov Concern, formerly known as Izhmash.

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“The AK-12 assault carbine also has a new ergonomic fire selector control … a person can operate the mechanical controls of the assault rifle with one hand,” Kalashnikov officials maintain. “A soldier can still do everything he needs to do with the weapon: move the safety, pull back the bolt and replace the magazine even if wounded or when using his other hand.”

But the piece of this story that has been driving me crazy is the lack of information or images of the AK103-4.

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U.S. Army uniform officials will soon begin evaluating and certifying commercial boots in Coyote brown for soldiers to wear instead of current issue boots.

The Army Uniform Board has directed Program Executive Office Soldier to use the existing Army Combat Boot Uniform Quality Control Program, or UQCP, to provide commanders information about boots that meet the service’s safety, performance, and appearance requirements, according to an Army press release.

The timing of initial evaluation is aligned with Army’s transition to “Coyote 498” boots associated with the transition to the new Operational Camouflage Pattern this summer, so the list of optional boots will not include tan boot models, according to the release.

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U.S. Army testers recently evaluated a new type of hand grenade that allows soldiers to connect up to three sections of explosive for a more powerful blast.

The Scalable Offensive Hand Grenade offers conventional soldiers a new capability. Unlike the standard fragmentation grenade, this design offers mainly a blast effect that can be doubled or tripled to suit the job. It has also been fielded to U.S. Special Operations Command since 2010.

Army officials tested it during a recent live-fire portion of the service’s annual Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

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RPG-7U.S. Army infantry platoons may one day be fighting with an Americanized version of the famous, Soviet RPG 7 anti-armor weapon.

Army testers recently evaluated Airtronic USA Inc.’s RPG 7 as part of service’s annual Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment.

“The durability, simplicity, low cost and effectiveness of the RPG 7 has made it the most widely used man-portable anti-armor weapon in the world, according to the AEWE’s Systems Book of selected technologies chosen for this year’s experiment.

But the Airtronic RPG is quite different than the 1960s-era Soviet weapon. Its tube is made from 4140/4150 ordnance grade barrel steel and it features several sections of rail for attaching optics. It also has an M4-style pistol grip and buttstock. It weighs about 14 pounds unloaded and without optic. [click to continue…]

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I posted a story on Military.com today describing how the U.S. Army recently notified Beretta USA that its new M9A3 includes too many design changes to still be considered an M9.

As you may recall, Beretta submitted the M9A3 Engineering Change Proposal to the Army in December as an alternative to the service’s Modular Handgun System.

Besides its new earth-tone colors, the M9A3 features a  MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail for mounting weapon lights. It also has a much-thinner, Vertec grip for smaller hands and an optional wrap-around grip for those with larger hands.

The M9A3 will also feature a redesigned, over-center safety lever that cants slightly upward to help eliminate accidental safety activation when the slide is racked during malfunction drills, Beretta officials maintain. The new pistol has improved, removable front and rear sights and a threaded barrel for suppressor use. Beretta USA has also increased the magazine capacity from 15 to 17 rounds.

The M9A3 has a lot of new features, but it’s still an M9, according to pistol experts.

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The U.S. Army has included $2 million in its proposed fiscal 2016 budget for the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System program.

In June 2014, the Army released a request for proposal to invite gun companies to build compact versions of the service’s 7.62mm M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System. The CSASS program did not receive any funding in the Army’s approved fiscal 2015 budget.

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