Warfighting

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U.S. Army scientists are trying to show how better-fitting body armor can improve a soldier’s performance.

Members of the Anthropology and Human Factors Teams at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are conducting a range-of-motion and encumbered anthropometry study to better understand the link between fit and performance with the Improved Outer Tactical Vest Gen III.

“We have this belief that if the fit of the body armor is really good, then the performance is going to be maximized,” Dr. Hyeg joo Choi, the principal investigator for the study, said in an Oct. 9 Army press release. “So the question is how can we quantify a good fit so that soldiers’ performance is maximized?”

To help answer that question, Choi and her fellow researchers collected measurements from 23 soldiers at Natick, including 21 males and two females.

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Raytheon Wearable ComputerRaytheon unveiled a 7-inch Panasonic tough pad wearable computer designed to provide dismounted soldiers with information on-the-move such as moving map displays and terrain data, company officials said Oct. 14 at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, Washington D.C.

The seven pound wearable computer is a MCM1 Panasonic Tough Pad mini-computer ruggedized for military use and designed to run digital maps and graphics using Army force-tracking software such as Joint Battle Command – Platform, or JBC-P.

“We’re giving the guy at the edge of the spear the ability to look at intelligence information,” said Brian Murphy, program manager for wearable situational awareness, Raytheon. [click to continue…]

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Ultra Lightweight Ballistic Bump Helmet-high res
3M is showing off its new Ultra Light Weight Ballistic Bump Helmet at AUSA 2014. Made by Ceradyne Inc., a 3M company, the ULW-BBH shell weighs 30 percent less than the closest alternative and is designed to help reduce fatigue while improving mobility, 3M officials maintain.

The helmet uses the latest ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and is manufactured using a proprietary, seamless, ballistic molding technology. It provides blunt-impact protection equivalent to the Advanced Combat Helmet for operations in the air and water, and during ground transportation. It also meets a common ballistic standard against the NIJ-IIIA level of threat and “17 Grain FSP V50.”

“We put our engineering and advanced materials expertise to work to combine the capabilities of bump and ballistic helmets into one multiuse platform,” Cheryl Ingstad, 3M business manager, Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, said in an Oct. 13 release at the start of the 2014 Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.

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Carl-Gustaf M4 (2)

Saab Defense unveiled the latest version of its Carl Gustaf 84mm weapon system today at AUSA 2014.

The new M4 Multipurpose Weapon System is about 30 percent lighter than the current M3 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System being used by special operators and conventional infantry in Afghanistan.

The M4 – known in the U.S. as M3A1 MAAWS, is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched recoilless rifle from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario, Saab officials maintain.

The 75th Ranger Regiment and other special operations forces began using the M3 MAAWS in 1991. The U.S. Army began ordering the M3 for conventional infantry units to use in Afghanistan in 2011. The M3 weighs 22 pounds and measures 42 inches long. The breech-loading M3 can reach out and hit enemy targets up to 1,000 meters away.

The new M3A1 is significantly lighter and shorter than the M3. It weighs 15 pounds and measures 39 3/8 inches long. The weight savings comes from a titanium liner and carbon-fiber wrapping, Saab officials maintain.

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Lithium TWS 3
U.S. Army equipment officials are encouraging units to use lithium AA batteries rather than the cheaper alkaline version to power thermal weapon sights and night vision gear.

The L91 lithium battery costs more but it lasts a lot longer than the alkaline alternative, according to Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers officials.

Lithium batteries provide up to three times the operating time which will allow soldiers to carry less batteries on dismounted ops, said Joe Pearson, Logistics Management Division director for PM SSL.

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The U.S. Army has given a green light to the 75th Ranger Regiment to retire its Universal Camouflage Patterned uniforms and wear the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern, or MultiCam, in garrison.

The change-over became official today as the elite unit celebrated its 30th anniversary.

“The Army has authorized the Ranger Regiment to wear in garrison the Flame Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU) in the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OEF CP) that our soldiers have been wearing in Operation Enduring Freedom since 2010,” according to an Oct. 3 Army statement.

“This uniform is indicative of the operational success overseas of one of the most deployed units in the U. S. Army, and authorizing its wear in garrison by the Rangers symbolizes the first step in the Army’s phased transition from the Universal Camouflage Pattern to a more operationally relevant uniform.”

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200170_Micro_T-2

Aimpoint Inc., just unveiled the latest version of its Micro T optic line. The new Micro T-2 sight is a better-performing, more rugged version of the company’s existing Micro T-1.

The new optic will feature a new sight housing which allows the addition of front and rear protective flip covers and anti-reflective devices. There’s additional physical protection for the sight’s adjustment turrets and increased ruggedness for the sight’s internal electronic components.

The most important development in this new sight however, is enhanced optical performance, Aimpoint officials maintain.

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