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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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Beretta ARX Carbine with T Worx Intelligent RailBeretta USA and T. Worx Ventures brought its integrated ARX carbine/Intelligent Rail to the Army’s AUSA conference this week after unveiling it over the summer at the Eurosatory Defense Expo in Paris.

The rail offers power and data contact points allowing an integrated carbine to power electronic accessories and communication nodes.

Berretta USA and T. Worx have worked together integrating the  T. Worx’s rail to the ARX carbine since 2013 following a multi-year assessment, Beretta officials said. Don McLaughlin, CEO of T. Worx Ventures, said the companies have received quite a bit of attention since unveiling the rail in Paris.

McLaughlin said the new rail “saves weight, provides better power access, increases access efficiency and it provides inter-accessory communications capability.”

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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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fixedknife_print1Maxpedition just released a new video on the company’s new fixed-blade knife line.

Some of you may recall that Maxpedition launched the new knife line at SHOT Show in January, touching off a dispute between Maxpedition owner Tim Tang and Kevin McClung, who makes Mad Dog Knives.

Tang’s knives come in three sizes and come in a variety of blade styles. They feature hard chrome plated, D2 tool steel blades with full-tang construction.

They also look a lot like McClung’s expensive Mad Dog Knives and sheaths.

McClung argued that Tang “ripped off” his sheath designs, as well as many of “trademarked and copyrighted” design features on the knives.

Tang admits his knives are very similar to McClung’s but said he took steps to ensure they were different enough to avoid any legal problems.

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