High-Tech Guns for Next-Gen InfantrY   Leave a comment

Developer FNH USA (USA)
Caliber 5.56mm
Features More accurate and less prone to jamming than the standard-issue M16 and M4 rifles, the SCAR uses quick-change barrels that can be swapped using a minimal number of tools.
Progress The manufacturer had initially expected the weapon to be deployed in 2006, but after a limited production run last year, there’s hope for the SCAR.

The effort to replace the M-16 rifle, as well as its more compact variant, the M4, has been a long, epic and largely tragic tale. One attempt would have created a modular weapon system, called the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), with an integrated grenade launcher and laser-rangefinder. That all-in-one system was scrapped because of excessive weight, and subsequent attempts to salvage the core of that weapon—the XM8 assault rifle—have also failed, highlighting some of the worst aspects of the weapons procurement process. 

Fed up with the rest of military’s inability to replace the M-16 and M4, and apparently uninterested in an OICW-type multipurpose weapon, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) held a competition for a new assault rifle, to be deployed with special forces personnel. Having passed muster as a more accurate and reliable weapon than the M4, FNH USA landed the contract with its FN SCAR, which comes in two calibers—5.56 for the SCAR-Light, and 7.62 for the SCAR-Heavy. The weapon also meets SOCOM’s requirements for quick changes in the field. Within a few minutes, a SCAR-Light’s 18-in.-long, precision-fire barrel can be replaced with a standard-length 14-in. barrel, or a shorter, 10-in. barrel for use in cramped, urban environments. Although the SCAR-Light is likely to be more common than the more powerful SCAR-Heavy, the two weapons share 99 percent of the same parts, making field repairs easier and streamlining the overall logistics. 


Developer Alliance Techsystems (USA)
Caliber 25mm
Features A computer-aided targeting system that allows the user to quickly aim at a target and to adjust the range of the air-bursting round.
Progress The XM-25 is still in development, but in this industry—and particularly for a system that survived the OICW debacle—that amounts to very good news.

As the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) program withered on the vine, the system’s most revolutionary element—microchip-embedded explosive rounds that could be detonated at precise ranges, raining fragmentation down on enemies hiding in foxholes or behind barricades—has managed to put down roots. Once envisioned as an under-the-barrel weapon attached to an assault rifle, the self-contained XM-25 is an entirely new take on the grenade launcher. Using the onboard ballistic computer and laser rangefinder, the firer can quick set the exact range at which the 25mm round will explode. 

This is precision-guided munitions for infantry, with the goal of negating nearly any kind of cover a target could find, particularly in urban environments. Rounds could be set to go off, in midair, just past the corner of building, just inside a sniper’s window, or directly above a group of hostiles hunched behind a concrete barrier. Alliance Techsystems, which is developing the XM-25, credits overhead airbursts with the potential for five times greater lethality, compared with the current M203 grenade launcher, because shrapnel will be more likely to drop onto the target’s head. It’s a ghoulish point of pride, but, as with other precision munitions, a more precise grenadier could also mean fewer civilian casualties. 

 SAR 21

SAR 21
Developer Singapore Technologies Kinetics (Singapore)
Caliber 5.56mm
Features Integrated visible/ infrared laser sight and 1.5x optical scope, translucent ammo magazines.
Progress The SAR 21 became standard issue for Singapore’s armed forces in 1999, but there are no plans for adoption elsewhere.

While the United States has repeatedly—and spectacularly—failed to replace the aging M-16, Singapore has been using a newer and possibly better-performing assault rifle since 1999. The SAR 21 replaced Singapore’s licensed version of the M-16, and has gained a reputation among gun experts as one of the best “bullpup” assault rifles—where the action and magazine are behind the trigger—on the market. It has a smaller overall profile than the M-16, without sacrificing barrel length (the shorter the barrel, the less accuracy at longer ranges) and significantly more manageable recoil, due in part to the weapon’s center of balance. The recoil tends to drive directly back against the firer, instead of pushing the barrel upwards. 

All of this is useful in an assault rifle, but particularly for urban warfare, where more compact weapons are crucial to maneuvering indoors, and where close-range, fully-automatic fire is more common. The SAR 21 has a Kevlar cheek plate to deal with chamber explosions occurring next to the user’s face, a regular safety issue for bullup weapons. It’s also one of the few assault rifles in the world equipped with an integrated laser aiming device. 

  Corner Shot Launcher

Corner Shot Launcher
Developer Corner Shot (Israel), Dynamit Nobel Defence (Germany)
Caliber 60mm
Features A collapsible firing-post, which is fitted with a camera and video screen, attaches to a disposable, one-shot 60 mm grenade launcher. Rounds can be fired at a 90 degree angle—other Corner Shot devices fire at up to 60 degrees.
Progress Unveiled in 2004, the system does not appear to have been deployed yet.

The Corner Shot is a brutally simple contraption: a modified gun that, thanks to a hinged frame, under-the-barrel camera and handy video screen, allows the user to shoot around corners. Currently, there are three versions available, each with a different weapon at the business end of the frame—a pistol, a compact assault rifle or a 40mm grenade launcher. The device is designed for urban environments, where the ability to peek around corners with impunity is useful, but being able to open fire while behind cover is even better. 

With the Corner Shot Launcher, the concept is the same, but the result is less subtle. Essentially a sideways-firing rocket launcher, it allows the user to aim with the same kind of integrated camera and video screen, and fire a massive 60mm round into an enemy vehicle or reinforced position, such as a bunker. This device, which could be an overwhelming weapon in urban engagements, is a collaboration between Israeli and German defense firms. 


 FMG9 Folding Machine Gun
Corner Shot Launcher
Developer Magpul Industries (USA)
Caliber 9mm
Features Spring-loaded design transitions from box to gun with a single button-push, with a 31-round Glock 18 magazine loaded and ready to fire.
Progress Nonfiring semiautomatic prototype shown in March 2008. No word yet on when a firing model—much less a fully automatic one—might be available.

The concept of a discreet, foldable submachine gun is at least two decades old. Legendary gun designer Eugene Stoner developed one in the 1980s, but Magpul Industries made news this past March with its own updated take on the lethal cult classic. The FMG9, short for Folding Machine Gun, looks like some sort of toolbox with a flashlight mounted on top. 

One moment, that flashlight is in your eyes, and one moment later—one very pregnant, James-Bond-by-way-of-Cyberpunk moment—and you’re being fired at by a 9mm submachine gun. It’s a quicker transition than anything Stoner was able to pull off, and that could make the weapon an effective tool for lightning raids on terrorist hideouts where surprise could play a major part. The gun also has an integrated laser sight, and can be carried without the handle and flashlight, for a sleeker, more pocketable profile. 

source: popularmechanics.com

Posted October 9, 2013 by kitokinimi in Uncategorized

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