AEWE 2017 Small Arms and Munitions Summary

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Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments is a U.S Army test and development program that takes test products from government research agencies and private industry, works with them over a two year period, culminating in a final report that could possibly lead to adoption by various elements within the U.S Army. Products include everything from small arms ammunition to network command & control systems. It has a field component of active duty Infantrymen and for a limited time British Army soldiers that work with the products in field environments for evaluation purposes.

AEWE 2017 Key Events

Earlier this month, AEWE held a Live Fire event at Fort Benning, GA, where a number of the small arms and munitions related projects were showcased on live fire ranges and with associated targets. Some of the products seem to have real promise of adoption or at least success in testing. Other products appear to be a backdoor way to cut through Big Army’s incredibly bureaucratic competition and adoption regulations by piggybacking on this program. I’ve assembled some of the small arms highlights from the program Systems Book available online.  In addition where applicable I’ve inserted photographs from the Live Fire event showcasing the mentioned pages.

 

OSS Suppressors with H&K recently won the Army’s CSASS contract, so this could be an avenue they are exploring to place themselves in a competitive suppressor competition. Further down this list is another suppressor company. There is a growing movement within the U.S Military to move to universal issue of suppressors due to the massive amounts of hearing loss compensation suffered by OIF/OEF troops, and the obvious ability of concealing positions while engaging the enemy, in addition to increased communication between troops during firefights.Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.14.45 AM

Did anyone say .300 ACC Black Out?Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.13.11 AM Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.11.53 AM Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.14.20 AM

Current 40x46mm Low Velocity grenades have an effective range of 350 meters (M203) or 375 meters (M32A1) with a max range of 400 meters. Pushing the 40mm out to 850 is thus effectively doubling the capabilities of this weapon system. My personal opinion, having used the 40x46mm in combat is that this is not a direction worth pursuing. The handheld M203 or M32A1 is at best a lethal potato launcher with the accompanying accuracy. So even if the grenade can push out that far, the inaccuracy and instability of the weapon system launching it still wouldn’t be up to par. If this were for the High Velocity 40x46mm grenades on a Mark 19 grenade launcher with a fixed T&E, I would be much more in favor.Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.11.59 AM

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Suppressed products have a very high presence in the program, from ammunition, suppressors themselves, and internally suppressed rifles.Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.12.45 AM Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.14.38 AM

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TFB covered a product very similar to this in 2014.

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Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • PK

    I’m glad to see further development of the AimLock, although the DeWalt batteries used for a while were admittedly hilarious.

  • yodamiles

    I’m surprised that LSAT ammunition is not there. The AimLock though…….

    • Joshua

      Aimlock holds a lot of potential if they can reduce the size and integrate it with the powered rail.

  • JustAHologram

    Look the FRAG 12 is back

    • Bert

      And “more accurate” with eotech…hmmm.

    • I don’t know that I would even use the word “accuracy” when talking about 10 MOA at 100m with that thing; it seems too oxymoronic to have any real meaning, like “common sense gun control”. I can get better than that with dirt cheap Foster slugs out of my bead sight 20ga, for cryin’ out loud.

      • JustAHologram

        It’s designed to take out vehicles and provide suppressing fire so I doubt they maximized accuracy instead focusing on explosive yield

        • William Elliott

          and just imagine that with the Crye Six-12…

  • Giolli Joker

    What is the “condom” grenade?

    • Bert

      Door breacher, probably.

    • CommonSense23

      It’s a breaching grenade.

    • noob

      I can’t decide if it is for “force protection” or breaching the “impregnable”

  • Martin M

    Why do all those dummies in the green shirts have their green pants down?

    • Phillip Cooper

      ‘Cuz they’re about to get f___ed.
      Duh?

      • Martin M

        Drilled?

        • Martin Grønsdal

          they’ll can it

  • DIR911911 .

    ok , I’ll get the shopping cart

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    ***printing page for xmas list***

  • jake

    By the looks of the AimLock, the army is going the Colonial Marines route and investing in Smart Guns.

  • Marc

    AimLock strikes me as needlessly complex. 4 actuators acting on the barrel near the muzzle, a spherical bearing around the trunnion, some wiggle room inside the receiver, …

    • Hans

      How could it be made simpler?

      • Marc

        The answer is what you’ve responded to. Instead of nesting the whole rifle in a chassis, make use of the flexibility already inside the rifle (mostly the barrel). The point of aim shifts if you apply pressure to a rifle’s barrel, that’s why free-floating barrels increases accuracy. By maximizing this flexibility and controlling it one might get the desired effect without building a chassis to aim the whole rifle for you.

  • Dougscamo

    Looking at all of this reminds me of looking at a Playboy Magazine….full of beautiful and exotic objects….that I will never get my hands on…..

  • GD Ajax

    Spew, if you have to put that much crap on a rifle to make it more accurate. Maybe its time to find a new gun.

  • CommonSense23

    40mm is more than capable at medium ranges. The problem is conventional forces receive very little training with them. And underbarrel grenade launchers are far harder to shoot than standalone grenade launchers. Especially with modern sights for them.

  • Iggy

    ‘ballistic reduction’ is my new favorite euphemism for ‘blow the s**t out of’.

  • Ed S

    Aimlock seems to be an older and more unwieldy version of Tracking Point’s weapons. For me, it would make sense for the Army to test out the Tracking Point scopes to see if they’re viable for basic issue weapons or maybe use it as a model to emulate when decreasing Aimlock’s size. Of course, I’ll admit that this is my first glance at Aimlock so I could be wrong about it’s functions and mechanisms.

    • GJ Ajax

      Do things cheaper and off the self? Our military loath to do that. Any accuracy Aimlock or Tracking Point could provide will be negligible once the LSAT Carbine and LMG are issued at the squad level. Along with any one of the Exosuits under development.

  • 11b

    I’m not convinced integrated suppressors are a good idea. For one, try and teach Joe to maintain the thing without breaking it or losing a bunch of parts. Second, they’re very expensive at a time when live fire training is less and less frequent; put more money into that and you’ll get a better return on investment.

    If we’re worried about hearing loss, just issue line soldiers electronic ear pro. When I deployed we had in ear mechanical ear pro (some type of diaphragm I think) that did a decent job of muting gunfire transients while keeping voices audible. Spend a couple bucks more on the electronic kit and you’re good to go.

    • iksnilol

      But suppressors have other advantages over ear pro.

      Also, most military suppressors are “maintenance free” designs, you just keep them from rusting and flush them out with solvent on occasion.

      • William Elliott

        Okay, electronic ear pro is nice, but you have to cycle through batteries. Regular ear pro muffles sounds you want to hear.
        I have an OSS on my SAR-21 Tavor. Unless I am in a “hallway” where I get reflected sound from the sonic crack, its quieter than an unsuppressed .22 LR. As for maintinence, with no baffles and with the flow through design, its going to reduce maintinence to solvant, protectant lube, blow out with canned air [or air compressor…or just shoot it a couple of times], Its really a neat design.

        • Ron

          Throw in that wearing electric ear pro for extended periods of time just sucks.

  • jcl

    It kinda what M4a1+ would have looks like if they went throught with the program. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f0f22ec66cc79d1a1c703f491ce31152a101e06d8193228e27bdf72d14dfd1a.jpg

    • Henry Reed

      That’s a KAC. Note the URX-4 handguard and QDC flash suppressor.

      • jcl

        I know, the M4a1+ was meant use off the shelf components, so this what it might looks like had they chosen URX-4 handguard and QDC flash suppressor.

  • Henry Reed

    I see a KAC URX-4 handguard and QDC flash hider 🙂

  • Gus Butts

    wat