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.
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.
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.