The US Marine Corps may soon be calling on the firearm industry for proposals for integrally suppressed firearms. The Marine Corps Times report that Colonel Mike Manning, the program manager for the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Ground Combat Element Systems program, discussed the Corps’ future for suppressors during a panel at the annual Modern Day Marine military expo at Quantico.
He confirmed that the Corps will soon be drafting a request for industry (RFP) proposals. Manning hinted that “there’s a couple [auppressor systems] out there right now that integrate with the weapons themselves. That’s really where we want to be. Integrate the suppressor into the barrel,”
Gunner Christian Wade discusses suppressors:
The Corps believes that suppressors improve the command and control of units during firefights, allow for tactical innovation and increase a squad’s ability to operate stealthily
Manning declined to go into detail on what the RFI might call for or just how many integrally suppressed Rifles the Corps may want. The 2nd Marine Division has been testing commercially available suppressors at the battalion level for some time and the Corps seems to be interested in refining their deployment.
“The advantages to that integration are immediate,” Manning explained, “quit throwing it on the end so that now we have a 14-and-a-half inch barrel or a 16-inch barrel. We just added four or five inches to that barrel.”
What configuration the new integral system might take remains to be seen. Marine infantrymen are currently equipped with the M4 and the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle. An integrally suppressed upper receiver kit for these rifles seems the most likely option.