USA — Soldiers prefer lighter machine gun during assessment

QUANTICO, Va. — A mil­i­tary util­i­ty assess­ment held at Fort Ben­ning, Ga., in Sep­tem­ber 2011 has con­clud­ed that all par­tic­i­pat­ing Sol­diers imme­di­ate­ly noticed the reduced weight of a pro­to­type light machine gun and most would pre­fer it to the cur­rent squad auto­mat­ic weapon used in bat­tle.

 -
Spc. Timo Swan­er engages a close range tar­get with the light machine dur­ing a mil­i­tary unit assess­ment at Fort Ben­ning, Ga., Octo­ber 2011.
Click to enlarge
 -
Here you can find more infor­ma­tion about: 

The light machine gun, known as the LMG, is part of the Light­weight Small Arms Tech­nolo­gies, or LSAT, pro­gram at the Arma­ment Research, Devel­op­ment and Engi­neer­ing Cen­ter at Picatin­ny Arsenal. 

In Sep­tem­ber 2011, near­ly 20 Sol­diers par­tic­i­pat­ed in a two-week assess­ment of the LMG. The pur­pose of that event was to help engi­neers and devel­op­ers under­stand and val­i­date any adjust­ments or improve­ments the weapon and its unique ammu­ni­tion may need from the per­spec­tive of the warfight­er. Anoth­er pur­pose was to demon­strate its poten­tial impact on mis­sion effectiveness. 

The results of the study con­duct­ed by the Maneu­ver Bat­tle Lab at Fort Ben­ning were pre­sent­ed March 13 to a group of mil­i­tary and civil­ian per­son­nel inter­est­ed in the pro­gram dur­ing an LSAT Lead­er­ship Famil­iar­iza­tion Shoot at Marine Corps Base Quan­ti­co, Va. 

Last year’s mil­i­tary util­i­ty assess­ment, or MUA, demon­strat­ed the advan­tages that the LMG pro­vides for the warfight­er, and helped in devel­op­ing a Capa­bil­i­ty Devel­op­ment Doc­u­ment , or CDD. A CDD is required before the sys­tem can tran­si­tion to a pro­gram of record and enter the engi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing devel­op­ment phase of the acqui­si­tion life cycle. 

More than 25,000 rounds were fired from eight pro­to­type LMG’s dur­ing the assess­ment. Par­tic­i­pat­ing Sol­diers over­whelm­ing­ly pre­ferred the LMG to the M249 SAW, which is the machine gun cur­rent­ly used in Afghanistan. 

Fif­teen of the 19 Sol­diers who par­tic­i­pat­ed stat­ed that, if giv­en a choice, they would rather take the LMG to war over the M249

The study also revealed a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the time it took the Sol­diers to zero the LMG com­pared to the M249 SAW. Zero­ing the weapon means cus­tomiz­ing it for a more accu­rate shot since each weapon is unique and no two are exact­ly the same. 

The Sol­diers had to qual­i­fy on a known dis­tance range with both the SAW and the LMG. One Sol­dier repeat­ed­ly failed to meet qual­i­fi­ca­tion stan­dards while fir­ing the SAW, but passed on the first try with the LMG

Com­pared to the M249 SAW, the light machine gun is 21.5 pounds (41 per­cent) lighter for the gun­ner, and there is a 12 per­cent reduc­tion in ammu­ni­tion vol­ume. This decrease in weight was evi­dent when all the Sol­diers maneu­vered the wood­land obsta­cle course faster while car­ry­ing the LMG ver­sus the SAW

FASTER COURSE TIME

On aver­age, the course was com­plet­ed faster by one minute and eleven sec­onds with the LMG, an increased agili­ty that could be crit­i­cal on the battlefield. 

Sol­diers attrib­uted the increased mobil­i­ty when mov­ing and nego­ti­at­ing obsta­cles to the short­ened weapon length, the adjustable butt stock and lighter ammunition. 

After the brief­ing at Quan­ti­co, key Army lead­ers gained expe­ri­ence with the weapon while shoot­ing rounds down range. 

Lt. Col. Jack Emer­son, the mil­i­tary deputy to the Army chief sci­en­tist, fired both weapons and imme­di­ate­ly iden­ti­fied the recoil reduc­tion in the LSAT LMG

“The recoil is non-exis­tent,” Emer­son said. “I can feel the dif­fer­ence and I’m no weapons expert.” 

Tom Carade­schi , chief engi­neer in Project Man­ag­er Maneu­ver Ammu­ni­tion Sys­tem, or PM-MAS, said “the dif­fer­ence is like night and day (and) just the weight of hold­ing the weapon with­out even think­ing of fir­ing.” PM MAS is part of the Pro­gram Exec­u­tive Office for Ammunition. 

Because of the find­ings dur­ing the assess­ment, Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, com­mand­ing gen­er­al for the U.S. Army’s Maneu­ver Cen­ter of Excel­lence at Fort Ben­ning, signed a let­ter com­mit­ting fund­ing for more eval­u­a­tions of the LMG in a For­ward Oper­a­tional Assess­ment in Afghanistan. 

The LSAT pro­gram is man­aged by the Joint Ser­vice Small Arms Pro­gram, which is also part of ARDEC

Tex­tron Sys­tems’ AAI Cor­po­ra­tion is the prime con­trac­tor and sys­tems inte­gra­tor for a team of six addi­tion­al com­pa­nies that con­tribute to the LSAT program. 

Source:
U.S. Army 

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →