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Author Topic: Future soldier technology (modified thread)  (Read 92323 times)

Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2015, 08:52:13 pm »
Ah, OK, now I understand.  Thanks for the links.

Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2015, 11:02:11 am »
Brain to computer communication

http://www.army.mil/article/147819
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 07:11:08 am by bobbymike »
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline fredymac

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2015, 08:02:19 am »
That last bit about fused night vision and thermal imaging is odd.  The AN/PSQ-20 has been fielded for 4 years now.









Offline bobbymike

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2015, 08:42:51 am »
New light machine gun: M249 put on weight control

http://www.army.mil/article/148002/New_light_machine_gun__M249_put_on_weight_control/

May 6, 2015

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Army News Service, May 6, 2015) -- When engineers here looked at the heavy, 17.5-pound M249 carried by Soldiers, they decided to put it on a diet and rearrange some of the components, Kori Phillips said.

 She said when her team was finished, the M249, formerly known as the Squad Automatic Weapon, went from 17.5 to 9.2 pounds. That is only about 2 pounds heavier than the M16A2 rifle.

 The M249 light machine gun also took on a longer name. It is now called the Cased Telescoped Light Machine Gun, or CT LMG.

 Phillips, who spoke during media day here, May 4, is a project engineer with the Joint Service Small Arms Program.

 No new exotic metals were used to lighten it, she said, just machining components down in size. As for rearrangements, the biggest was detaching the firing chamber from the barrel.

 The new, external firing chamber has the added benefit of keeping the gun cooler and reducing the likelihood of rounds cooking off in the chamber, Phillips said.

 As for the rounds, program engineers designed new ones that are cased in a plastic-like substance, replacing the brass cartridges. This, she said, has resulted in a 39-percent reduction of ammo weight.

 The CT LMG was test-fired by Soldiers on Fort Benning, Georgia, in September 2011, she said. Those and subsequent tests showed the CT LMG to achieve 25 percent more first-round target hits than the heavier model M249 now in use.

 The Soldiers liked it so much, some of the squad leaders said they wanted every Soldier in their squad to have one, she said.

 They cannot though, she said, because it is still considered in development until long-term testing determines how well it stands up over time, and, of course it would have to become a program of record. Another round of testing begins this fall. No other timetable was given.

 GRENADE MUNITIONS

 CT LMG was not the only new developmental weapon on display for media day. Dozens of other systems were too, including a 40mm grenade, which Soldiers can launch from their rifle-mounted grenade launchers.

 This is nothing like your grandfather or even father's M433 grenade, fielded in the early 1970s, however.

 It is an "autonomous, air-bursting, low velocity" grenade with a "smart fuse," said Steven Gilbert, project manager, Small Arms Grenade Munitions.

 Autonomous means Soldiers do not have to do anything different than they do now when they fire grenades except to ensure it is the new autonomous one, he said.

 The smart fuse, he said, senses when the grenade is going over a wall and when it does, it air bursts, presumably taking out adversaries hiding behind the wall.

 Asked whether it could do the same to an enemy hiding behind a tree, Gilbert said yes, it senses that as well and would burst just as it passes the tree trunk.

 Gilbert said that the proximity sensor in the fuse is smart enough to detect clutter nearby the triggering obstacle. The triggering obstacle could be things like a wall or a tree from 50 to 200 meters.

 Asked what sort of sensor the grenade contains that differentiates clutter from triggering obstacles, Gilbert said that is highly classified.

 The new grenade, which does not have a name yet, can also point detonate up to 400 meters like an ordinary M433. If the sensor doesn't detect a valid obstacle, it simply explodes on impact.

 Testing in February showed an airburst reliability of 76 percent. Gilbert did not have a timeline beyond that, as it is not a program of record and is incubating in development.

 STAYING ON TRACK

 It is hard to stay on track at Picatinny since trees grow between its 1903 Carnegie Steel rails over which ammo trains once rolled during the two world wars. Trucks do the job now.

 But scientists and engineers still need to stay on track in the development process, and that can be a problem when the main thing they understand is physics and materials, said Andrea Stevens, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center's manager for innovation, who keeps their projects from derailing.

 There is a lot more than lab work needed to keep a development on track, she said. For example, there is an entire process for getting patents approved - and Picatinny produces more patents each year than any other Army installation. Also, there is the matter of latching on to a funding stream because without that, a project lacks enough steam to move down the track.

 And, she said, there are a lot of other things a project might need help on such as modeling. It is one thing to see how a part looks in a CAD drawing and it is another to actually hold the part in your hand.

 Today, ordinary people can buy 3-D printers to do that in plastic, she said. Picatinny has those.

 Picatinny also has a 3-D printer that can print out various types of flexible plastics and even printed circuit cards used in computers and electronics. That really speeds the development cycle, she said.

 The arsenal also houses a 3-D printer that prints in various types of metals so that the prototyped part produced also accurately represents the feel, strength and heft of the one being developed.

 Ralph Tillinghast, lab director for the Collaboration Innovation Lab, has that state-of-the art printer that produces 3-D metal objects in many shapes and sizes and even can do very intricate, thread-like details.

 The lab's printer does it with lasers, he said. It shoots out a layer of metal and then builds another layer on top of that. Each new layer is welded onto the existing layer by the laser. It can do most metal including steel, stainless steel and even cobalt and titanium.

 It does not do so well with aluminum, however, which is considered a soft metal, he said.

 Tillinghast said his lab also uses machines parts. He showed a large, heavy bronze part that goes inside an M2A2 aiming circle, which may have been manufactured during World War II and is still in use today for aiming mortars and artillery, sort of like a compass.

 He then showed an aluminum part in the exact shape as the bronze one that could be used in its place. Of course, the aluminum was much lighter.

 Asked about its strength, he said the aluminum one was actually stronger than the bronze one because it contained strengthening alloys similar to those used in high-performance aircraft parts.

 Whatever the engineers need, Stevens and Tillinghast help them and their projects stay on the modernization track.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline fredymac

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2015, 12:45:24 pm »
New light machine gun: M249 put on weight control

http://www.army.mil/article/148002/New_light_machine_gun__M249_put_on_weight_control/

May 6, 2015

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Army News Service, May 6, 2015) -- When engineers here looked at the heavy, 17.5-pound M249 carried by Soldiers, they decided to put it on a diet and rearrange some of the components, Kori Phillips said.

 She said when her team was finished, the M249, formerly known as the Squad Automatic Weapon, went from 17.5 to 9.2 pounds. That is only about 2 pounds heavier than the M16A2 rifle.

 The M249 light machine gun also took on a longer name. It is now called the Cased Telescoped Light Machine Gun, or CT LMG.

 Phillips, who spoke during media day here, May 4, is a project engineer with the Joint Service Small Arms Program.

 No new exotic metals were used to lighten it, she said, just machining components down in size. As for rearrangements, the biggest was detaching the firing chamber from the barrel.

 The new, external firing chamber has the added benefit of keeping the gun cooler and reducing the likelihood of rounds cooking off in the chamber, Phillips said.

 As for the rounds, program engineers designed new ones that are cased in a plastic-like substance, replacing the brass cartridges. This, she said, has resulted in a 39-percent reduction of ammo weight.

 The CT LMG was test-fired by Soldiers on Fort Benning, Georgia, in September 2011, she said. Those and subsequent tests showed the CT LMG to achieve 25 percent more first-round target hits than the heavier model M249 now in use.

 The Soldiers liked it so much, some of the squad leaders said they wanted every Soldier in their squad to have one, she said.

 They cannot though, she said, because it is still considered in development until long-term testing determines how well it stands up over time, and, of course it would have to become a program of record. Another round of testing begins this fall. No other timetable was given.








This article makes it sound like the M249 was modified when in fact they are talking about an entirely new gun derived from the LSAT program.  I'm not sure where LSAT is going.  I would guess that the logistics of setting up case telescoped ammunition (or the caseless alternative) may be causing second thoughts.
















Online SpudmanWP

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2015, 01:13:27 pm »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline Moose

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2015, 03:11:31 pm »
Where LSAT is going depends on who you talk to. The most recent news I've seen was that they're putting together prototypes in additional calibers. 7.62mm to compare with the current NATO round the same way they did for 5.56mm, and and all-new round in the 6.5-7mm range.


Online SpudmanWP

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2015, 03:16:43 pm »
The last vid I linked to (the Compact LSAT one) mentions the move to develop a 7.62 version.


The US Army awardd a contract last year to develop a 7.62 version


http://kitup.military.com/2014/06/army-awards-contract-7-62mm-lsat.html


Quote
Under this two-year award, the LSAT team will develop a cased-telescoped carbine, as well as 7.62mm CT ammunition and a machine gun operating mechanism, the release states.


The team includes Alliant Techsystems, ARES Incorporated, MSC Software and St. Marks Powder. It plans to build on the current LSAT technology, which consists of includes the compact light machine gun with a quick-change, 12-inch barrel and folding buttstock. It was developed for close-quarters applications and tested in 2012 by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.


The effort has also produced the operating mechanism for a carbine variant.


More info (including preliminary 7.62 test data):


http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2014armaments/Wed16533_Shipley.pdf
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 03:29:17 pm by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline muttbutt

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2015, 03:00:51 pm »
The Finnish military's new helmet, the Savok THOR integrated helmet system.





The Savox THOR system is an extremely modular helmet platform that can be extended by adding more capabilities to the system on the fly, making this a truly integrated design. (Photos: Savox)


Savox' FLEXrail and FLEXpower on the THOR system. Five innovative rails power everything that is attached to the helmet.


Quote
Under “Helmet System 2020,” which started 2010 as part of the Finnish “Technology Programme – Warrior,” Savox went ahead to have better ergonomics compared to the existing combat helmet, and to have a completely integrated system. Soldiers often complained that their helmets were not comfortable to carry, when communications, NVGs, and eye wear were connected to the helmet. With initial discussions having started back in 2004, research began in 2010. At IDEX 2014 Savox is introducing a ‘headgear system’ that has a boltless design for increased ballistic protection: The Savox THOR system.
Savox THOR – A Total Integrated System The Savox THOR system is extremely modular, as the helmet platform can be extended by adding more capabilities to the system on the fly, sensors, lights, protective visors etc. via five innovative powered rails (FLEXrail – with four integrated software defined IR- and microphone buttons) that, via common power management (FLEXpower), supplies all devices and communications attached to the helmet, making this a truly integrated design.

Savox, being the prime for Finland’s Warrior 2020 Soldier Modernisation Programme helmet, works together with FY-Composites, who supply the ballistic shell, and Millog for the NVGs.
 
 The helmet can be adjusted to changing operational requirements by changing the ballistic protection level of the helmet easily via Savox’ FLEXfix technology. FLEXfit provides the possibility to personalise the fitting of each helmet individually for each user according to the head shape and size, including a fast ratchet type of size adjustment. The helmet system provides state-of-the-art ballistic protection thanks to a boltless helmet shell based on the latest Dyneema and aramid material technology via FY-Composites (protection against ballistic threats: fragments and bullets; STANAG 2920 1.1g FSP-v50: 450. 750m/s – back face deformation <25mm; NIJ0106.01 9 mm FMJ bullet 430m/s; and fulfills EN 397 shock absorption requirements). Savox completely re-thought ergonomics resulting in ultimate comfort and stability, making the helmet shell an individual system component that can be removed while maintaining all other features, still delivering BUMP protection (e.g. EN812). The protection level and area can be tailored and varied.
 
 The NVGs are totally integrated in the design with new 60° view angle (also available in the standard 40° field of view). Using 2nd/3rd generation night vision technology, THOR employs Millog’s Hi60, with a human recognition up to 150-250m and an integrated IR illuminator. NVGs can be attached in single or dual configuration, and completely customisable according to customer specifications.

Savox THOR is Using the FLEX Family of Technology
 
 
  • FLEXadjust provides a flexible and adjustable mounting and positioning of both NVG goggles, hearing protection cups and other accessories. The solution is based upon a multi-axis and multi leverage fixation points in order to warrant a personalised fitting that is easy to adjust to each soldier. FLEXpower provides a power distribution capability to all sensors and communication devices that are attached to the helmet, providing the capability to supply the helmet power internally to all systems, as well as providing and managing the power from external bigger centralised power packs to these helmet mounted sensors and communications devices.
  • FLEXnet technology provides sensor data routing capability internally of the helmet, as well as connection to external data routers and/or data radios. 
  • FLEXrail provides the mounting rail capability to the headgear system with an open USB integration interface for third party accessory products, such as sensors, NVGs, lights, cameras, etc., as well as standalone existing picatinny rail mounting accessories.
  • FLEXfix provides the possibility to personalise the fitting of each headgear system individually for each user according to the head shape and size. The technology provides as well a fast ratchet type of size adjustment.
  • [/l][/l]
THOR’s ergonomic mounting solution and weight distribution makes it more comfortable to use, gives it less fatigue, and a smaller profile. The NVGs positioning result in a lower impact point, with the consequence of less destroyed NVGs. And, with the powerpack positioned on the back of the helmet, there is no need for additional counter weights, resulting in a remarkable weight reduction. The helmet is compatible with protective glasses, goggles, and gas masks, i.e. no need to take off the helmet.

The helmet is designed for Mounted (in combination and used with Savox IMP and similar systems) and Dismounted operations (used with the SAVOX URIC and similar products).
 
 For integrated communications and hearing protection, THOR incorporates integrated ear speakers for radio communication; a boom microphone and bone conductive skull, throat, or respirator microphone options; volume adjustment by integrated buttons; connectivity options for tactical radios and intercom systems; optional PTT buttons; integrated hearing protection against battlefield noise (SNR 23dB or better); and talk through feature for improved situational awareness. The helmet’s three-position mounting system allows for easy ventilation without removing the helmet or losing communications.
 
 The THOR system has been built around the integration requirements found in advanced soldier modernisation programmes, allowing for a seamless integration of: Communications, sensors, situational awareness, protection, and cover, while allowing for a full modularity based upon mission and training requirements.
 
 Additionally, THOR is designed specifically for use with digital platform intercom solutions and military digital two-way radios, allowing for programmable features and capabilities, which give the user the capacity to customise for the soldier’s specific needs.
 
 The headgear system’s modular concept as a complete integrated system consists of:
 
 
[/q][/l]
   
  • Head protection: ballistic and shock,
  • Communications,
  • Hearing protection,
  • NVGs,
  • Powered accessory rails, and
  • Centralised power management.
  • [/l]

    Ergo, a modular structure that allows the user to choose the best set-up in a mission-specific way.
     This project - to develop a new "Helmet System 2020 "- started 2010 as part of Finnish "Technology Program - Warrior".
     
     According to Lt.Col. Matti Honkela, PM Warrior 2020, Army Acquisition Coordinator, “Our aim was to have better ergonomics compared to existing combat helmets and to have a completely integrated system.”
     
     Paying close attention to Finland’s arctic conditions and ease of use of the sub systems, “tests were carried out during 2012-2014,” explained LtCol. Honkela. “I think that in this kind of project the feedback from the soldiers is of high importance. Sometimes the feedback - based on testing - has been very demanding. But, I think that is only way to develop a product that satisfies a soldier’s needs.”
     
     When asked how he rates this project, the Army Acquisition Coordinator said:”So far we have been happy with the product and cooperation with the industry.”
     
    Quote
    http://www.miltechmag.com/2015/02/idex-2015-savox-tactical-headgear.html[/q][/q][/q]
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 03:07:47 pm by muttbutt »

Offline bobbymike

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline Moose

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Re: Future soldier technology (modified thread)
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2015, 04:03:55 pm »
Given what a monumental mess the recent inter-service camo wars have been, I hope the Marines play nice this time.