Tuesday, July 7, 2020

U.S. Army develops ‘stealthy’ rifles

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The U.S. Army is planning to use cutting-edge technologies to significantly reduce the noise and visual signature of the next-generation rifles, according to new data from the Joint Service Small Arms Program.

The next generation rifles will combine modern firepower with reduced visual and acoustic signatures. The U.S. arms makers working with military researchers on new solutions that help to field a system that will allow troops to gain the advantage of stealth.

One of the major challenges is the development of critical component-level technologies that provide lightweight, reduced signature, lower-recoil rifle development to enable increased system performance. To be really ‘stealthy’, it is not enough to remove the noise of firing. Engineers are making efforts to reduce first-shot weapon signature in low light to conduct operations without detection. Currently, first shots produce a brighter flash.

The blast and flash are caused by the combustion products of the gunpowder, and any remaining unburned powder, mixing with the ambient air. The size and shape of the muzzle flash are dependent on the type of ammunition being used and the individual characteristics of the firearm and any devices attached to the muzzle (such as a muzzle brake or flash suppressor).

According to new data, continues development of a convenient gas purge system to remove oxygen from the barrel to reduce the weapon flash from the first shot, but doing so without losing accuracy and range.

The new system designed to reduce or close the gap for gunner position detection. No escaping gas means no loud noise, making a pop rather than a bang.

The new weapons system developing especially for use in irregular warfare like the insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

Competitors in the United States Army Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition engage targets on a night live-fire range on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, March 20, 2019. Photo by Sgt. Michelle Blesam

Soldiers with the 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion conduct night qualification with the M2 .50-caliber machine gun, using thermal night optics, at the Orchard Combat Training Center, near Boise, Idaho on November 3, 2018. Photo by 1st Lt. Robert Barney

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