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The Publication of Distinction for the Maneuver Warfighter

Vehicle Suspension Systems

Forces Leader Gen. Frank J. Grass Chief National Guard Bureau

Vehicle Programs O Army Soldier Gear O Saving Wounded Mortars and Ammunition O Tactical Headsets

April 2013

Volume 4, Issue 1

POWER Anywhere/Anytime

The Endura Mobile Backpack Power Systems The Endura Mobile Backpack Power Solution by Aegis Defense was developed with the war-fighter in mind. This system provides the war-fighter with a lightweight expeditionary power source optimized for increased tactical mobility and sustainability. Additionally, the weight and cost savings over legacy power sources provide ground commanders with affordable, sustainable power solutions while enhancing operational flexibility and maneuverability. The lightweight design utilizes cutting edge material advancements that are incredibly durable yet weigh less than traditional materials making the system appealing for expeditionary operations. The Endura Backpack Mobile Power System provides unlimited, sustainable energy in the most austere environments.

Purification System

A Revolutionary Weapon in Water Purification.

WaterQore ’s revolutionary purifying process is simple, chemical-free, rapid and highly efficient. ®

WaterQore treated mesh

cover over fill-hole: Reduces large particles and turbidity.

WaterQore within the

hydro-bladder: Provides a static microbial disinfection and safe storage against pathogen reinoculation, bio-film and fungus formation in water.

WaterQore uses patented Amosil-Q™ technology to safely kill germs, viruses, bacteria, algae and protozoa by shredding them apart on contact. Amosil-Q stands for Anti-microbial Organo Silane Quaternary. It is a bonded non-leaching nano-technology that ruptures a pathogen’s cell membrane – destroying it on contact. WaterQore is a revolutionary chemical and energy-free way to transform contaminated water into safe drinking water with the ability for long-term, pathogen-free storage from virtually any water source. WaterQore delivers. + Purifies water within 15 minutes + Easy one step purification process + 6-month operational life + 12-year proven dry shelf-life + Meets 135 liter volume requirements + Resistant to shock, heat and freezing

+ Displaces only 2 ounces of water + Lightweight - only weighs 70 grams + Not affected by turbidity {cloudiness} + Eliminates bio-film on media surfaces

ground combat technology

April 2013 Volume 17, Issue 1


Cover / Q&A

Army Soldier Gear

Vehicle Suspension Systems

Take a tour of the latest for warfighters, ranging from boots to molle packs, camo uniforms and more. We talk firsthand to makers of the best equipment for combatants, with details of emerging new technologies.

U.S. combat operations in the Afghan countryside and other remote areas have fueled demand to equip military ground vehicles with more off-road capability. But these vehicles often need better suspension systems to drive over brutally rugged terrain while also carrying heavier armor. As a result, the military and industry are developing and building an array of suspension improvements to help new and legacy vehicles navigate tough terrain.

By Henry Canaday

By Marc Selinger



16 General Frank J. Grass




Standing in harm’s way will never be a safe occupation, but chances are vastly greater that a wounded warrior will survive to fight another day, thanks to innovations that are medical miracles for patients. By Dave Ahearn

New-tech headsets can help combatants keep their heads straight as they receive an avalanche of information from multiple sources, including comms systems, iPads and more. By Dave Ahearn

Mortars and ammunition may not be new items on the warfield, but there are advancements and refinements for these tools of combat that are so significant, they win awards. Check out the latest in this area, and see how these systems help to counter the ever-changing techniques employed by the enemy. By Hank Hogan

Saving The Wounded

Tactical Headsets

Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 3 intel 4 People 14 Innovations 26 Technology IntelL 27 Resource Center


Mortars and Ammunition

International Vehicle Programs While U.S. military vehicle programs may be limited as wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down, other nations are advancing a wide array of vehicle efforts. By John M. Doyle

Industry Interview Adam Zarfoss

Director of Artillery Programs BAE Systems


Chief National Guard Bureau

“After more than a decade of conflict, the National Guard is truly an operational force. We have decisively answered the call of our nation and its governors, and stand ready to serve with our active duty and reserve component counterparts as we redefine the American military for the 21st century.” - General Frank J. Grass

Ground Combat Technology Volume 4, Issue 1 • April 2013

The Publication of Distinction for the Maneuver Warfighter Editorial Editor Dave Ahearn Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis Copy Editors Sean Carmichael Laural Hobbes Correspondents Henry Canaday • John M. Doyle • Jeff Goldman Hank Hogan • Jeff Goldman • William Murray Marc Selinger • Leslie Shaver

Art & Design Art Director Jennifer Owers Senior Graphic Designer Jittima Saiwongnuan Graphic Designers Scott Morris Eden Papineau Amanda Paquette Kailey Waring

KMI Media Group Publisher Kirk Brown Chief Executive Officer Jack Kerrigan Chief Financial Officer Constance Kerrigan Executive Vice President David Leaf Editor-In-Chief Jeff McKaughan Controller Gigi Castro Marketing & Communications Manager Holly Winzler Operations Assistant Casandra Jones Trade Show Coordinator Holly Foster

EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE While advances in unmanned ground and aerial systems can be astounding, there still are many actions a human can execute with ease that are beyond some unmanned systems. Take, for example, picking up an object, or placing an object on a table or the ground. While this is simple for a human, a machine must acquire several capabilities to perform just one action. In picking up an object, the machine must use its “fingers” with enough pressure to pick up the item without letting it slip out of the grasp, while being careful not to use too much pressure that would crush the object. Some robotics providers have developed haptic systems that give the Dave Ahearn Editor operator a sense of feel, helping the operator apply just the right amount of pressure with the unmanned “fingers.” But that isn’t enough. For example, to pick up an item, the operator—or the unmanned system itself—must be able to determine just where the item is on a surface. This requires something most humans possess and never give a second thought: depth perception. Machines are gaining this capability, thanks to a demonstration funded by DARPA. It’s called precise autonomous payload placement. A DARPA technology demonstration recently finished successful testing of vision-driven robotic-arm payload emplacement using MLB Company’s tail-sitter UAV, V-Bat. This UAV is capable of both hover and wing-borne flight, enabling delivery and precision emplacement of a payload. A special robotic arm was designed with the capability to carry up to 1 pound. (You have to start somewhere.) The research team designed and developed a low-cost vision system to estimate the target’s position relative to the hovering vehicle in real time. This vision system enables the UAV to search for and find the target for the emplacement autonomously, and the system then performs the action. The vision system tracks and guides the robotic arm to the target object, simultaneously controlling the unmanned vehicle’s position. This could have great use for ground combat forces, such as depositing a small charge on top of an IED to detonate it without a human EOD specialist having to venture into the danger area.

Operations, Circulation & Production Operations Administrator Bob Lesser Circulation & Marketing Administrator Duane Ebanks Circulation Barbara Gill Data Specialists Raymer Villanueva Summer Walker

KMI MedIa Group LeadershIp MaGazInes and WebsItes Border & CBRNE Defense

Ground Combat Technology

Geospatial Intelligence Forum

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Military Information Technology

Border Threat Prevention and CBRNE Response


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Michael J. Fisher Chief U.S. Border Patrol U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Leadership Insight: Robert S. Bray Assistant Administrator for Law Enforcement Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service Transportation Security Administration

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Army Set for AN/PRC-155 Manpack Radios The Army awarded General Dynamics C4 Systems an additional production order valued at approximately $306 million for 3,726 handheld, manpack, small form fit (HMS) AN/PRC-155 manpack radios. The two-channel PRC-155 radios, along with vehicle integration kits and related accessories, are part of the Army’s Capability Set 13 networking and communications gear deploying with brigade combat teams next year. General Dynamics began production of these radios in anticipation of this new production order and started deliveries to the Army in November. “With the game-changing PRC-155 networking radio, soldiers can be confident they will have access to lifesaving voice and data communications,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “The AN/PRC-155 manpack is the most rigorously tested radio in the Army’s arsenal. This order, along with the 19,000 AN/ PRC-154 Rifleman radios already under contract, moves the Army one step closer to achieving its brigade modernization strategy.” “The two-channel PRC-155 completes the Army’s tactical network by connecting upper to lower tiers, legacy to future waveforms and terrestrial to over-the-horizon links,” said Chris Brady, vice president of assured communications for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “All of this is accomplished in a single breakthrough radio that weighs 33 percent less than two legacy, one-channel radios, reducing the soldier’s burden.” The two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio has also been certified by the National Security Agency to communicate classified voice and data at the top secret level and below. The certification makes the radio the only secure two-channel networking radio to communicate data across the entire force structure between battalion headquarters and soldiers on foot and in vehicles. The Army first purchased 100 AN/PRC-155 manpack radios from General Dynamics in July 2011. The two-channel manpack radio provides line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, high-bandwidth waveforms for on-the-move voice, sensor, data and position-location capabilities on soldiers or in vehicles. The manpack radio is the first tactical radio capable of supporting all three of the Army’s non-proprietary networking waveforms and is engineered to easily port additional waveforms as they become available. General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins will manufacture the manpack radios. Having two qualified manufacturers ensures the radios remain cost-competitive.

Army Procures Combat Gloves Promotion Plus Inc., North Royalton, Ohio, was awarded a firmfixed-price contact with a maximum value of $42 million for Army combat gloves. Work location will be determined with each order, with

an estimated completion date of January 2, 2018. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with eight bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Natick, Mass., handles the contract.

Ground Combat Vehicle Program Delayed The military has delayed the Ground Combat Vehicle Infantry Fighting Vehicle (GCV IFV) program by six months, and will downselect to just one firm in the next phase of the program instead of the previously expected two competitors. The contest features a BAE Systems proposal with a hybrid electric drive system versus a General Dynamics Land Systems offering, with each of the rivals having many major-league contractors on its team. A third proposal, from a team led by SAIC, was dropped previously. The new decision to delay the program was spelled out in a memo from Frank Kendall, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, to Army Secretary John McHugh. (Please see previous stories in Ground Combat Technology, August 2012 and February 2011.) The changes—which Kendall explained were prompted by looming tight defense budgets—extend the technology development phase of the GCV program by six months. Further, the next phase of the competition, involving engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD), will be pared down to just one contractor, instead of two rival teams. Also, the Army’s “planned procurement of long lead items for EMD prototypes is not authorized at this time,” Kendall wrote. The analysis of alternatives justifying the GCV acquisition program must be updated, he indicated. Further, there must be a separate assessment of selected nondevelopmental vehicles that could provide an alternative to developing the all-new GCV. Finally, any decision to award a contract to just one firm in the EMD phase, will occur in fiscal year 2019 instead of the previously expected FY18.

Navy, Marines Gain Hot Weather Boots Rocky Brands Inc., Nelsonville, Ohio, was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum $14.9 million for hotweather Army combat boots. Locations of performance are Ohio and Puerto Rico and the performance

completion date is December 21, 2013. Using military services are the Navy and Marine Corps. There were six responses to the bidders list solicitation. The contract is managed by the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

GCT  4.1 | 3


Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Mesh Asset Tracking Technology Deployed to Afghanistan Cubic Global Tracking Solutions has been awarded three U.S. Army and GSA schedule orders totaling approximately $4.8 million to expand its wireless mesh asset tracking technology to two U.S. bases in Afghanistan. Cubic will deploy thousands of mesh asset tags and its web-based device management center (DMC) asset visibility system to bases in Afghanistan, where the technology will be used to track and process equipment being redeployed or returned home in the drawdown of troops. Cubic is delivering the mesh network technology to the Army Logistics Innovation Agency and Army Sustainment Command as a subcontractor to ARINC Inc. on the nextgeneration wireless communications contract, and the Army mobility asset

tracking system program. Currently being used for yard management of vehicles at three bases in Kuwait, the solution consists of small, batteryoperated mesh tags with built-in GPS receivers that are attached to vehicles and linked wirelessly with one another to form a secure data communications network. Cubic’s asset visibility system enables logistics personnel to determine the precise location of any military vehicle by searching the DMC database. “Our system improves visibility in the Army supply chain to allow more efficient and secure processing of valuable equipment for retrograde movement outside of Afghanistan, and will help improve compliance with Army wash rack requirements for cleaning, tracking and monitoring of vehicles,” said Jim Kilfeather, vice president of

Cubic Global Tracking Solutions. “The system reduces the amount of time spent looking for vehicles, and enables more efficient utilization of personnel, equipment, wash racks and inspection bays. To the Army, this means a significant reduction in total turn time, as well as a better-managed and predictable logistics flow to ports like Karachi.” Kilfeather added, “As we draw down our forces in Afghanistan, there will be large movements of units and materials through the supply chains which are not always under U.S. control. Cubic provides a range of products to help secure and monitor containers and vehicles, and we are working with the U.S. military and their carriers to help enhance security during all of these movements.”

PEOPLE AM General announced that John C. Ulrich, former General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems chief operating officer, will join AM General as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Both companies make military vehicles. Ulrich will be responsible for overseeing AM General operations, product development and program management. Army Colonel Robert P. Walters Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Walters is currently serving as deputy director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, Arlington, Va.

4 | GCT 4.1

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Army Colonel David B. Haight has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Haight is currently serving as commandant, U.S. Army Infantry School, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga. Army Colonel David G. Bassett has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Bassett is currently serving as deputy program executive officer, Combat Support and Combat Service Support, Warren, Mich. Army Colonel Paul J. Laughlin II has been nominated for appointment to

the rank of brigadier general. Laughlin is currently serving as commandant, U.S. Army Armor School, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga. Army Colonel Wilson A. Shoffner Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Shoffner is currently serving as deputy commander (support), 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. Army Colonel Leon N. Thurgood has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Thurgood is currently serving as the deputy program executive officer,

Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. General Dynamics C4 Systems has promoted Sandra Wheeler to be vice president of Tactical Networks, leading teams responsible for continuous development and fielding of the U.S. Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T. Navistar International announced the appointment of Navistar executive Dennis “Denny” Mooney as group vice president, global product development. Mooney succeeds Ramin Younessi, who is leaving Navistar to pursue other opportunities.

Warriors gain better protection from lighter-weight, more comfortable garb. Getting better gear ready for warfighters is no simple matter, requiring thorough planning and, increasingly, understanding how all the equipment will be carried and used together. “From the individual soldier’s perspective, we have an uncertain environment going ahead, both in terms of the budget and the threat environment,” explained Douglas Morrison, director for Army programs at DuPont. Looking ahead to 2020, Morrison said threats will probably be somewhat similar to, but also a little different from, those that soldiers face now. “That puts a premium on ballistic and thermal protection,” Morrison said. “It also puts a premium on looking at the soldier as more of a platform.

By Henry Canaday GCT Correspondent

“If we don’t look at equipping soldiers holistically, end-to-end, we end up treating them like Christmas trees, hanging helmets, night vision goggles, protective eyewear, etcetera,” said Morrison. “We also end up taking the risk of not giving soldiers the equipment they need when they need it if we don’t push innovation, R&D, and if we don’t improve procurement processes.” In his 24-year Army career, Morrison said, equipping soldiers was too often done in a disaggregated fashion. “The number of requirements for equipping a soldier was more than 300, while the number of requirements for a ground platform like the Abrams tank was less than 10.” For DuPont, a holistic approach means looking at soldier equipage from three perspectives: protection, prevention and GCT  4.1 | 5

sustainment. “We look at this in categories, for example protecting the individual soldier from ballistic or thermal threats. The Army’s Soldier Protective System is moving in that direction, and that is very good.” Protection means protecting the head, face, eyes and ears as well as torso and extremities. Prevention would include items like camouflage and night vision goggles, while the sustainment perspective focuses on batteries and re-charging the electronic devices that are increasingly going to the tactical edge. DuPont has worked on a number of advanced lightweight materials that can reduce weight while maintaining or improving the ballistic and thermal protection of helmets and body armor. Additionally, it has developed fire-resistant materials for military uniforms. For prevention, DuPont has discussed research on advanced fibers and ideas like nanotechnology sensors that might enable camouflage fabrics to adapt to different lighting conditions and environments. “This might be something needed for the joint force in 2020,” Morrison said. For sustainment, DuPont has worked with Program Executive Office Soldier on fuel cells that could charge batteries and devices at the squad level, and is also looking at alternative battery chemistries. And the company is trying to use its expertise in materials to come up with hybrid materials for both hard and soft armor that maintain protection with less weight. DuPont has formed a collaborative agreement with a small and innovative nanotechnology firm to improve the structure of ballistic protection solutions for individual ballistic protection. It recently purchased Tensylon from BAE Systems. Tensylon is a polyethylene material that Morrison believes will be very useful in many areas, including platform and hard-armor applications. Other firms are also thinking holistically about soldier gear, especially boots and clothing. W.L. Gore & Associates is a premier manufacturer of durably waterproof and highly breathable fabrics used in military clothing, gloves and footwear, noted Marketing Communications Manager Jason Rodriguez. “All branches of the U.S. military may use some form of Gore fabric in a garment, glove, footwear or sleep system,” Rodriguez said. “New research in fabric technology now focuses on durably performing fabrics that are lighter weight, easier to pack, faster drying and more comfortable. In addition, specialized fabrics are being engineered for enhanced heat and flame protection, and chemical/biological protection from agents that might be encountered in the field.” For example, Gore’s Lightweight Loft Level 3A is a durable water-resistant and lightweight cold-weather jacket. It can be worn as a standalone garment or as an insulation layer within a cold-weather clothing system. It has a Gore Military Fabrics shell and a PrimaLoft Fusion insulation layer. Special Operations Command has already adopted this fabric combination. It offers faster The Danner Tachyon boot offers comfort and long wear. [Photo courtesy of Danner]

6 | GCT 4.1

and smaller pack volume, quick dry-out and improved weather protection. The Loft Level 3A enables operation in a variety of climates and conditions. Also new is Gore Pyrad flame retardant technology, a self-extinguishing fabric that adds heat and flame protection properties to nonflame retardant (FR) textiles. When laminated to nylon, polyester and other fabrics, Pyrad provides excellent protection against heat and fire by balancing flame resistance, thermal insulation and thermal stability. And Pyrad’s use of non-FR textiles allows garments to exploit advantages of these textiles, such as low water pick-up, abrasion resistance and high visibility. Without Pyrad, non-FR textiles would propagate flames, melt, drip and possibly yield burn injuries. Gore-Tex extended comfort footwear provides maximum comfort over a wide range of climates with its new single-layer boot-wall construction. Its breathability enables the soldier to wear one pair of boots in all seasons. And the footwear protects feet from rain and harsh weather while allowing moisture to escape from the boot, keeping feet dry and comfortable. Laboratory tests show it retains less water than standard desert boots. Single-wall construction offers light weight and fast drying so the boot can be worn in both hot and cold environments. Finally, Gore technology extends to the new Gore-Tex shelter fabric, which combines concealment, comfort, light weight and durability. The fabric is used for tactical shelters with Gore’s waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane technology. Gore also adds ingredients that retard flames while improving concealment. Tactical shelters made with Gore-Tex shelter fabric are well-suited for small shelters for less than 20 soldiers, optimize protection in harsh environments, and can withstand more than 30 set-ups and strikes. Bates sells military footwear in two ways, explained Andrew Fowler, director of sales. “We sell under contract to the military at the specifications they want. And then we sell to individual soldiers at military exchanges.” In combat deployment in Afghanistan, the Army is shifting to mountain hiking boots. Bates is providing two types of these hiking boots, a hot-weather, non-waterproof version and a temperateweather waterproof version. “The Army has gone over to the hiker style over about the last 18 months,” Fowler said. “The boot we make is in its third iteration, after we received user feedback and some feedback from our people on the assembly process.” The advantages of the Bates hiking boots are that they are light weight and provide stiffness to support feet on rugged, uneven terrain. “In rugged terrain, often the whole boot is not on the ground, so it needs to be stiff to give support,” Fowler explained. “It’s not like a marching boot in garrison where all the foot is on the ground.” Yet combat boots must still remain athletic, so the trick is to strike a balance between stiffness and flexibility. Bates had been awarded a multi-year contract, split with another firm, for the temperate weather and hot weather mountain combat boots. Fowler said the Army is free to require further changes. “But they usually keep it pretty stable once they go to a long-term contract.” Danner footwear for the military has evolved substantially in the last several years according to Ryan Cade, product line manager for military and law enforcement. Danner footwear is no longer just for durable protection, but is now lighter and more flexible. “In the last

two years, we have become much more versatile and our gear has also become more versatile, designed for specific environments,” he said. Cade said that conversations with military customers emphasize that speed is one of their most important weapons, so Danner boots have become more athletic. For example, the new Melee line offers highly agile boots for optimal maneuverability, while maintaining support and durability. These are ideal for quick offensive operations. Special side-arches help arrestment if a soldier is fast-roping. The mid-sole, co-molded with a special coating, provides cushion and shock absorption while mitigating marring and scuffing. Set for introduction in spring 2013 is the Tachyon boot, lighter and more flexible while still preserving the durability for which Danner is famous. The new boots weigh just 26 ounces a pair, the “lightest we have ever done,” Cade said. He described the Tachyon as like “a built-up athletic shoe.” A fully rubberized outsole with pentagonal lugs combines with additional abrasion resistance in the toecap to give superior surface contact and wear life. “When someone laces these boots up, they will feel the comfort and when they put them to work, the outsole and overall construction will speak to the Danner name people have come to trust,” Cade said. Revision’s new personal gear includes the Batlskin Modular Head Protection System, including the Batlskin advanced combat helmet (ACH)-shaped helmet. Dan Packard, senior vice president for U.S. military sales, described Revision’s Batlskin System as “a fully modular, scalable and tailorable suite of integrated headprotection components.” Providing ballistic, blast and blunt-force protection, Batlskin enables the wearer to up-armor his basic ACH helmet shell by adding a ballistic visor, mandible guard or both. “This allows the warfighter to adopt the ideal balance between enhanced protection and lethality,” Packard said. Batlskin provides compatibility with existing in-service equipment, specifically the ACH helmet, night vision goggles (NVG), communications and hearing protection. The system also provides built-in soldier-centric design principles that allow for the creation of a modular system with a distinct look that is well-integrated and easy to use. The Batlskin multipurpose front mount is the cornerstone of Batlskin head protection. The mount is a robust and lightweight universal NVG mount that triples as the visor dock and mandibleguard attachment point. It offers greater stability than current NVG mounts with a three-point helmet attachment assembly, and it provides the mechanism for mounting advanced protective equipment. The Batlskin three-position visor is an optically correct face shield that can be worn one of three ways to seek maximum coverage or maximum breathability: locked, vented or up. Developed to the same standards as the entire Revision ballistic eyewear line, it features a toroid- (donut) shaped visor that combines undistorted optics and maximum field-of-view with superior ballistic protection. “The visor provides additional blunt force, blast and ballistic protection while maintaining scratch, fog and chemical resistant properties,” Packard explained. “It can be worn with or without the mandible guard.” The Batlskin high-threat mandible guard provides lightweight blunt force, blast and ballistic protection for the lower jaw. It has a durable, low-profile design that is engineered for rapid attachment and removal while on the run. “It can be donned with or without the visor as well as with NVGs,” Packard noted.

The Batlskin head protection can be mounted on standard-issue ACH helmets made of aramid fiber or on Revision’s own polyethylene (PE) helmet shells. “Through innovative materials and hybridized layer construction, the Revision ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene combat helmet shell provides increased performance, and is at least 20 percent lighter than current aramid shells,” Packard said. Batlskin combines light weight, wearability for peak performance, solid structure, function and ballistic protection with ease of donning and doffing. Packard said this combination means that soldiers will be more likely to wear the gear, which is the first step to keeping them better protected. Deployed in a system that includes a ballistic helmet shell, trauma liner, front mount, retention system, mandible guard and visor, Batlskin could significantly reduce the nearly 30 percent of battlefield injuries that occur to the head, face and neck. It protects against blast trauma, the number one cause of on-field traumatic brain injuries, as well as blunt force and ballistic threats. “By keeping the design as light and low-profile as possible without compromising optical performance, soldiers are afforded additional, life-saving protection when needed that is easily removed when no longer necessary, thereby increasing the soldier’s effectiveness,” Packard said. Darley Defense is a major distributor of firefighting and special operations equipment to the Department of Defense, explained Defense Division Manager George McCullough. Darley also manufactures small water-purification systems and lightweight drones. Kevin Sofen, business development manager for Darley Purifire water purification, said the company manufactures 12 systems that range from the size of a small suitcase to larger systems than can be put in the back of a truck. The units can purify 1,000 to 12,000 gallons per day. All units can be quickly deployed and set up within minutes. Darley Purifire recently introduced its four-part Versa-Pak system that combines seven water-treatment technologies to provide 1,000 gallons per day of safe water for drinking, washing and decontamination. The Versa-Pak consists of four modules that can operate independently or as a system: a reverse osmosis module, an advanced oxidation module, a decontamination module and a service module with filters, hoses, jumpers and the battery-charging needed for longterm deployment. The Versa-Pak reverse osmosis module technology uses water pressure to reverse natural osmosis and filter out minerals and impurities, providing water that is less than 500 parts per million of dissolved solids. Following this initial treatment, the advanced oxidation module uses high-purity technologies such as sediment filtration,

The Stingerquad is a remotely controlled vertical lift aircraft that weighs just 4.3 pounds. [Photo courtesy of Darley Defense]

GCT  4.1 | 7

carbon block filtration, ultraviolet disinfection, mixed-bed deionization and ozone to provide high-quality drinking water from almost any water source. In addition to water purification, Darley continues to develop and test its Stinger unmanned aerial system, explained Stinger Project Manager Mike Mocerino. Originally 7.6 pounds with six motors, the Stinger has been slimmed down to 4.3 pounds with four motors. “It can take off vertically from anywhere, and at a mile and a quarter provides a very good video signal to operators,” Mocerino noted. The Stinger has three camera options: high-definition, zoomable and thermal imaging, all of which provide a live feed back to operators on laptops or at control stations. “It is for short-term immediate use,” said Mocerino. “You can set it up and have an eye in the sky in less than 60 seconds.” The Stinger can operate for 30 minutes with one battery. Global positioning satellite capability allows operators to flip a switch and the Stinger will maintain a given latitude and longitude until told to move. If the Stinger is on station but running low on battery power, control vibrations will tell the operator he has seven minutes left, allowing the drone to fly back to its launch point, get a new battery and then resume its watch.

QinetiQ North America (QNA) QNA’s Integrated Warrior System (IWS) takes a different but similar approach to solving the problem of multiple systems burdening the warfighter, with information smoothly fed in a comprehensible fashion to the warfighter. “The IWS contains a core power and data management hub,” explained Brian Farrell, director of Integrated Human Systems, Survivability Division. “IWS adapts to and integrates various tactical devices such as radios, sensors and ISR receivers. Headsets and push-to-talk devices can be connected to the tactical radio or radios with the entire tactical device suite then integrated on the MOLLE vest system of choice,” he added. QNA introduced IWS to lighten the additional load being created as the traditional U.S. warfighter became an e-warrior, carrying an ever-heavier burden of radios, land navigation systems, cell phones and much more, with the total warfighter burden that can exceed 100 pounds. IWS also simplifies data presentation and enhances situational awareness for the warfighter through the linkage of mission systems, while providing an optimized power management for all connected peripheral devices. Revision offers the ACH_helmet with front mount visor

“IWS provides the warfighter with one centralized computing device, which most customers are targeting with smartphone and tablet technologies,” Farrell observed. “The primary challenge was identifying how to integrate a variety of tactical devices and peripherals into that system,” Farrell said. This is why IWS was created. Tactical radios, sensors, a gunfire detection system and other peripheral devices can provide enhanced situational awareness to the warfighter by allowing data to flow up to the tactical computer or smartphone running tactical apps or programs. “Another challenge is determining how to manage power amongst the connected devices,” Farrell continued. “QinetiQ North America’s IWS system provides a core power and data management hub that enables connectivity to the host computer or smartphone, and then provides connectivity downstream to connected peripheral devices, distributes power to these devices and keeps them charged from a central battery.” The power management system alone serves to relieve much of the need to carry spare batteries, thus reducing overall warfighter load. In routine use on the battlefield, the IWS could work for the warfighter this way: “For personal situational awareness, he has a tactical radio, a DAGR [Defense Advanced GPS Receiver], and a gps device,” Farrell noted. “Blue force tracking may be populated on these devices, allowing the warfighter to view a moving map application which enables him to see the location of his squad. Another example of situational awareness could be through the use of a tactical radio and a gunfire detection system as additional components of IWS.” When that system records a gunshot, not only is the combatant warned, but the warning can be forwarded to other blue forces. “That information can get pushed out over his radio back to the command center,” Farrell continued. “If more than one warfighter uses the gunfire detection system, they can network that information—thus providing better overall situational awareness about the threat. These threats start to populate the smartphone or other device, providing all of the information that he and his squad need.” The IWS can be used by both U.S. and friendly forces. And it readily connects to many different types of systems. “Our IWS product portfolio contains a whole library of device adapters which tie in a variety of tactical devices and radios, including the PRC-148, PRC-152, PRC-154 and ISR receivers like the RF-7800T, as well as gunfire detection systems like QinetiQ North America’s Shoulder-Worn Acoustic Targeting System, or SWATS,” and more, Farrell enumerated. “Upwards of 18,000 SWATS systems are actually deployed in theater, primarily with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.” QNA’s SWATS is quickly becoming the global standard for wearable gunfire detection, with over 250 systems deployed with the French Ministry of Defense, he said. O

For more information, contact GCT Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

mandible. [Photo courtesy of Revision]

8 | GCT 4.1

Anti-hemorrhage foam is injected into the abdomen of a casualty suffering from internal bleeding. [Photo courtesy of DARPA]

New technology protects wounded warriors from internal bleeding.

By Dave Ahearn, GCT Editor

in cases where a compress or simple gauze fails to stop dangerous A medical innovation may mean more combatants survive seribleeding from a wound. ous internal battlefield bleeding, saving their lives. Another advancement in treating profuse hemorrhaging is a External wounds caused by enemy rounds or shrapnel can tourniquet that a wounded combatant easily can apply to him or her be treated with tourniquets, compresses or other materials that self. While traditional tourniquets often involved cloth that had to be form instant scabs. All that can buy enough time in the so-called looped around an arm or leg and then tied, which might be difficult golden hour after a warrior is wounded to transport the patient to for a wounded person to execute, more advanced designs make selfan advanced medical facility, saving a life. application simple. The combat application tourniquet from ComposBut internal bleeding is not easily treated on the battlefield— ite Resources permits quick application with one hand. at least not until now. Other advancements that have increased survival rates for battleAn innovation pioneered by DARPA, with key participation by field casualties include splints that are simple to apply in the field, and Arsenal Medical, can provide treatment in the field to stem interlitters that enable medics or even other warriors to swiftly evacuate a nal blood loss until a patient is moved to a treatment facility where casualty. surgeons can halt the hemorrhaging. The success of the new treatAmong these is the Sked from ment can be shown numerically: the Skedco, on which the casualty may be Wound Stasis System permitted 72 moved swiftly, even through narrow percent of casualties suffering interspaces, back to an evacuating vehicle. nal wounds to survive some three Skeds permit lowering a casualty to hours after their injury. the ground from a building or raising DARPA launched the program in a casualty up from a pit or basement. 2010, hoping to find a technological An earlier advancement has solution that could mitigate damhelped to save lives of countless casuage from internal hemorrhaging. The alties—the medevac helicopter. Durprogram sought to identify a biological mechanism that could discrimi- The CAT tourniquet is easily, quickly applied. [Photo courtesy of Composite Resources] ing the golden hour after a soldier is wounded, the medic chopper repeatnate between wounded and healthy edly has permitted a wounded warrior to be whisked to an operating tissue, and bind to the wounded tissue. As the program evolved, room where surgeons can provide life-saving treatment. an even better solution emerged: Arsenal Medical developed a The ubiquitous Black Hawk helo can handle six or seven patients foam-based product that can control hemorrhaging in a patient’s and move at perhaps 150 knots. intact abdominal cavity for at least one hour, based on swine injury The V-22 Osprey can haul 12 patients on litters or double that if the model data. patients are ambulatory, and fly them at perhaps 300 knots. This involves the medic directly injecting the foam into the And a far larger asset, the C-130J, can haul 74 litter patients or 85 wounded warfighter’s abdominal cavity with a hypodermic needle. ambulatory patients at 374 knots. The foam is designed to be administered on the battlefield by a With each advance in treatment technology and evacuation combat medic, and is easily removable by doctors during surgical speeds, chances increase markedly that wounded warriors make it intervention at an appropriate facility, as demonstrated in testing. back home alive. O That Wound Stasis System is just one of multiple steps that are increasing survival chances for wounded combatants. For more information, contact GCT Editor Dave Ahearn Another is a material—consisting of beads—that can effecat or search our online archives tively form a scab when poured on an open wound. The QuikClot for related stories at material, a hemostatic agent, is provided by Z-Medica. It can work

GCT  4.1 | 9

Special section

Warfighters gain a better ride with new suspension designs. By Marc Selinger GCT Correspondent

10 | GCT 4.1

Special section

The ProTec Series 30 axle is designed for grueling military use. [Photo courtesy of ProTec]

U.S. combat operations in the Afghan countryside and other remote areas have fueled demand to equip military ground vehicles with more off-road capability. But these vehicles often need better suspension systems to drive over brutally rugged terrain while also carrying heavier armor. As a result, the military and industry are developing and building an array of suspension improvements to help new and legacy vehicles navigate tough terrain. “From the early 2000s to where we are now, suspension systems have become a much more important part of military vehicles,” said Chad Hall, owner of Rod Hall Products, which makes suspension systems for military and civilian vehicles. “The government has found out that good suspension can really increase a vehicle’s life expectancy and give the operator better performance.” Many suspension improvements are being propelled by small suppliers. Spring manufacturers are embracing stronger metals, such as chrome silicon, and “progressive” springs, which can carry more weight than linear springs, said Richard Jonec, vice president of sales at Coiling Technologies. Air springs, which use airbags and compressed air, are also gaining popularity because they can alter a vehicle’s characteristics, such as height, Jonec said. Coiling is part of a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) industry team, which he declined to identify, that is considering using air springs. Lightweight steel springs made by Coiling would serve as a backup in case the air springs failed. “Everyone’s trying to figure out a better mousetrap,” Jonec said. Vehicle manufacturers have also developed suspension advances for both new and legacy systems. “Lessons learned in off-road performance from the last decade of operations are carrying over into new program requirements, particularly for light vehicles,” said Rob Messina, vice president of defense engineering for Oshkosh Defense. “Warfighters need greater and more flexible protection to meet evolving combat threats, but that protection cannot come at the expense of mobility.”

GCT  4.1 | 11

Special section


Rod Hall Products shored up the suspension system on SOCOM’s HMMWV-based ground mobility vehicles (GMVs) by installing more durable parts, including springs, shock absorbers, ball joints and idler arms, Hall said. The addition of heavy armor had caused the vehicles to ride lower, making them more susceptible to hitting the ground and sustaining damage. The suspension improvements restored the vehicles to their proper height. Rod Hall Products installed the parts from 2007 to 2010. Now it maintains them and finds they hold up well, Hall said. “We don’t sell many service parts because the parts are very good,” he said.

When the military began rapidly fielding tens of thousands of mine resistant ambush protected vehicles in 2007 to keep troops safer on the battlefield, the initial focus was on increased protective armor, not off-road capability, explained Jay DeVeny, military programs manager at AxleTech International. But the Army and Marine Corps eventually concluded that MRAPs needed more off-road mobility, too. That meant transitioning from traditional beam axles, with wheels that don’t move independently, to independent suspension. “Independent suspensions have been around for a hundred years, and so it’s really Joint Light Tactical Vehicle just applying those to military vehicles,” DeVeny said. “Most passenger cars on the Vehicle suspension is receiving signifiroad today have independent suspensions cant attention in the competition for the and that really has been driven by driver Army and Marine JLTV, which is envisioned preference for ride quality. And the Army is as a more survivable complement to the no different.” HMMWV. Three companies—AM General, AxleTech, part of General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Oshkosh Defense—are is installing independent suspensions on currently working under 27-month engineerthousands of vehicles, including Navistar’s ing and manufacturing development conInternational MaxxPro MRAPs, Textron’s tracts awarded in August 2012. M1117 armored security vehicles and several Lockheed Martin’s JLTV design includes foreign-made vehicles. In February 2012, Meritor Defense’s ProTec Series 30 high for instance, AxleTech and its partner Henmobility independent suspension system, an drickson received a contract from Navistar independent air spring suspension system Defense to equip more than 2,700 MRAPs that has been under development since 2005. with independent suspension for the Army. The system has undergone more than 100,000 Work is to be completed by October 2013. miles of government performance and duraOshkosh Defense said its TAK-4 indebility testing and provides “outstanding offpendent suspension system road maneuverability and has been used on more than premium ride quality,” said 20,000 military vehicles, Dave Damian, director of sales including its MRAP all-terand business development for rain vehicle, palletized load Meritor Defense. About 400 system A1, medium tactiProTec Series 30 suspensions cal vehicle replacement are in use on combat vehiand logistics vehicle system cles in Afghanistan, including replacement. Oshkosh has Britain’s Husky tactical supalso retrofitted TAK-4 on port vehicle. thousands of MRAPs made Kathryn Hasse, Lockby other companies and on a heed Martin’s JLTV program Christopher Vanslager high mobility multi-wheeled director, said independent air vehicle, under evaluation by the Marine spring suspension systems have already been Corps. used on more than 750 vehicles, including The HMMWV TAK-4 upgrade “delivLockheed Martin’s multipurpose common ers extreme performance over rocks, ruts vehicle, and are “mature and reliable.” The and rubble through superior suspension air spring suspension for Lockheed Martin’s travel, vehicle stability, ride height and ride JLTV will not only enable a smooth ride but quality,” Oshkosh said. “It also restores the also a variable ride height, Hasse explained. HMMWV payload capacity for the addition of A high ride will help shield the vehicle from underbody armor solutions to mitigate the roadside bombs by providing a “standoff diseffects of under blasts.” tance,” while a low ride will allow the vehicle 12 | GCT 4.1

to squeeze into the lower decks of Marine Corps transport ships. Christopher Vanslager, AM General vice president of business development and program management, said his company’s JLTV design—the Blast Resistant Vehicle-Off road, or BRV-O—has a suspension system that uses car-like struts to give the vehicle a smooth, stable ride. And with the flip of a switch, the vehicle’s height can be raised or lowered. Vanslager asserted that the suspension system, like the rest of the vehicle, represents the lowest-risk proposal because AM General has unmatched experience in the light tactical vehicle market, including production of about 300,000 HMMWVs. The firm has provided independent suspension on HMMWVs since 1981. He said the JLTV suspension system has undergone more than 300,000 miles of government and independent testing with zero mission failures. Oshkosh is offering the light combat tactical all-terrain vehicle (L-ATV) equipped with the company’s new TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension system. TAK-4i builds on the fielded TAK-4 independent suspension system and provides “unprecedented” off-road mobility, maneuverability and speed while allowing multiple armor configurations, the company said. (Please see full JLTV story in Ground Combat Technology Volume 3, Issue 5). “The TAK-4i system delivers 20 inches of independent wheel travel, which is 25 percent more than other vehicles fielded with the U.S. military, for new levels of off-road mobility,” Oshkosh said. “Improved shock absorption results in increased speed and significantly better ride quality for warfighters who often travel off-road for hours at a time.” “Wheel travel” refers to how far the wheels can independently move, such as how much they can move up and down while going over bumpy terrain. Asked if the L-ATV has a variable ride height, Oshkosh replied that it is offering an adaptable suspension system. The government is expected to award a procurement contract to one of the companies in 2015. The Army and Marines plan to buy 50,000 and 5,000 vehicles, respectively.

Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 At least four teams vying for SOCOM’s Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 (GMV 1.1) program said they are offering improved suspension systems. But most were reluctant to disclose details, citing the need to protect

Special section sensitive information during the ongoing competition. SOCOM plans to award the GMV 1.1 contract toward the end of March, command spokesman Ken McGraw said. The vehicle will replace some of the older GMVs. AM General’s GMV 1.1 team includes Rod Hall Products, which is bringing its “latest spring, shock and swaybar designs,” Hall said. Swaybars help prevent a vehicle from tilting sideways in sharp turns or bumpy rides. AM General, which built the GMV, is reinforcing suspension components for the new vehicle to meet requirements to handle more weight and improve control, steering and ride quality, Vanslager said. Navistar, which is offering the special operations tactical vehicle indicated that it has fine-tuned their suspension systems for off-road mobility. General Dynamics Land Systems also is competing.

The Bradley tracked vehicle moves at speed. [Photo courtesy BAE Systems]

Tracked Vehicles Better suspension is not just for wheeled vehicles. BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems have both highlighted the suspension systems they are offering for the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program, which is intended to replace the Bradley fighting vehicle. Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of vehicle systems at BAE Systems, said, “Our GCV offering incorporates a state-of-the-art, off-theshelf suspension system, which has been tested by the U.S. Army for heavy vehicle applications.” General Dynamics proposes to use the InArm Suspension system built by Horstman. Asked to provide details, General Dynamics spokesman Karl Oskoian replied, “We are in a competition and this information is sensitive and as such not releasable.” BAE Systems and General Dynamics are currently working under two-year technology demonstration contracts awarded in August 2011 for GCV. Meanwhile, BAE Systems is developing and testing suspension improvements for the Bradley. The company is upgrading the shock absorbers and suspension support assembly to improve their durability, and stiffening the torsion bars to increase ground clearance and evenly distribute loads across the

The Northrop Grumman MAV-L [Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman]

The Lockheed Martin joint light tactical vehicle suspension permits rapid off-road travel. [Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin]

road wheels. The enhancements will accommodate vehicle weight growth caused by the installation of more armor, said John Tile, the company’s director of Bradley programs. “The extra weight reduced mobility performance and the durability of the suspension system,” Tile said. “The suspension

improvements regain the ride and mobility performance and ground clearance with added weight.” O For more information, contact GCT Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

GCT  4.1 | 13

INNOVATIONS Encryptor for Vehicles, Offices, Other General Dynamics Security classification: Top secret and below Weight: 8 pounds Used in: Vehicles, command posts, other

General Dynamics C4 Systems’ new TACLANE-1G (KG-175G) encryptor (Tactical FASTLANE or Tactical Local Area Network Encryption) is now certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) to secure classified information at the top-secret level and below. The high-speed encryptor secures large data and image files 40 times faster than information moving through a commercial 4G network and weighs just 8 pounds. “Supporting NSA’s cyberdefense strategy, the TACLANE-1G helps keep classified networks operating securely and at top speed,” said Mike Guzelian, vice president of secure voice and data products for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Lightweight and power efficient, the TACLANE-1G also delivers unprecedented network security and efficiency when it comes to moving large classified files in vehicles or office environments.”

Mobile Tactical Cellular Network Harris • Offers warfighters cellular coverage from a transportable backpack • Features same key functionality as Harris KnightHawk • Contains cellular capability—complements company’s secure radio communications solutions Harris introduced a backpack version of its KnightHawk mobile tactical cellular network solution that provides warfighters with highbandwidth connectivity and enables the use of smart apps at the tactical edge of the battlefield. The new KnightLite complements primary radio communications and enables warfighters on the move with cellular connectivity in locations with limited or no infrastructure. The KnightLite system is built upon universal mobile telecommunications system technology, which leverages mature cellular technology and helps ensure cost-effective deployment. In addition to voice, high-speed data, video and SMS messaging, the KnightLite system supports high-speed packet access, which allows for dynamic allocation of data resources to mobile devices and efficiently utilizes bandwidth to allow more devices to access the network simultaneously. It is compatible with commercial off-the-shelf smartphones and tablets. 14 | GCT 4.1

MBITR2 Radio Communications Thales Communications Forms: Wideband, narrowband Provides: Networking, data, video GPS: Embedded Length: 8.41 inches (excluding antennas) Width: 2.62 inches Depth: 1.73 inches Volume: 36 cubic inches (including the radio brick and battery but excluding antennas) Weight: 2.41 pounds total Thales Communications Inc. has introduced the next-generation multiband inter/intra team radio (MBITR2) communications system. The MBITR2 builds on the legacy of the smallest, lightest, most powerefficient multiband, tactical, handheld radio in use today, according to the company. By leveraging technologies based on the narrowband AN/PRC-148 tactical handheld radio and the wideband AN/PRC-154 tactical handheld radio, the MBITR2 provides the dismounted warfighter with the ability to integrate into the wideband tactical IP and voice network via the Soldier Radio Waveform wideband channel while simultaneously maintaining legacy reach-back via the narrowband channel. The MBITR2 retains interoperability with existing fielded radios and addresses tomorrow’s requirements for a next-generation wideband networking handheld radio.

7.62 mm Suppressor SilencerCo SilencerCo/SWR has announced the launch of the 7.62 SPECWAR (special warfare) suppressor. The SPECWAR 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm are SWR’s workhorse centerfire rifle suppressors and were designed to meet rigorous expectations, so they don’t fail the end user, according to the company. The features for the SPECWAR include: • Active spring retention: The SPECWAR’s patented active spring retention locking collar ensures it will not come loose under a heavy firing schedule, greatly reducing incidents of the largest causes of rifle suppressor damage, baffle and endcap strikes. • Baffle alloy: The SPECWAR fully welded, precision TrueBore wire cut core features a unique new baffle alloy that represents a significant strength increase over current industry standard materials. • Flash hider: The SPECWAR RS flash hider is a rock-solid platform for attaching the Specwar, according to the company. The RS stands for resonance suppression which is a patent-pending technology that keeps the flash hider from ringing like a tuning fork. Used independently, the SPECWAR RS offers superior flash reduction.

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

ACH-shaped Batlskin Viper P2 Helmet Revision Military Shell: Premium composite Weight: 20 percent lighter Suspension system: Modular adjustable Sizes: Small, medium, large and extra large Colors: Black, olive green, foliage green and tan Revision Military has introduced an ultra lightweight, premium composite helmet shell to its line of Batlskin head protection products, the ACH-shaped Batlskin Viper P2 and Revision designed Batlskin Cobra P2. Revision’s next-generation high-performance composite helmets are made of hybridized layers of polyethylene composite material. Using state-of-the-art specialized manufacturing technology, these helmets achieve enhanced ballistic performance at a minimum of 20 percent lighter weight than current aramid shells, and feature Revision’s newly designed, fully adjustable modular suspension system for long-wear comfort, stability and impact protection. The Batlskin Viper P2 delivers ballistic and impact head protection in an ACH-shaped shell built to rigorous military specifications and NIJ (National Institute of Justice) IIIA-level ballistic threats. Designed for comfort, this shell features a low-profile design compatible with night vision goggles, CBRNE masks and various communication devices. Offering excellent impact protection and ballistic-rated hardware, the Viper P2 comes in three cut styles—full cut, high cut and mid cut to provide variable coverage options; four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large; and four colors: black, olive green, foliage green and tan. “Revision is delivering the next groundbreaking composite technology that will change the face of soldier protective solutions,” said Jonathan Blanshay, chief executive officer of Revision Military. “The design, development and manufacture of our Batlskin Viper P2 and Batlskin Cobra P2 lightweight, high performance helmets are only the beginning.” The Viper and Cobra P2 helmets serve as the foundation for Revision’s fully integrated, fully modular Batlskin head protection system, including front mount, high-threat mandible guard and visor. Providing advanced ballistic, blast and blunt force trauma protection for the face, this scalable and lightweight suite of products enables the soldier to quickly armor-up or -down as the threat environment dictates, thereby adopting the ideal balance between enhanced protection and lethality. In addition, an ACH-style Viper A1 performance helmet that meets U.S. military specifications and NIJ IIIA ballistic threats is offered in traditional aramid materials. The Viper A1 comes with standard liner pads and a harness system, and is available in a full range of cuts, sizes and colors.

Multi-Caliber Rifle Chassis System Accurate-Mag Products Multi-caliber: .308 and .338 Common chassis and scope system Graphite foam matrix This multi-caliber rifle chassis system can mix and match several calibers into any system required. This weapon can be changed in less than one minute with no head space check or barrel separation from the receiver. All mechanicals and ergonomic stock considerations are kept separate from each other. The system includes a semi-automatic M14, .308 precision bolt rifle with a 16-inch barrel and a .338 normal suppressed precision bolt rifle with a 27-inch barrel. All three insert rifles fit the common chassis and scope system and can be carried in a 30-inch-long case. The weapon dissipates heat well, and the caliber can be changed without having to reset to zero. A graphite foam matrix developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the conductive member in the cold chamber assembly, with a heat transfer rate that is nearly instantaneous. A 12-inch length was developed to parallel the heat path of the projectile at the point of terminal velocity. The patented trunion pin and plate system assures exact zero-retention of any insert rifle. The large chassis opening can house any semi-automatic system offered, including all M16 variants with forward return systems. Butt stock and fore end treatments will be introduced over the 2013-2014 seasons and will offer several themes from target through tactical. The insert rifle employs a dedicated action block to its receiver and barrel and has common trunion mounting to the center section opening.

Precision Extended Range Munition Raytheon • Excalibur-like operational flexibility and precision lethality for the Marine expeditionary unit • Extended range to reach enemy artillery, command and control centers, and other targets beyond current mortar capabilities • Engineering and manufacturing development program expected to be completed within 24 months • Robust across all-weather conditions and terrain The Marine Corps awarded Raytheon a contract for design, development and demonstration of a new production-representative 120mm long-range, guided-mortar munition. Once fielded, the precision extended range munition (PERM) will be used with the M327 rifled towed mortar. GCT  4.1 | 15

Force Leader

Q& A

National Guard Excels during Frequent Deployments in Combat, Disaster Relief General Frank J. Grass Chief National Guard Bureau General Frank J. Grass serves as the 27th Chief, National Guard Bureau and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as a military adviser to the president, secretary of defense, National Security Council and is the Department of Defense official channel of communication to the governors and state adjutants general on all matters pertaining to the National Guard. He is responsible for ensuring that the more than 470,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel are accessible, capable and ready to protect the homeland and to provide combat resources to the Army and Air Force. Prior to his current assignment, he served as deputy commander, United States Northern Command and vice commander, United States Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. As deputy commander, United States Northern Command, Grass helped lead the command to anticipate, prepare and respond to threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories and interests within the assigned area of responsibility and as directed by the president or secretary of defense, and to provide defense support of civil authorities, including consequence management operations. Grass enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in October 1969. He attended the Missouri Army National Guard Military Academy Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in the Engineer Corps in 1981. He has served in a variety of command and staff positions as a traditional national guard soldier, in the Active Guard and Reserve program, and on active duty. In his first general officer assignment, he served as deputy director of the Army National Guard in Arlington, Va. Q: As you move into your new position, what are your goals for the National Guard Bureau? A: First and foremost is to provide trained and ready operational forces to carry out our federal and stateside missions. As the largest part of the reserve component, the National Guard must continue to maintain its combat capability to remain a critical part of the nation’s military. This includes ensuring that our men and women continue to gain critical operational experience in Department of Defense operations. The National Guard also has the critical responsibility of defending American lives in the American homeland. We must maintain the capability to protect citizens, vital assets and critical infrastructure from both man-made and natural disasters. Secondly, in an era of declining resources, confidence in the National Guard’s fiscal stewardship will be essential to securing the necessary funding to support mission operations. The ability to protect and defend the homeland depends on the National Guard improving its financial processes, controls and information 16 | GCT 4.1

at all levels. In an effort to improve stewardship of these resources, the National Guard will move toward a goal of an unqualified audit, across all appropriations categories for the states and the National Guard Bureau. Third and most important is that we must have a healthy force. The National Guard must work to honor its commitment to the men and women who serve America. The rate at which the men and women of the National Guard take their own lives through suicide is unacceptable. It is the responsibility of the leaders at every level to reduce the number of suicides in the National Guard. Like suicides, the number of National Guard soldiers and airmen who are victims of sexual assaults is unacceptable and against the proud tradition of citizen-soldiers. The National Guard will do all we can to ensure that those who have so honorably served their nation return to strengthen America’s communities with strong values and relevant skills. Q: How do you assess employer support for Guard members called to active duty? A: The American people understand the sacrifices our military members undergo to safeguard our country. Walk down the street or through an airport and you’ll notice how welcoming the people of this great country are toward our servicemembers. The sacrifice hasn’t stopped with the military member, particularly with

our Guardsmen. Unlike the active duty military, many Guardsmen work in our civilian communities. Employers can lose employees for weeks, months or even years on end. They too endure sacrifices for their nation, working with the Guardsmen to ensure they have a job when they return. There is more work to be done on this front. We are making great efforts in connecting our servicemembers to employment opportunities and we will continue to seek even more opportunities. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve [ESGR] office reports that Uniformed Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act-related contacts by servicemembers have declined by 40 percent since 2010. Additionally, the number of employers who have signed statements of support for Guard and Reserve members has stayed relatively consistent, averaging over 52,000 refreshed and current statements. Q: What is your assessment of how well Guard members and active duty personnel work together? A: The American public has made a tremendous investment in the National Guard, particularly over the past decade. Guard members have supported nearly 700,000 mobilizations since 9/11, working alongside and leading missions with the active duty, both here and abroad. We have become an ‘on-call’ operational force that is nearly indistinguishable from the active duty Army and Air Force. The U.S. military’s success in the campaigns over the last 11 years would not have been possible without contributions from the Army and Air National Guard. Our ability as a scalable force that can rapidly flex to meet the demands of our federal and homeland missions makes us truly unique. Q: Has the Guard already launched efficiency and cost-saving initiatives? A: While the details of the new fiscal environment are a matter to be determined by Congress, some degree of fiscal constraint will impact the National Guard. As a result of sequestration and budget shortfalls due to the continuing resolution, we’ve had to make some very tough decisions. In personnel we are implementing a civilian hiring freeze and not renewing temporary civilian employees. We are planning to defer sustainment and maintenance requirements for aircraft, vehicles and facilities. The National Guard is reviewing every bit of overhead across our force. We are curtailing conference attendance and any travel or training that is not necessary to maintaining readiness and supporting citizen soldiers and airmen. In the area of training, a near-term lack of operations and maintenance funds will cut our flying hours and vehicle miles for equipment operations and training, causing reduced readiness. If not addressed we will be forced to park vehicles and aircraft. In a matter of months, our readiness as an operational force for our nation’s defense and as an immediate homeland response capability available to the governors will erode. Q: How do you assess the performance of the National Guard in disaster relief, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy or other recent natural disasters? A: Hurricane Sandy brought tremendous devastation to people and communities in the Northeast, particularly in New York and New Jersey. However, it would have been much worse if not for the

An Air Force staff sergeant qualifies with the M9 pistol. [Photo courtesy of Staff Sergeant Jessica Inigo, California National Guard]

cooperative efforts of local leaders, first responders, the National Guard, federal agencies and the active duty military. The National Guard, the military’s first responders in all domestic emergencies, provides governors a proven and equipped force that is empowered by emergency management assistance compacts and other agreements between states, to rapidly shift personnel and equipment to neighboring states where they are most needed. When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, many of our soldiers and airmen, eager to serve, reported to their armories before they were formally called upon by their governors. Recently during winter snow storm Nemo, we had as many as 2,500 National Guard personnel assisting local authorities in their response efforts. Their actions in both events show the great character and caliber of people we have in the National Guard. I’m proud to be their chief. Q: What are your thoughts on personnel, families, the op-tempo and frequency of deployments? A: One of my main priorities is our soldiers, airmen and their families. They are the foundation of our force and I am committed to their safety and well being. They are our greatest asset. Exposure to combat, multiple deployments and personal stress have contributed to a disturbing rise in issues like post-traumatic stress, unemployment, homelessness, sexual assault and suicide. These problems are not self-correcting; they require the collective action of leaders across DoD, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the private sector. As chief, I will remain a steadfast advocate of the National Guard warrior and family care programs. I will maintain my support of our men, women and their families who have sacrificed so much to ensure our nation’s safety and security. Q: Finally, what are your thoughts of the men and women in the National Guard and the successes they have achieved? A: Our National Guard is strong, proven and ready to meet future challenges. After more than a decade of conflict, the National Guard is truly an operational force. We have decisively answered the call of our nation and its governors, and stand ready to serve with our active duty and reserve component counterparts as we redefine the American military for the 21st century. The National Guard is the best-equipped, trained and led force since its inception over 376 years ago. We stand ready to take on future missions. O GCT  4.1 | 17

Systems help warriors manage mountains of critical data. By Dave Ahearn, GCT Editor

In the 21st century, e-warriors are blessed with myriad sources of information that provide them with decisive knowledge of the enemy, a key to prevailing in combat. But there can be too much of a good thing, and attempting to keep track of a wide array of electronic assets can be daunting. Fortunately for combatants, help is on the way in systems that may permit those in uniform to swiftly, seamlessly shift among radios and comms systems, vehicle and aircraft intercoms, cell devices and more.

TEA Headsets With TEA, the goal is to permit warriors to tie together many disparate systems, without the combatant having to hold a Ph.D. in computer science. Whether it’s a radio or a cell phone, the Invisio V60 can accept it easily, and a fighter can smoothly toggle from one to the next, monitoring all the information flowing to the edge. “It’s a brand-new system that basically is a true plug and play platform, meaning it’s not so much just about the headset anymore, it’s the soldier having the ability to plug in any kind of comm device with one system,” said Nick Lafferty, TEA director of marketing. The new TEA system serves as a hub providing an agile response to a warrior’s wishes, he explained. “This could be intercommunications on the aircraft, on ground vehicles, it could be plugging into the smart devices like cell phones, as well as two-way radios, or multiple two-way radios—all at the same time,” he said. The Invisio V60 is “a brand-new product,” he noted. “So it’s something that’s just getting out to the tier one and [special forces] teams, and it’s something that’s really made a lot of headway.” 18 | GCT 4.1

Sales are brisk for the Invisio V60 because of its fluid ability to shift from system to system, Lafferty continued. Another reason for its popularity, he stressed, is that it is sufficiently sophisticated to accept and link many different types of systems, and yet it is a simple matter for the warfighter to connect them to the Invisio V60. “It’s an advanced comms system, but all you really have to do is plug it in and go,” Lafferty stated. “There’s no calibrating or configuring, like you would see in [legacy] Gen One products that had some of these capabilities. There was a lot of button controlling, and ‘how do I switch from one comm to another,’ or ‘how do I turn it on or calibrate it?’” “We’ve come out with one of the most advanced communications headset accessories, or communications accessories, but kind of taken all the science out of it—making it as easy as possible for the common soldier,” he said. The Invisio V60 is being marketed to all U.S. armed services, he said. “Any tactical operator is who this is marketed to,” he added. “So, special forces groups, battalions, basically across the board. Naval Special Warfare, Air Force … Army … Tier One guys. U.S. Marine Corps forces recon-type guys.” The Invisio V60 permits a combatant to “connect and command all your comms devices with just one system,” he said, “regardless of what you plug it into, and whether you’re on land, air or sea. You’re still using one headset. Wherever you have to go, this headset can go with you. “So if you have to swim with it, or if you have to jump out of a helicopter … with it, or if you’re on the ground fighting, it’s one headset. Whereas in the past, it was multiple different types of comms here to achieve just that single path.”

David Clark While a headset may seem to a warfighter to be a commonplace and routine item, much like a pair of boots, it actually is a critical system that can save a life or prevent injury. A headset linking a combatant to other warriors who warn of imminent enemy danger can mean avoiding a fatal wound. And a quality headset can prevent hearing injury, the most prevalent injury suffered by personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. The headset can permit a warfighter to hear conversation, and yet protect the ears from loud noises of vehicle exhausts, gunfire or IED detonations. “Our headsets and communication systems raise the situational awareness of military personnel, who are routinely in harm’s way, enhancing their overall safety and effectiveness,” said John M. Tasi, product manager, government, with David Clark, Worcester, Mass. To help the warfighter, David Clark headsets are basic and intuitive, and are essentially plug and play, and are extremely easy to use, he noted. “Clear communication—that’s what the warfighter is looking for,” he said. “We offer a number of headset options that provide communication and acoustic protection to the warfighter in both passive and active noise-reducing options, so each military unit can get precisely what it requires,” Tasi said. “We have a headset solution for any highnoise environment.” “The military is using our headset communication systems in very demanding environments for an extended period of time. So, it’s essential that they have clear communications and sufficient hearing protection.” In a time of defense funding austerity, an important consideration is that any system procured for military personnel must not be expensive, and David Clark provides good value for the money, Tasi stressed. “We’ve been

doing it over a half a century,” he continued, and “the brand is recognizable to the user, and they know when they get a David Clark product, they’re getting value.” “Our systems are robust, ruggedized, operate under severe environmental conditions and are highly reliable,” he continued. “They are compatible with most commercial and military radios, and our commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology is simple to operate and maintain while offering the cost effectiveness that the COTS program delivers.” Tasi added, “We currently have resources committed to the development of next-generation communication technologies that lend themselves to under-helmet applications that we hope to pass on to the warfighter.” “We take our commitment as a manufacturer of communication products to the U.S. military extremely seriously,” Tasi said.

Silynx While a headset may protect hearing against loud noises, ranging from a truck

exhaust on a long trip to an IED detonation, it also is important to have clear hearing at all other times, and Silynx provides that. This is why the Silynx Micro C4-Ops modular headset system provides not only hearing protection, but also gives the warfighter hearing enhancement. A versatile system, the headset is modular and able to accept software upgrades. As well, it is interoperable with many other radios and intercom systems. Because wars aren’t fought in clean, neat environments, the Micro headset is waterproof to 2 meters underwater. For ease of coordinating comms, the unit provides dual wireless push-to-talk capability. According to Silynx, this next-generation headset system allows the soldier to complete an entire mission from pre-briefing to post-mission debrief with one system by providing full-spectrum active noise reduction, multi-platform intercom interoperability, enhanced hear-through capability, and sound localization for complete situational awareness.

The control box battery can last 36 hours, while the push-to-talk unit battery can last a year. Since wars can be fought generally anywhere on the planet, the headset can operate anywhere from minus 31 degrees Centigrade to 70 degrees C. It can be stored at minus 40 degrees C, up to 75 degrees C. It also can work up to 40,000 feet altitude, far above the typical 20,000 or so maximum ceiling for a helicopter. The headset control box is compact, measuring just 2.91 by 3.74 by 1.4 inches, and that is with the battery included. The push-to-talk unit is a small 1.5 by 2.91 by 1.14 inches. And the system is light weight, a strong point for the overburdened troops on 21st century battlefields, at a mere 292 grams for the control box—including the battery.O

For more information, contact GCT Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

GCT  4.1 | 19

Mortars offer increased accuracy, limiting collateral damage. By Hank Hogan, GCT Correspondent

It wasn’t an awards announcement that splashed across the airwaves. Nonetheless, it was a coveted proclamation that signified a job well done. It also showed that in the world of mortars, innovations promise to make things easier on warfighters and tougher on their opponents. In September 2012, the Army Research Development and Engineering Command announced winners of the top 10 greatest inventions for 2011. Products from Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., captured four of the spots, with two going to mortar-related advances. “We feel that this is a tremendous honor. The list was developed by soldiers, which to us means our items are having a tremendous impact on the force,” said Peter Burke, deputy product manager for guided precision munitions and mortar systems at Picatinny Arsenal. 20 | GCT 4.1

Award-winning Advances One of the two winning mortar innovations was for the 120 mm precision mortar cartridge, which was fielded in April 2011. Another award was for Excalibur, a 155 mm extended range artillery shell that has been in the field since 2007. For guidance, both use technology based on GPS, or the global positioning system. This means that they can correct for uncertainty in weapon positioning and pointing. The munitions also can adjust for inaccurate wind estimations or even some degree of error in their initial launch conditions. To remedy all of these imprecision-causing factors, the projectiles can adjust their flight path as they travel. They can therefore improve the likelihood of actually impacting the intended target. When talking about accuracy, the standard measure is the circular error probable, or CEP. It’s an imaginary circle sized

so that a projectile has a 50 percent chance of falling within it. For a conventional mortar cartridge at its maximum range of about 7 kilometers, the CEP is about 75 meters if digital fire control is employed and 130 meters if it is not. In contrast, a GPSguided cartridge reduces that figure to 10 meters or less, and even better is possible, according Burke. “A more accurate sensor and control system could achieve 5 meters or less,” he said. The GPS-guided mortar is a result of the Army’s Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative. For this approach to work, the locationpinpointing electronics have to survive the launch, which involves some significant acceleration. They also have to work during flight, up until the point of detonation or impact. Fortunately, the capability to do all of this had already been developed and tested in Excalibur. Porting it into a new form factor involved making it fit in the space available while meeting the necessary cost constraints.

Improved accuracy enabled by GPS can literally be a lifesaver. There is a much greater chance that a target will be hit with the first round fired, which allows soldiers to defeat an enemy earlier during a firefight, Burke noted. This capability also expands a commander’s toolkit. Instead of waiting for an airdelivered strike, a commander can now send in a precision round where and when it needs to go. Just how these more precise projectiles will be used depends on the mission. Reports from the field about Excalibur, for instance, indicate that rounds are sometimes used to remove belts of improvised explosive devices. This is done by sending an artillery shell in at just the spot needed to set off the entire chain of embedded explosives. As for the future of the precision mortar cartridge, the Army is evaluating it to see if the capability should become a program of record, Burke said. “Now it is just released for use in Afghanistan.”

Hitting the Target Other branches of the military, with support from vendors, are also looking into precision guided-mortar munitions. An example can be seen in the aptly named precision extended range munition, or PERM. It is designed to be fired from the M327 rifled towed mortar, the primary weapon of the Expeditionary Fire Support System of the Marine Corps. In November 2012, the Marine Corps awarded a contract to Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., to develop and demonstrate a production representative of a new 120 mm long-range guided-mortar munition, noted Rick Williams, PERM program manager. “For the warfighters, that’s going to expand their capability to really extend the range and accuracy of what mortars can do,” he said. There will be a payoff in terms of logistics that is important to the expeditionary opera-

tions conducted by the Marines, Williams added. “The more precise and accurate the rounds are, the fewer they need to take.” The new round will look like a standard mortar, with somewhat longer tail fins. During flight, canards will pop out of the mortar to improve lift and increase flight control. The range will be more than double that of a standard munition. As for accuracy, that too will be improved, thanks to GPS-powered geo-location, airframe design and system architecture. Consequently, the new round should fly to and land within a few meters of its intended target in all weather conditions. The accuracy will be comparable to Excalibur, or less than 10 meters circular probable error. A benefit of the improved accuracy is that one mortar team equipped with the new technology can do the work of perhaps two outfitted with standard munitions. This is a result of needing to fire fewer shots to achieve similar results. The guided cartridges will be more expensive than the less capable munitions, but GCT  4.1 | 21

the cost-per-kill will probably be competitive due to improved lethality, Williams said. The contract calls for all engineering and manufacturing development to be completed within 24 months. Thus, the new technology could be available to the Marine Corps sometime in late 2014.

Extending Protection When it comes to the defensive side of the equation, countering mortar fire is typically lumped in with doing the same for rockets and artillery. One approach involves taking out the enemy through precision strikes. More accurate mortar targeting could help in this effort while decreasing the danger to friendly troops or innocent civilians. Another technique involves intercept, which is the focus of considerable work. For example, the Army has embarked on a program, the Accelerated Improved Intercept Initiative, to develop systems that will detect

and destroy incoming projectiles, whether self-propelled rockets or artillery and mortar munitions. Raytheon was awarded an $80 million contract in February 2012 to develop a demonstration system within 18 months. Of all the incoming fire, rockets are the toughest nuts to crack. This is particularly true for the inexpensive-yet-lethal weapon favored by many worldwide, the low-flying rocket. “That makes it very difficult to track and very difficult to kill. It has a very, very short timeline,” said Steve Bennett, Raytheon’s AI3 program director. The flight, in fact, can sometimes run much less than a minute. During that time, the system trying to counter the projectile will have to pick up the incoming rocket and figure out if it’s a danger. That process is complicated by the fact that the rockets fly inconsistently and lack sophisticated guidance, which means they may—or may not— miss their intended target.

Tragedy in Nevada

Mortar Explosion Under Investigation; Seven Marines Lost Seven Marines died when a mortar round detonated while still in its launch tube during live-fire training in Nevada. The incident at a munitions depot caused the Marine Corps to issue a blanket suspension of 60 mm mortars until the incident could be investigated. The ban later became DoD-wide. The Marines lost in the nighttime detonation were from Camp Lejeune, N.C., including combatants who served in the war in Afghanistan. Those Marines were training at the Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada, south of Reno, which offers rugged terrain similar to that found in Afghanistan. The depot is immense, covering 226 square miles. It also has 600,000 square feet of storage area in 2,427 bunkers. They also had been training at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif. Those killed included five lance corporals, a corporal and a private first class, all of 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, according to Marine officials. Those lost included Private First Class Joshua M. Martino, 19, of Clearfield, Pa.; Lance Corporal David P. Fenn II, 20, of Polk City, Fla.; Lance Corporal Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, of Fairfield, Conn.; Lance Corporal Joshua C. Taylor, 21, of Marietta, Ohio; Lance Corporal Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, N.C.; 22 | GCT 4.1

Lance Corporal William T. Wild IV, 21, of Anne Arundel County, Md.; and Corporal Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, of Madison, Ill. Seven other Marines and one sailor were injured in the blast. Marines have also been involved in other non-combat fatal incidents stateside, such as an April 2000 incident in which a V-22 Osprey loaded with four crewmembers and 15 personnel crashed, with all of them lost, because the hybrid aircraft descended too fast, entering vortex ring state, where rotors lose their lift. That caused the Ospreys to be grounded until they were greatly revamped, and the V-22 safety record in the past several years has been better than many other military aircraft. Also, seven Marines died when two helicopters collided near the Arizona border with California last year during a training exercise. Mortars generally have had a good safety record, and have been highly effective in taking out Taliban and other enemy forces. “We send our prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines and sailors who have been killed and injured in this tragic accident,” Brigadier General Jim Lukeman, commanding general, 2d Marine Division, said in a statement. “Our first priority is to provide them with the support they need during this very difficult time, and we’re doing that right now,” he added.

If the rocket is judged a problem, then the system will have to point a launcher correctly and fire an interceptor. In turn, the interceptor must explode close enough to destroy the warhead. What’s more, the intercept has to take place without endangering troops or noncombatants on the ground. Raytheon has a solution that works, having already demonstrated success. Because its system is based on existing Army infrastructure, Raytheon’s approach offers some significant cost savings, Bennett said. Another contender for the intercept program comes from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control of Grand Prairie, Texas. Based on its history, this business unit of defense contractor Lockheed Martin opted for a somewhat different approach than has been taken by others, said Chris Murphy, business and program development manager for air missile defense. “We actually make body-to-body contact. Our missiles hit other missiles or other targets as opposed to getting really close to them and blowing up,” he said. An advantage of this hit-to-kill technique is that the missile can be small and inexpensive, with no need for a complicated shaped explosive. That helps meet the Army’s goal for the program of $16,000 per round in quantity. The drawback of this method is that it makes targeting important. It also means the interceptor has to be very nimble, as merely coming close to the target is not good enough. Lockheed Martin’s solution is a vertically launched missile that weighs about 3 kilograms and is less than a meter long. After launch, the interceptor swivels about to provide complete coverage over a 16 square kilometer area. Fire control involves a ground-based radio wave source, which bounces a signal off the target. The interceptor then follows the reflected energy in, destroying the target on impact. Evaluation flight tests in 2012 put the missile through its paces in a series of preplanned maneuvers. In early spring 2013, plans call for a guided test shot. Successful testing will enable Lockheed Martin to compete for the intercept program, should the Army choose to move forward with a formal acquisition process, Murphy said.

Old Fuze, New Uses While new mortar and anti-mortar technology is being developed and deployed, more mature products are passing milestones, and

Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division fire mortar rounds at Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan. [Photo courtesy of DoD]

they could undergo some potentially interesting transformations. A case in point comes from L-3 Fuzing and Ordnance Systems of Cincinnati. In a team effort with ammunition manufacturer ATK of Rocket Center, W.Va., the unit of L-3 Communications makes the M734A1 multi-option mortar fuze and M783 point detonation/delay mortar fuze for the Army and Marine Corps. The combined run rate for the two fuzes exceeds 35,000 per month. “We’ve just passed a key milestone in production, having manufactured over 2 million M734A1s and a million M783s. The Army relies on this program as a critical element of their deployed forces in Afghanistan,” said Steve Carrington, director of business development. The company is in the last leg of a multi-year contract, he added. Expectations are that it will come up for renewal in 2013, at which time L-3 will bid to win the business again. One of the reasons for the success of the current program is that the fuzes are both advanced and highly reliable. The latter runs in excess of 99 percent, with that figure based upon specifications and acceptance testing. Anecdotally, returning warfighters rave about fuze reliability and consistency, Carrington said. As for the advanced aspect of the fuze, that is evident in some of the offered options. The M734A1 employs microprocessor-based logic and state-of-the-art RF technology, fitting all of this into a package that measures less than 4 inches and weighs half a pound. It can be set to detonate the explosive upon 7- or 14-foot proximity. It also can explode upon impact or after a delay. The M783 offers either point or delay detonation. Both fuzes have such safety features as requiring a minimum of 100 meters of flight before arming can occur. Currently used on 60, 81 and 120 mm mortar projectiles by the U.S. military, the fuzes could

soon find their way into new applications. Mortars are inexpensive ballistic weapons that could be used in settings other than those of traditional ground combat. Although declining to go into any specifics, Carrington acknowledged that these other possibilities are being investigated. “This fuze can be used for advanced mortar products out there. So if that mortar is used for some other application that requires some precision, this fuze is also being explored for that use.” The other possibility is for fuze use by nonU.S. forces. With Army approval and support, there already have been some limited sales to key allies operating in Afghanistan, said Chris Nagle, manager of international business development. Customers worldwide are demanding the M734A1 fuze because of its high reliability and advanced technology, he added. Making the product exportable to allies will require putting procedures in place to assure protection of the design, which is owned by the Army. For L-3 Fuze and Ordnance Systems, bringing on new customers over the next few years is important. Demand from the U.S. military is expected to drop, and the company would like to keep its manufacturing lines running at full capacity. The military also confronts the effects of decreased demand. For it, there are two significant advantages that arise from greater production and the sharing of this output with close allies. As Nagle noted, “Being able to export this fuze benefits them from a cost viewpoint and an interoperability viewpoint.” O

For more information, contact GCT Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

GCT  4.1 | 23

Overseas markets interested in special operations vehicles. With the U.S. Defense Department cutting $478 billion from its budget over the next 10 years—and $500 billion more cuts added to that—numerous defense programs are feeling the pinch. Everything from aircraft to submarines is affected, including ground vehicles. The U.S. Marine Corps saw its amphibious expeditionary fighting vehicle program scuttled in 2011 due to cost overruns and years of development delays. Recapitalization 24 | GCT 4.1

By John M. Doyle, GCT Correspondent

plans for the Army and Marines’ HMMWVs have also been sidelined in favor of the still-in-development joint light tactical vehicle. Plans by the Army to halt upgrades to the M1A2 Abrams until 2016 were postponed by a $136 million infusion from the Fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in January. But budget wrangles down the road could jeopardize that plan.

One budgetary bright spot has been U.S. Special Operations Command, which is expected to see its manpower actually increase over the next two years. Four major defense contractors—AM General, General Dynamics Land Systems, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and Flyer Defense, and Navistar—are vying for the rights to build SOCOM’s ground mobility vehicle. The Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 program could purchase up to 1,300 vehicles for special operations missions requiring air transportability, weapons capabilities and high-performance ground maneuverability. Other large U.S. defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, see opportunity in overseas markets, for platforms ranging from the K-Max unmanned cargo helicopter to the littoral combat ship. Meanwhile, some light armored vehicles manufacturers like Pittsfield, Mass.-based armored car maker Lenco and Canada’s Terradyne Armored Vehicles, say business has been good outside of the United States. Both companies say they are selling multipurpose vehicles to police and militaries in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. A recent study of European defense spending by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank, found that overall spending by 37 European countries—including maintenance, research and development—had dropped from 263.1 billion euros (in constant 2011 euros) in 2001 to 220 billion euros in 2011. But during that same period, acquisition only declined from 44.9 billion euros to 38.5 billion. “That is probably one of the few good news stories for Europe. They’ve managed largely to protect their equipment accounts from drops in the budget that they have all been experiencing,” Guy Ben-Ari, deputy director of the CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and one of the report’s authors, told a press briefing. In Europe, unlike the United States, “about 20 percent of annual defense spending has been dedicated year on year to equipment. We have not seen a big change,” he added. Britain’s Supacat Limited, which designs and manufactures a range of wheeled military vehicles, says in the current economic climate, and with the decline in urgent operational requirements for Afghanistan, larger fleet procurements of armored personnel or transport vehicles are less likely and there will be increased pressure to buy an in-country product. “If you’re trying to compete as a British company in an export for a large fleet of vehicles, it’s going to be that much tougher because everybody’s budgets are tight,” said Jamie Clarke, Supacat’s head of marketing and communications, adding: “The tendency is going to be more to support your local industry, wherever possible.” But it’s a different story where special operations forces are concerned, Clarke told Ground Combat Technology. “What we are seeing is that the requirements in the special forces sector continue really, as they have done before. They haven’t peaked.” But overseas interest in ground vehicles is limited to the special forces niche, he said.

“Special forces don’t tend to order 1,000 vehicles [at a time]. They have bespoke requirements. And that’s been Supacat’s heritage. That’s been our market. We produce the vehicle which is the one that most of the elite special forces have selected,” Clarke explained, noting Supacat’s selection in April 2012 to provide a prototype for the special operations vehicle version of the larger Australian Defence Force Redfin Vehicle program. Supacat was the winning bidder in the special operations vehicle-direct action competition with the latest version of one of its high mobility transporter (HMT) vehicles—the special forces HMT Extenda. The Extenda is similar to the four-wheel Jackal and six-wheel Coyote HMT vehicles used by the British in Afghanistan. The new vehicle shares a lot of common features with the special reconnaissance vehicle, known as the Nary, that Supacat delivered to Australia’s Special Operations Command in 2009. The Supacat direct action vehicle offers firepower, crew protection and capacity improvements as well as better operability and safety features. When the first prototype was delivered in December, Supacat, which has an Australian subsidiary based in Melbourne, said creating an in-country design and engineering capability—along with a strong supply chain partnership—would be a key to future opportunities for its products in the wider Asia-Pacific market. Customers are looking at vehicles that fill a number of roles including patrol and reconnaissance as well as combat protection and transportation, Clarke said. There also seems to be more interest in wheeled rather than tracked vehicles, apparently driven by operations in Afghanistan. Battlefield requirements have changed slightly in favor of more fluid combinations, he added. Supacat’s HMT Extenda matches the capabilities of the Jackal and Coyote but can be converted to either a 4X4 or a 6X6 configuration by inserting or removing a modular, self-contained third axle unit. While Supacat is seeing some increased interest from potential police and border patrol customers, Clarke declined to go into further detail for competitive reasons. Last June at the Eurosatory 2012 defense exhibition, the company unveiled the latest version of its Supacat Protected Vehicle 400 (SPV 400), a 7.5-ton light patrol vehicle with a blast and ballistic protection system that includes a composite crew pod and V-shaped hull. The crew pod is a separate module that protects the two-man crew and four passengers with ceramic armor systems and mine blast protective seats. Clarke noted that as a small- to medium-sized company, Supacat has specialized in small, custom orders—leading to the HMT series vehicle becoming “the special forces vehicle of choice,” especially with the British. Supacat vehicles are also used by U.S. and Danish special operations forces, as well as by the regular British Army. O

For more information, contact GCT Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

GCT  4.1 | 25

TECHNLOGY INTELL Mobile Combat Laser

Compiled by KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan

Network Sighting Device for Anti-Tank Missile System

Bolotin Nikolaj Borisovich

Konstruktorskoe Bjuro Priborostroenija

While slightly unclear, it appears that this technology is associated with the Russian Metis 9K115 anti-tank missile system and describes a methodology for networking the sighting system and the actual optics of the weapon sight. There are four drawings. A holder of a variety of patents, this Russian individual describes a mobile combat laser (gas dynamic) housed in a combat vehicle—most likely a former main battle tank. The laser’s fuel source (liquid rocket fuel) and oxidizer are mounted under armor for protection within a cylindrical housing within and

above the turret race. According to information on hand, the top of the cylindrical housing is closed with only a single outlet for a nozzle. The nozzle outlet would allow for the possibility of “combustion products to be exhausted vertically through the nozzle.” There are 13 additional drawings.

Cassette-Type Warhead Gosudarstvennyj nauchno-issledovatel’skij institut mashinostroenija im. V.V. Bakhireva (OAO GosNIImash)

Defining Speed of Incoming Ammunition

This Russian project’s goal is to offer the possibility of determining the speed of ammunition approaching the target, regardless of the ammunition type, depending upon the speed and type of ammunition. There appears to be a description of the detection source not being affected by interference.

26 | GCT 4.1

This concept Russian warhead has applications for tube-launched projectiles, aerial bombs, as well as air- and ground-launched rocket systems. It appears that the warhead has an internal collector or bulkhead holding numerous charges between spacing flanges. An axial elongated charge, when triggered, uncouples the individual charges and sends them in a patterned separation enlarging the impact area on the surface.

The advertisers index is provided as a service to our readers. KMI cannot be held responsible for discrepancies due to last-minute changes or alterations.

GCT RESOURCE CENTER Advertisers Index Aegis Defense...................................................................................C2 Leupold & Stevens...........................................................................C4 TEA Headsets...................................................................................19

Calendar April 10-11, 2013 Marine South Camp Lejeune, N.C.

July 11-12, 2013 Warrior Expo East Virginia Beach, Va.

April 23-24, 2013 6th Annual Tactical Vehicles Summit Alexandria, Va.

July 31-August 1, 2013 Military Vehicle Conference & Exhibition Detroit, Mich.

GCT  4.1 | 27


Ground Combat Technology

Adam Zarfoss Director of Artillery Programs BAE Systems Q: How is the U.S. Army using your PIM prototype to revamp their testing program?

Adam Zarfoss is currently serving as the director of artillery programs within BAE Systems, responsible for self-propelled howitzer systems in support of U.S. and allied forces, including the Army’s Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program. Prior to his current position, he served as director of Bradley combat systems, responsible for all production, fielding, support, modernization, training and development across the entire Bradley family of vehicles. Q: What is the current status of the Paladin Integrated Management [PIM] program and your prototypes? A: The PIM program is currently in the engineering, manufacturing and development phase, which includes a variety of testing. We have completed Phase I of formal developmental testing and are well underway with Phase II. The vehicles are performing well and early results indicate that we are ahead of the required reliability growth curve.

A: We are working with the Army program office and Army Evaluation Command to identify opportunities for test efficiencies to reduce cost while ensuring overall test objectives are met. The team identified opportunities to collect data from individual test elements to cover several requirements, saving time and money. drives that were first used in the NLOSC development program. We tailored our proven on-board ballistic computer and weapons controller to leverage the advantages of the new electric drives, resulting in enhanced performance. The PIM system has significant built-in growth potential, in terms of both weightcarrying capacity as well as electrical power generation. For example, we have over 35KW of spare power to support future electronic loads, which is almost double the total amount of power generated by the current Paladin system.

Q: What type of survivability and performance improvements have been incorporated into the PIM?

Q: What type of testing have you conducted and what are the results?

A: The PIM program addresses the significant space, weight and power issues that the current M109A6 Paladins have experienced, setting a strong foundation for growth and greatly improving system survivability and force protection for our soldiers. We replaced the 1960s-era chassis structure with a newly designed structure that incorporates a common Bradley power train, along with common suspension components such as the track, road arms, torsion bars, final drives, etc. The new structure allows for field installation armor upgrades to match theater-specific threat requirements. Additionally, we have included a 70KW, 600VDC power system and a fully digital chassis operating system that is compliant with the latest onboard DASH [deployable automated support host] systems. The hydraulic gun drives and rammer have been replaced with 600VDC electric

A: The Army has led a series of rigorous tests on the seven prototypes we delivered. During Phase I of developmental testing, we fired more than 2,800 rounds and drove a combined 7,000-plus miles. During testing we collected a tremendous amount of data, which was thoroughly analyzed. To date, we have fired an additional 2,500-plus rounds during Phase II and driven another 7,000plus miles. We have successfully completed severe climatic testing and are currently engaged in electromagnetic effects testing at the White Sands Missile Range. The results of Phase II testing demonstrate the value of the phased testing approach and the superb work by the teams to engineer solutions in a near real-time environment. Additionally, we successfully completed a limited user test, in which an active Army unit used the system in operationally realistic trials. We also built and tested several ballistic hull and turret structures.

28 | GCT 4.1

Q: What is the next major milestone for the PIM program? A: Milestone C, the decision by the Army about the readiness to proceed with low rate initial production [LRIP], is scheduled for June. We submitted our LRIP proposal in response to Army solicitation and anticipate the contract award in late August. Q: What type of impacts will sequestration and the industrial base have on the PIM program? A: The full impacts of sequestration are not known at this point. There is an industrial base concern that our supply base remains viable throughout the LRIP period. The suppliers that will remain open for business face the issue of increased costs for component procurement, which is driven by the lack of work. Q: Where do you plan to build PIM? A: PIM production will take place at three primary locations. The Anniston Army Depot will perform the induction of the seed vehicles, as well as the overhaul of re-used components. The chassis fabrication work will take place at our York, Pa., facility. Our Elgin, Okla., site will perform all cab assembly and support the integration of the cab, cannon and mounting onto the chassis. Vehicle level testing will be performed in conjunction with the Army Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla. O


May 2013 Vol. 4, Issue 2

The Publication of Distinction for the Maneuver Warfighter

Cover and In-Depth Interview with:

Kevin Fahey

PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support

Features Helmets

The warrior headgear of choice has come a long way from the steel pots of prior wars. We look at new materials and systems that offer greater protection and advanced comfort for combatants.

Cold Weather Gear

In theaters ranging from Afghanistan to North Korea, U.S. warfighters can face two foes: the enemy and bitter cold. Evaluate with us the clothing and gear that can keep cold at bay, helping to improve soldier effectiveness.

Transparent Armor

While it is critical for combatants in transit to maintain situational awareness by scanning the surrounding terrain, the windows they peer through must protect well against incoming enemy fire. We discover how much progress is being made in transparent armor.

Special Section Handheld Comms

We look at the latest in communications and how they provide the information edge for warfighters, giving them lifesaving intel on enemy locations and more.

Insertion Order Deadline: April 9, 2013 • Ad Materials Deadline: April 16, 2013

For our Freedom

over a century oF experience and a liFetime oF u.s. based liFe cycle support. leupold tactical optics: designed, machined and assembled in the u.s.a.


GCT 4-1 (April 2013)  

Ground Combat Technology, Volume: 4 Issue: 1 (April 2013)

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