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Modern Day Marine Military Expo: Latest and Greatest Tactical Technology

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by Bob Taubert

Like the SHOT Show, the annual Modern Day Marine Military Expo gets bigger and better each year. However, unlike SHOT some of the toys for Uncle Sam’s boys that are on display cost millions of dollars a pop. Aircraft, particularly the unmanned variety, unmanned and manned waterborne patrol and attack platforms, wheeled and tracked robots, people and weapons movers and advanced war fighting technology mostly accounted for the big ticket items. Defense Review was there to ascertain and highlight what cutting edge items of security hardware would be applicable to police and military efforts in the Global War on Terrorism.

"The Patrol"

Sharing the Ontario Knife booth, maker of the wicked…

Marine Corp’s new bayonet and utility fighting knife was Sculptress Ms. Laurie Barton. An accomplished artist, she is currently engaged in creating a larger than life sized sculpture for the WWII US Marine Raider Association. This project is near and dear to my heart because the best battalion commander I ever had was former Raider, Lt. Colonel later Brigadier General Leonard Fryeburg USMC. He used to keep us in stitches when he told the story of how he was shot by a Japanese sniper while briefly resting in the jungle hammock his men had erected for him. As he as being patched up he wondered if their act was one of concern or they were trying to send him another message? He was an excellent leader and loved the men that served under him. And in turn we loved him.

The statues depicts a WWII marine standing in an overwatch firing position with an M1 rifle supporting a modern Millennium Marine as he cautiously moves forward to close with the enemy and complete his mission. It symbolizes the linkage between our contemporary Marines with their earlier forbearers. Once completed, it will be placed in front of Raider Hall, Quantico, VA the new HQ for the Martial Arts Center of Excellence. However, your help is needed to make this work a reality and donations can be sent to the address set forth below.

Mobility

During the buildup to the Falklands Conflict, we hosted several members of Her Majesty’s Special Forces. During our training they made enquiries about our knowledge and use of portable ultra light aircraft for insertions, extractions and reconnaissance? This dated memory was reawakened when I laid eyes on the ATAIR Aerospace Chimera Tactical Vehicle. My first impression was that this two – man, air – droppable vehicle looked like a small airboat on wheels. As a Fast Attack vehicle, two operators can high altitude – high opening (HAHO) exit a mother aircraft seated in the roll cage constructed superstructure and glide or fly the Chimera considerable distances at 30 knots under a steerable, 450 square foot canopy, capable of delivering a payload of 2200 pounds. Pilot, passenger and vehicle have reserve chutes. Propelled flying is made possible by a three cylinder 110 HP engine and Ducted Fan that can also move the vehicle across rough terrain at speeds up to 60 MPH. Ground mobility is derived from direct engine power to its wheels and or in combination with the fan or via an 80 HP Hybrid Electric drive for more covert running when conducting close target recons. Dry weight is 970 pounds and maximum take off load is 2200 pounds. When its time to go by – by, the canopy is laid out and the vehicle can take off within 150 feet of unpaved terrain.

Red Sled

As little kids, just about everyone had a little red wagon in my neighborhood. We used them to haul our friends, race them, fill with sand or snow and carry our toys. Today, that perennial playtime hauler has been greatly modified and incorporated into the serious world of rescue and recovery, bomb and hazmat disposal and emergency re supply. However, this big boy’s version called “Red Sled,” can support up to 6200 pounds. Constructed of Grade eight steel, aluminum and stainless steel pipe it will float and its six non pneumatic, polyurethane wheels and non drag design permit prodigious loads to be towed hands free by one or two persons, a Segway People Mover, or a robot quickly over various types of terrain. In the SWAT mode the RS can function as a low profile stretcher that allows the rescuer to free up his hands to operate a weapon while evacuating injured personnel. A special bracket supports two over lipped ballistic shields providing a mobile protective platform for tactical teams entering canalized terrain such as, schools, warehouses and malls. Bomb squads can handle heavy loads with less fatigue whether it is render safe equipment, monitors, sampling kits, entry equipment, or the device itself once it has been neutralized over grasslands, hills, sand and any urban terrain. Weapons of Mass Destruction require lots of specialized equipment and RS allows fewer people to transport more gear down range while compensating for any age or physical limitations that might handicap some rescuers. Response time is enhanced and exposure time is reduced. Rather than two responders, one can efficiently evacuate a casualty and free up more personnel for other tasks. RS is a force multiplier. HAZMAT teams can load and deliver back boards, Raven litters, Stokes baskets, Skedco litters, chlorine kits, dome clamps, extrication and ventilation equipment and the RS can be easily decontaminated with standard decontaminates. Military applications are multiplicious and the RS is particularly adaptable to crew served weaponry, resupply and casevac. The Army Rangers are employing the “Ranger 75,” a 43” x 28” x 18” air deployable RS version that weighs approximately 55 – 60 pounds and has separately transported a MK 19 Grenade Launcher and eight cans of 40 mm ammunition as well as an 81 mm mortar and 42 rounds that weighed 1000 pounds. A hydraulic lift accessory is available to move exceptionally heavy items from one mode of transport to another without the need for a forklift and deliver it where needed.

In contrast, the Mini RS employed by EMTs for rescue tips the scales at only twelve pounds.

Training Systems

Duelatron Target Systems /Advanced Training Systems, Inc., has gone way beyond indoor range construction and now offers entire “Modular, Air Deployable Facades and Urbanscapes” which can create 360 degree live fire assault and defense environments. Any domestic or foreign urban environment can be replicated with reconfigurable ballistic walls, stair clearing towers and rolling widows and doors. Three “D” (3D) Graphics / Manikin / Vehicle Simulators, Dummy Dumper, Twister, Movers, Jump Up and Robotic Platform targets can be added or operate as stand alone systems for extreme realism. The PT-70 Robotic Moving Target can act as a low profile running man target, carry up to 120 pounds on its multi purpose tracked platform, move 360 degrees in variable running patterns from creep speeds up to two (Double Time) miles per hour and features wireless remote control up to 1000 meters.

Their most recent product is the MUAC or Modular Urban Assault Course, which permits the agency to create entire neighborhoods and congested villages for the new “Two Block War,” with stand alone single and multistoried structures. When desired to keep training fresh and interesting or to meet mission requirements the entire venue can be morphed in hours into another theater of operations for target rehearsals.
Cold Steel

The very prominent Ontario Knife company, forger of the new and very lethal USMC bayonet has developed a new line of XM- 1 folding knives with generous grips that were specifically requested by troops in the field to handle better with gloved and wet hands. These are heavy duty Co-Cobolt enhanced stainless steel cryoquenced blades Military desert camouflage and civilian black knives with serrated and plain edges are available. Blade lengths are 3 3/8,” with an over all spread of 8.” At 4 ¾” closed the XM weighs 6.3 ounces. The grip is shaped to provide an ergonomic thumb ramp and a finger groove for positive hand placement under high torque thrusts and cuts. Depending on the model, grips are available in machined aircraft aluminum with hard anodized coating or with a rubberized camo coating. Dual titanium liner locks increase stability and overall strength while maintaining lightweight.

Protective Cocoon

The cowards attacking Iraqi and coalition forces with remote controlled and vehicle borne explosive devices, because they will not risk direct confrontations with our superb troops will now have another obstacle placed in the way of their indiscriminant carnage. Med – Eng Systems Inc. has created a modular protective outer garment designed to be integrated with existing combat body armor to augment it and intended to be worn by light armored vehicle mounted personnel. The ballistic Cupola Protective Ensemble will further protect extremities, head, neck, face and vital organs from blast overpressure and fragmentation of cupola gunners and vehicle crew. An integrated vehicle powered 24 volt DC cooling system mitigates heat stress for up to four users.

Bag it better

Those of you that have filled sandbags for protection from man and nature know that it can be tedious and back breaking work. It also involves a holder and filler, two persons in the labor chain. This has now changed with a very simple force multiplying and work output device dubbed the “EZ Bagger.” A 15”x 15” x 4” – 13 ounce Polypropylene “scoop” when inserted will hold the bag open while you scoop dirt into the burlap container. The scoop and tilt motion provides a mechanical advantage that greatly extends a workers endurance because it allows the user to handle the weight of the material right at its center, instead of at the end of a shovel. You simply squeeze the device together and slide it into the sandbag 3-4 inches and the outward force, along with patented cleats keeps the bag in place while being filled. The device is almost indestructible, comes in OD green and desert sand and stores in a small amount of space.

Weapons and accessories

Shoot around corners or over / under barriers with minimal exposure with the MTC Technologies, Parascope Urban Combat Sight. The ruggedized 1 x optical sight fits on assault rifle Picatinny 1913 rails behind a 1x riflescope or rear iron sight utilizing a quick release mount. The riflescope presents an illuminated reticule aligned to the aimpoint of the weapon. It is small, light in weight and does not require power. Looking through the side port of the aluminum alloy Parascope, targets may acquired and engaged from the safety of a barrier or defilade using a variety of firing positions. With the scope in place conventional shooting remains unaltered.

Smith & Wesson

S&W appears to be on a roll and has aggressively recruited some outstanding talent to keep up the momentum. National shooting champion Ernest Langdon, a former Berretta officer who is credited for designing the Beretta Elite pistol and two long time Glock employees have become members of the Springfield small arms icon.

Langdon dry demonstrated the company’s new M&P pistol and from other independent reports, it appears that this sidearm really has a future and will offer competition to the other leading polymer pistols. Its profile looks like it has a little bit of Sigma and a bit of the Walther P99 in it, but is quite unique in its own right. Currently in 9 mm and .40 S&W calibers, a .45 ACP version and a few other modifications could make it a strong candidate for the new US military pistol.

Now, if they can only resurrect their Academy, which was stripped of their best instructors during early reorganization and remains in a training malaise in spite of Israeli academic input. The school still offers a plethora of courses, but cannot attract quality adjunct subject matter experts with what has to be the lowest remuneration rate in the industry. This not the Academy’s fault, but the head shed at the factory has saddled its director with unrealistic monetary goals. Instead of being a profit – making center, it should be an arm of marketing and advertising designed to impart excellent training and sell guns. Hopefully, talent like Langdon can steer them in the right direction in this regard.

Lightweight Machine Gun and Ammunition Program

The constant refrain from troops coming out of the two major theaters of combat is “Make it lighter, more compact and as versatile as possible.” Begun in FY 2004, this unconstrained program is a “clean slate” effort to create a weapon with a 35% reduction in weight and ammunition, which reduces poundage by 40%. The Joint Services Small Arms Program, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ has formed a consortium of private companies to develop this concept into a reality. One of the keys to achieving overall weight reduction is creating lighter in weight ammunition. Two concepts are under evaluation:

• A plastic cased telescoping round, which is “lower risk” and reduces weight by 35 – 40%.

• Caseless ammunition, while more sensitive to thermal effects, can realize a 50% weight reduction along with a 40% decrease in ammunition volume. The use of High Ignition Temperature Propellant in this ammunition permits total elimination of the cartridge case.

The telescoped ammunition configuration of both concepts lends itself to a simplified feeding and extraction system in the Lightweight Machine Gun, but also requires a complete support of the cartridge and careful thermal management. This is accomplished by the use of a “rotating” chamber.

Linked cased telescoped ammunition is rammed into the loading chamber while it is the load position. The rammer moves forward towards the barrel, stripping a round from the plastic link into the rotating chamber. At the same time, a spent case in the rotating chamber is ejected forward. The chamber rotates into battery for firing and then rotates back to the load position after firing.

Sweet Beretta

The new P x 4 Storm is a very handsome as well as an advanced pistol. It exudes quality and excellent workmanship. The Italians seem to share the same design penchant for their firearms as they do with their cars. This pistol shares the same name as Beretta’s futuristic looking C x 4 Storm pistol caliber carbine and like FN’s 5.7 x 28 mm submachine gun and Five – seveN USG pistol couple also compliment each other. The less than 30 ounce P x 4 comes in two calibers (9 mm / .40 S&W) and is available in three versions. Capacities are 17 rounds for the nine and 14 for the forty. Traditional double and single action triggers with decockers can be had with or without a manual safety. And in keeping with the current trend, a double action only a version can be acquired with a snag free, spurless hammer. As with other contemporary pistols, the P x 4 has three different interchangeable back straps to accommodate most hand sizes.

The technopolymer reinforced fiberglass frame employs thermo plastic technology that is extremely durable and lightweight. Standard is Beretta’s “Superluminova” high definition luminescent 3-dot system, which will hold a charge of luminescence for up to 30 minutes after a brief exposure to any kind of light. Front and rear sights are dovetailed for easy removal / replacement with other types of sights. The receiver hosts a Picatinny integral MIL – STD rail for shooting accessories and believe it or not each P x 4 comes with three, count em, three, not one or two, but a tray of magazines. Bless you Beretta.

FN Herstal

This Belgian icon keeps cranking out winning weapons designs and our military Special Forces appears to be on the verge of adopting yet another of their creations. For what I have been told is that the big Army is pretty serious over H&K’s sexy looking XM 8 rifle whereas the snake eaters want to marry the FN SCAR (S.O.F. Combat Assault Rifle). However, there are two siblings to choose from. The SCAR Light (5.56 x 45 mm) and the beefier Heavy (7.62 x 51 mm) are available to task organize for specific mission requirements. The older NATO thirty – caliber round has been resurrected via the M14 rifle and FN SLRs by a number of units to deal with targets at extended ranges and threats behind light to medium cover. Both the round and the M 240 GP machine gun, which launches it, are held in high regard by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

After generations of admiration of the Kalashnikov’s reliability manufactures are adopting its short stroke gas piston. To my knowledge, the earliest example of this adaptation was Al Zitta’s LR 300 assault rifle, which is a superb weapons system, but could not compete with the big boys and the military “insiders.” FN’s SCAR as well as other manufacturers has gone to this gas system, which not only improves reliability, but also keeps chambers nearly immaculate of carbon build up. Encased in a rigid metal receiver and upper the rotating bolt and gas system maintains great strength, light – weight and excellent accuracy potential.

The overall system’s service life is 90,000 rounds and the barrel will endure over 35,000 high velocity trips down its bore. Both the Standard Heavy and Light versions possess a highly controllable cyclic rate of 550 RPM and unloaded weigh 8.5 lbs and 7.7 lbs respectively. Muzzle velocities for 5.56 M855 fodder out of a 13.78 – inch bbl, is 2870 FPS and the MK 262 clocks out at 2630 FPS. The Heavy’s 19.7 – inch tube pushes the .308 Winchester out at 2342 FPS.

Overall length for the Standard Light with stock extended, is 33.0 inches and collapsed 24.09 inches. The Heavy, at 40.2 inches extended and 31.4 inches with stock stowed takes up more space, but carbine and sub gun versions are available. Standard M16 and M14 magazines are compatible with the SCAR. The upper receiver and portions of the lower are embellished with the almost ubiquitous Picatinny Rail and optics so mounted, are backed up by folding front and rear sight systems. Fore grips included vertical handgrips.

Also at the Expo was FN’s HV – 40 mm Grenade Launcher. Looking some what like an M16 rifle on steroids, the single shot (A Three Round Magazine Prototype is under development) super blooper has maximum effective and maximum ranges of 600 and 2000 meters respectively. It will fire both the MK19 High Velocity and low velocity M203 / M79 rounds with equal reliability. It is a stand – alone or undercarriage system with advanced sighting and recoil mitigation. Current Proof of Concept weight is 17 lbs, but will eventually be refined to 15 lbs. Length is 31 inches and width is five inches. Muzzle velocity is 722 FPS and spin rate is 12,000 rpm. HE, HE Dual Purpose, Training and Training Practice Impact Signature rounds are in the military inventory.

COLT

I always look forward to visiting the Colt booth, because a miniature annual reunion takes place between my good friend and long time Colt rep. retired Marine Colonel Jack Muth and me. Jack is a Mustang and former Recon Battalion warhorse and it’s always good to see him still alive and kicking. He is also a performance car aficionado and much to my surprise, he sold his Lotus and now drives a 300 HP Subaru WRX – S. In addition to an expanded selection of Government pistols, Single Action Armies and M16 siblings, Colt has gone retro by offering a World War I Replica of their ageless 1911 design. Right down to the original glossy blue Carbona finish and lanyard loop on the magazine, this pistol will evoke memories for some still alive and heroic images for the many who acquire this piece of military and American history.

In 2000, Colt acquired the Canadian firm Diemaco, which is known for its outstanding versions of the M16 and M4 family of weapons under Colt license. I first came in contact with these excellent Colt copies while in Jordan, where the company’s small arms are highly regarded.

Colt is also in the process of introducing a revolutionary coating allowing small arms to operate lubrication free. Teamed with UCT’s Coatings, Inc their patented nickel boron Ultra Chem coatings have the potential to change the way firearms are made and maintained. Trademarked under the name “Greaseless Gun,” the technology is applicable to the automotive, defense, aerospace, oil, gas and other industrial arenas.

GLOCK

Like MacDonalds and its world-wide burger, Glock can legitimately refer to its most popular cornerstone G17 handgun as its “Global Pistol.” By sheer numbers issued, it is America’s law enforcement service sidearm. Although the military has specified that the new pistol under consideration will return to the legendary .45 ACP caliber, Glock, with its proprietary .45 GAP round would like to be that pistol. If their new round is not accepted, Glock offers three models in the original100 year old caliber, but would have to incorporate other modifications to meet the military’s requirements.

Glock’s newest models are down sized versions of the G37 – .45 GAP pistol, the G38 and G39 for enhanced concealed carry and backup. The big advantage of the GAP is that the round can be housed in Glock’s 9mm and .40 S&W framed guns and are therefore, easier for smaller sized hands to handle.

One item that has not received much publicity is Glock’s new nifty “Safety Holster.” The reason for this marketing silence may be that it is currently “not available for the US market.” But, once the word gets out and Glock realizes it can make a big buck here, it will be in short order. Glock offers Glocksters three different and practically indestructible polymer scabbards. Similar to the once popular Yacqui belt slide, one is designed for sport / combat, another for sport / duty and a third profiled for the military.

The newest plastic sheath is both fast and secure. It is equipped with a highly effective locking device that automatically locks in your pistol when inserted in the holster. To release the pistol you merely establish your firing grip and press the release button located on the inside portion of the holster with your thumb. The movement is totally intuitive and will work from hands at sides and when transitioning from a long gun. In addition, the front and rear sights are completely protected by the holster’s sight track and hood. The hood will also reduce gun wear and soiling on the lining of a coat, but will require more lift to clear with the pistol’s muzzle. However, with its security device I would not be averse to wearing it cross draw particularly if I had to be prepared to defend myself while seated. It will fit 1.73, to 2.01- inch wide belts.

LB2 Tactical Lighting System

How would you like to have a battery powered chemical light flashing two different colors and that is infinitely connectable to make a signal baton or mast? In addition, you have the choice of seven different colored beams for a wide angle and focused spot flashlight and more chemical light applications. The same light can also be requisitioned Infra Red and a special Black tube, which produces a discreet focused IR spot and no side light for increased stealth. Would this meet many of your tactical needs in a small and compact package?

Clear Products, Inc has produced the “Lazer Brite 2 Tactical lighting System” for multiplicious military and police purposes. This highly flexible mighty – mite of a light has many obvious Special Operations, signaling and search and rescue applications. Powered by two CR 2032 Lithium power cells, the light in its various modes is activated by tightening its Top or Bottom caps. Both different colored end caps are reversible, so the chosen color can either act as a flashlight or Chem light wand while the other performs the opposite function simultaneously or independently. Available colors are IR, white, blue, red, green, yellow and orange.

Power Film

It can fold up in your pocket or you can get it big enough to cover the roof of your tent and you can power or recharge remote sensors, lights, lap tops, cell and satellite phones, small heaters, refrigerators, GPS units, 12 volt batteries (24 volt configuration is available) and water purification systems while in the field eliminating the need to carry extra bulky batteries and heavy, noisy generators where solar energy is consistent.

A 10 – watt solar charger can fit in your cargo pants pocket and charge up to 60 watts. You can shoot holes in it and it keeps on giving. You can attach to a back – pack and charge batteries, satellite phone, laptop and GPS as you move. Available in a multitude of sizes and configurations, the 2.6 – pound Power film F15 – 3600 (60 watt) for example, is UV resistant, weatherproof, has a reverse blocking diode, very rugged, has a 15 foot extension cord and can be daisy chained to other units for additional power.

Civilian disaster applications, such as food preservation, lighting and radio power would make Power Film a natural for short term survival for those not inclined to purchase generators or for people concerned about a noisy signature and or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Remington Reconnaissance Kit

World famous for its contributions to the firearms industry, Remington has diversified by opening their Technologies Division and teaming up with an Italian information technology company to manufacture the “Eye Ball RI” surveillance / reconnaissance device. Invented by former Israeli Army soldiers, this grenade sized, wireless, 1.25 pound sphere containing an omni directional camera capable of infra red illumination up to 27 feet the ability if capturing video up to 25 yards and audio out to 15 feet can transmit streaming video to a full color PDU receiver from 200 meters in daylight and mono chrome images at night. The device can be remotely rotated four RPM and directed to home in on a specific target, capturing a 55 degree horizontal and 41 degree vertical field of view.

The self righting Ball can be inserted by lobbing it into a location of interest, suspending it from a lowering wire or attached to an extension pole. It is ideal for searching out obscured areas and positions located in defilade and would greatly assist raid, hostage / disaster rescue and arrest teams involved in forced entry and building clearing and fire fighting. It has an operating life of two hours and would really shine in the current “Three Block Wars” being fought in Iraq. However, once it is thrown into someone’s lair, the $1725.00 device is “lost” until the area it is providing reactive intelligence once it is cleared and secured. Therefore, for most agencies this will be a non – expendable item. The Eye Ball has survived a 20 – foot drop from a window and the company advises that if within the first 12 months the customer breaks it they will replace it for half price. For surveillance, the Ball can be secreted or perched somewhere to keep a surreptitious eye on an area and approaches to a defensive location.

An entire kit can weigh 12 to 15 pounds. The basic kit contains two Eye Ball R1s, a training Ball, a PDU, two chargers, carrying case, cleaning kit and adapters for lowering wire, poles and spikes. Options such as, protective pouches, duty belt, tripod, monopod and ground spike are also available.

For further information contact the following:

Remington Technologies Div.
15200 Shady Grove RD
Suite 205
Rockville, MD 20850
866-311-9971
www.remingtonTD.com

Power Film
www.powerfilmsolar.com

Clear Products, Inc
Lazer Brite 2
471 So. Main St #1
Moab, Utah 84532
435-259-3117
[email protected]

Glock, Inc.
6000 Highlands Pkwy
Smyrna, GA 30082
770-432-1202

FN Herstal
PO Box 869 (Military) Mc Lean, VA 22101 703-288-3500
[email protected]
PO Box 697 (Police) Mc Lean, VA 22101 703-288- 1292
www.fnusa.com

Colt MFG Co. LLC
PO Box 1868 Hartford, CT. 06144
1-800-962- COLT
www.colt.com

Beretta

Ontario Knife Co.
26 Empire St.
PO Box 145
Franklinville, NY 14737
800-222-5233

Red Sled
3706 SW 30th Ave
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
954-322-6997
www.redsledinc.com
www.bulldogequipment.us
Smith and Wesson
2100 Roosevelt Ave
Springfield, MA 01104
800-321-0852
Ms. Laurie Barton
29 Sassafras Lane
Stafford, VA 22554
540-226-1498
www.lauriebarton.com

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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