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Military Guns and Ammunition

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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

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Australian Small Arms Modernization   Small Arms <20mm

Started 1-Oct by gatnerd; 5983 views.
In reply toRe: msg 40
Refleks

From: Refleks

15-Oct

It's certainly possible to give a "40mm" form factor suicide drone anything from lepton (<$500) to boson ($2,000-4,000) core based thermals depending on the desired resolution and what you're willing to trade off with regards to endurance, but the lower end of these thermals is most likely given weight margins for the form factor, and the fact that they would probably be employed only against known (though not necessarily visible) targets rather than in the exploratory hunter-killer role, so a high resolution isn't as necessary here.  These would likely be used upon coming across a problem that needs to be dealt with, most likely within 100 yards if we're talking something like military operations in urban terrain, where supporting arms cannot be employed due to ROE or safety margins.  Their usefulness is even more significant in COIN though, even something this sized could dart across a valley and nail a PKM gunner a couple of km away that cannot be reached by the patrol's other organic tools before supporting arms could even be vectored in (if permitted at all, the PKM gunner might be on top of a structure where civilians are in the area, and your mortars denied for instance). 

While the warheads on these critters would be small (ie, about golf ball or VOG17 equivalent) you could theoretically have a variant with the same shaped charge as a 30x113 HEDP (or even 40mm HEDP if you increase the form factor somewhat and accept 10 drones instead of 12 on a bandolier) and be used against the roof of armored vehicles. After armor effect would be small, but with the advantage of being able to pick the spot you hit...

There is also certainly utility for a couple of 8km/30 min endurance mavic like pocket drones as gatnerd describes with high resolution thermals and daylight camera with useful zoom (likely limited to 3x or so) at the "patrol" level.  This would imply in the platoon HQ during conventional warfare, but potentially down to squad level for COIN, operated by system specialists primarily for intel gathering, giving the platoon commander (or squad+ sized patrol commander) a scene sizeup, or scouting ahead to trigger / spoil ambushes and test fatal funnels, see the progress of an assault, or hunter killer work by exploring an area and using that info to call in supporting fires.  I'm indifferent on their use for dropping munitions, but it's certainly possible to employ them that way as we've seen.

A third type, a heavier suicide drone (ie, size of a 60mm mortar body, with a payload similar to that of a defensive fragmentation hand grenade) might be useful in the platoon weapons squad as a commando mortar alternative, in that you can carry a similar amount of ammunition to rifle grenades or 60mm mortar rounds, and they would work great in tandem with the platoon / company machine guns for killing the enemy once the machine guns fix them in place.  Something this size could also fill the role of area illumination or IR illumination with a much longer dwell time as an alternative payload to a warhead, and in this role they would be reusable.

A fourth type (think Inspire 2 sized) would expand capabilities even more.  The camera would be capable of much greater zoom and standoff capability, drones this size can be found in conventional (~30 min flight time / 8km range) or hybrid (4+ hour flight time / >8km range), can also be used in tethered mode for unlimited flight time, can loft other payloads (communications relay, jammers, LRF), and would be very useful IMO at the company level, particularly for the Company mortar FDC for finding targets, using a built in LRF to generate target coordinates, shine an IR laser to point these targets out to other units under NOD, observing and adjusting company fires, and so on.  A pair of these critters could also carry ELINT / RDF equipment and pinpoint baofengs and other non secure communications, observe that location from well beyond naked eye range, and if operated by the FDC would mean there's very little delay between detection, identification and mortars being directed onto the operator.  At company level, an even larger suicide drone might be a useful tool for just this application as a cheaper alternative / adjunct to guided mortar ammunition, but you'd probably need to use the UAV as a datalink relay given the larger area of company responsibility.

At battalion level, a UAS with 16-24 hour endurance is feasible (scaneagle etc)

___

For dismounted operations far from vehicles / light infantry to counter commercial drones on patrol, you would be looking at a specialist carrying something along the lines of THOR III to jam known frequencies (2.4/5.8, maybe even cell signals and perhaps some baofeng HAM bands).  This won't stop adversaries from gathering intel from outside the effective radius of the system (which includes calling in supporting fires(!)), but would at least prevent them from flying overhead and dropping nasty things or getting a real good look.  Active jamming is going to be battery hungry and emitting is dangerous against near peer threats, so you can also have a 360 degree IIR EO suite on the same pack that would also permit passive detection.  The backpack can also be dismounted and set up to protect an OP for instance.  The most reliable way to hard kill detected drones would be with another drone (in this case, something that engages automatically using information fed from the detection suite).  All of this entails so much weight that it would likely require it's own specialist to operate and therefore TO&E accommodation.


If vehicles are involved it's much easier, as weight and power isn't nearly as big a factor as dismounted operations, and an anti-drone system can pretty easily be incorporated into an APS (adding MMW to the passive EO suite), and a drone dispenser like a chaff/flare dispenser on a turret roof to kill anything it finds.  Again, probably not going to stop something with a 10x+ zoom from terrain masking and calling in supporting fires from several km away, but should keep most of the generic and suicide stuff from getting dangerously close otherwise.
 

  • Edited 15 October 2022 14:26  by  Refleks
stancrist

From: stancrist

15-Oct

gatnerd said:

This drone (not including armament or controller) is 31.5oz / just under 2lbs, and volumetrically looks to be ~size of a 200rd SAW pouch. 

A military grade SquadCopter of comparable weight and size, but with thermal and the ability to drop 1x 40mm type munition, I think is totally doable. 

I'm not questioning if it is doable.  I'm just not sure that such a drone is the best choice to equip a squad.

But, you make some very good points, and you may be right that it's more useful than the 40mm drones.

Since the new Marine rifle squad has a dedicated Systems Operator, it would be ideal to trial the concept.

stancrist

From: stancrist

16-Oct

gatnerd said:

AU has adopted the MCX in .300 BLK as a PDW. This choice is quite unusual for several reasons:

-Australia fields the F90, of which the 16" barrel version is a very short 26.5", seeming to make any length savings of even a short barrel MCX seem pretty minor unless the stock is folded. 

-Australia fields 5.56, and is interested in pursuing 6.8. In either case, introducing a new caliber - 300 blk - seems unusual, and is more something we might expect in a SF unit than a large military due to logistical concerns.

Some more thoughts on this subject:

1.  The acquisition of the (9-inch barrel) SIG MCX Virtus in .300 BLK is reportedly as a "PDW" for Australian special forces only, not as a general issue PDW.

"One of the new weapons is what the ADF calls a Personal Defence Weapon System to replace the long-serving Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine gun.

What was chosen was the SIG Sauer MCX in .300 Blackout calibre, a special forces preference as it is more lethal than 9mm and well suited to use with suppressors."

Details around NIOA's Land 159 offer - Australian Defence Magazine

2.  However, adoption of the MCX for SF could conceivably result in future fielding as a PDW for the regular army.

3.  Also, it may signal plans to replace the current 5.56x45 bullpup with a 6.8x51 rifle of conventional configuration.

"Notably, the MCX is a close relative of the SIG MCX Spear, the rifle chosen by the US as its next generation infantry rifle."  ~ Australian Defence Magazine (see link above)

  • Edited 16 October 2022 22:29  by  stancrist
DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

18-Oct

As an annendum, the H&K MP5 is also used by RAAF Airfield Defence Guard (RAF Regt equivalent) and Security Police squadrons. MPs will also likely use he MPX in the CPP role.

stancrist

From: stancrist

18-Oct

Thanks, David.  The ADF website mentioned only that Australian special forces use the MP5. 

But it does seem logical that other users of the MP5 might also have it replaced by the MCX.

In reply toRe: msg 45
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

23-Oct

In terms of Squadcopter / Platoon copter, this is a fascinating video from Ukraine of a quadcopter providing ultra close CAS in coordination with a Squad that is conducting a CQB trench assault on the Russians.

It shows the potential of an armed squadcopter quite well.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/General/OFFICIAL-Russo-Ukrainian-War-/5-2499714/?page=2880#i101059926

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Copying this posters analysis:

stancrist

From: stancrist

23-Oct

gatnerd said:

It shows the potential of an armed squadcopter quite well.

That seems like an unwarranted conclusion.  I'd say that what it shows is the potential of an armed quadcopter at platoon or company, not squad.

The poster got it wrong with this point:  It is not a "squad level UAV" if it is being flown by an operator 500-1000 meters to the rear at company HQ.

  • Edited 23 October 2022 3:25  by  stancrist
stancrist

From: stancrist

1-Nov

stancrist said:

With what little information we currently have, it is uncertain which ZU model the ADF chose to adopt.

Okay, I can now say with some certainty which ZU knife the ADF chose to adopt, and it looks like it was neither the Shrapnel nor the Reaper.

I came across an official ADF photo of the "training blade" which -- except for color -- is identical to the new Hand-to-Hand Fighting System.

It appears to be a new design based primarily on the ZU Nomad Mk2, but incorporating a couple of features from the Shrapnel and Reaper.

The blade has the same length and shape as the Nomad Mk2, but has the narrow blood groove of the Shrapnel and the guard of the Reaper.

Training Blade  (ADF photo)

Nomad Mk2

Shrapnel

Reaper

----------------------------------------

Amusing post from Australian army has a new knife. | BladeForums.com:

"Complete waste of taxpayers money IMO. This is about retired generals and politicians in bed with the prime vendors(some individuals are even married to each other lol) loading up on new gear for their own retirement funds. A fighting dagger adding even more weight to our overly encumbered western soldiers during battle or should I say '3rd world policing and resource extration operations'. And likely the reason will be the 'rising threat of Russia and China', two nuclear capable powers vastly too large for Australia to deal with, let alone get into CQB with an undersized fantasy blade!

Good heavens. I was the army and then worked in the middle east for several years as a contractor and the amount of times I needed a 4" fighting dagger were non existant. Even during the height of operations in Afghanistan ,Australia was only losing 4 people a year and I can guarantee none were in hand to hand combat. heres a better idea, keep the old standard issue M16 bayonet costing 'zero dollars' extra..."

  • Edited 01 November 2022 2:45  by  stancrist
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

1-Nov

Great find Stan. I collect and also design knives (got my first swiss army when I was 5) so I always find these types of knife choices interesting. 

Australia to my knowledge doesn't have many knife companies, so going with ZU makes sense - might as well buy Australian if they can. 

The design itself, I'm ambivalent about. 

Pros:

-Cool knife ads espirit de corps / warrior vibes

-Stabby 

-Very secure if finger loop engaged 

-Pretty compact

-Likely indestructible 

-Similar to Benchmade SOCP dagger, which is reportedly somewhat popular with US forces 

Cons:

-Zero utility 

-Handle is bare metal, so prone to being cold/hot and slippery 

-lack of guard makes it questionable if finger loop not engaged 

-Cant be used as bayonet 

-blade fairly short for stabbing, or for using as mine probe

-Blade steel not stainless 

...

For a compact stabbing implement, I would have gone with a Push Dagger. Maximum blade length per oal, and simplifies training as its a punching motion.

stancrist

From: stancrist

2-Nov

gatnerd said:

Great find Stan. I collect and also design knives (got my first swiss army when I was 5) so I always find these types of knife choices interesting. 

Australia to my knowledge doesn't have many knife companies, so going with ZU makes sense - might as well buy Australian if they can.

Certainly.  But this choice seems irrational.  Virtually no soldiers will ever use one for its design purpose.

Something like the knife shown below makes vastly more sense for general issue to military personnel.

The US Military's New Combat Utility Knife | Review & Giveaway | Tactical Rifleman

In this week's video, I wanted to talk about a new pocket utility knife that just got added to the US DLA (US Defense Logistics Agency) supply system. No, it...

If the ADF is concerned about equipping line infantry for CQB, a pistol makes a much more logical choice.

Australian Special Operations Tool Review

A review of the ASOT in terms of its portability, versatility and effectiveness as a Close Quarter fighting weapon for Law Enforcement and Military personnel.

Upon watching the guy in the video above, I had three thoughts about this style of "fighting" knife:

1.  It seems intended to sadistically inflict massive wounding rather than quick incapacitation/death.

2.  If I attempted to flail around wildly and rapidly with both arms like he did, I'd probably cut myself.  scream

3.  All of those fancy movements just automatically caused me to think of this iconic movie moment:

  • Edited 02 November 2022 20:29  by  stancrist
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