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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; 6062 views.
stancrist

From: stancrist

1-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. 

There are a number of military PDW users for whom stowed length is consequential. 

For them, the length savings of the MCX SBR (with stock folded) could be worthwhile.

gatnerd said:

-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.

Introducing a new caliber for PDW use is indeed unusual, but it is not unheard of in recent times. 

The German army adopted 4.6 HK for their PDW, choosing to accept the complication of logistics.

That the Aussies opted for .300 BLK rather than 5.56, may indicate intent to adopt 6.8 rifle and MG.

Farmplinker

From: Farmplinker

1-Oct

Wonder if they're going to try an integral suppressor so it's not quite so loud in confined spaces? Still run supersonic ammo, but cut the muzzle blast. I know the picture shows a can screwed on, but an integral would reduce length

EmericD

From: EmericD

1-Oct

gatnerd said:

Continuing SIGs quest for global domination, 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. 

That could make sense if they are serious about switching to the 6.8x51 mm for their main rifle. The MCX in .300 AAC is probably already used by their SF for subsonic / supersonic work, so issuing the same rifle with the supersonic round (and without suppressor) as a PDW could lead to a simpler logistic.

In reply toRe: msg 8
Refleks

From: Refleks

1-Oct

I honestly don't mind the 300 as a PDW, ideally in an integrally suppressed Magpul PDR like weapon, and while type consolidation makes sense to a point, if the caliber creates too much of a logistical burden for a western military then they are in a sorry state and have other more pressing concerns.  

I would say if they were going that route I'd prefer the primary caliber and associated magazines be a different OAL so as to not accidentally blow up any guns because sure as hell that will happen despite procedural checks.  If an intermediate caliber like 5.56 is the primary then a second caliber for a PDW would IMO be less necessary as there are platforms already optimized for being small and handy (relatively, not on par with MP7) available, but if the primary intermediate caliber is more capable like 6.8  then a secondary caliber like 300 blk starts to make more sense.

Any major western power investing in new small arms but neglecting weaponized drones at fireteam/squad level is behind the curve, IMO.  

There's no reason fireteams can't be already equipped, today, with weaponized drones that fit inside a normal 40mm form factor (and therefore bandolier of many easily carrier), all of the technology is there, it's inexpensive and mature, and it would be extremely disruptive to traditional notions of combat -- in fact, in most cases, negating the need of something like a counter defilade weapon at the squad level (which has always been chunky), as well as the unrealistic desire to design a handy light rifle that can both clear brick shithouses but also overmatch a PKM on tripod conducting harassing fire at the edge of its effective envelope 2km away. While they may be vulnerable in a heavy electronic warfare environment, for the other 98% of actual fighting in actual deployments it will work fine, and in fact even in more conventional warfare with near peer threats they will probably be useful after that first week too.

  • Edited 01 October 2022 15:48  by  Refleks
schnuersi

From: schnuersi

2-Oct

Refleks said:

Any major western power investing in new small arms but neglecting weaponized drones at fireteam/squad level is behind the curve, IMO.

I have to disagree.
It makes little sense to equip fireteams or squads with drones. Within the engagement range of the smallest units such systems are not necessary.

The combat effectiveness of small, simple and cheap drones also is very limited.

In the near future small and light missiles in the class "anti personel guided missile" will fill this role. These are much more reliable, powerfull and more difficult to counter. They are also fully mil spec and can be handled like all other missiles.
Such equipment with ranges in the 2000 m and more range will most likely not be issued to squad level. At least not organic.

stancrist

From: stancrist

2-Oct

schnuersi said:

       Refleks said: Any major western power investing in new small arms but neglecting weaponized drones at fireteam/squad level is behind the curve, IMO.

I have to disagree. It makes little sense to equip fireteams or squads with drones. Within the engagement range of the smallest units such systems are not necessary.

In the near future small and light missiles in the class "anti personel guided missile" will fill this role. These are much more reliable, powerfull and more difficult to counter. They are also fully mil spec and can be handled like all other missiles.

Small, guided missiles like the Pike do offer some advantages, but I'm not sure they are a necessarily better choice for the squad.

The drones that I think Refleks is referring to are also fully mil spec, and seem like they would be quite useful at the squad level.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

2-Oct

schnuersi said:

The combat effectiveness of small, simple and cheap drones also is very limited.

Off the shelf quadcopters dropping 40mm equivalent warheads or scouting ahead for enemy positions (often both) have proven shockingly effective in Ukraine, and Syria before then.

One major advantage over missiles like PIke is that they can hunt for an enemy, and drop munitions into trenchworks / foxholes that would be difficult to hit with a rocket or missile. Top attack also allows even the smallest of HEDP warheads to penetrate top armor of even Tanks (a few days ago a quad droped 40mm killed a T80 tank).

A militarized compact quadcopter with a dropable micro munition (think optimized ~40-50mm HEDP) would likely be extremely useful. Especially as it would be re-usable and allow for surveillance and strike capability. 

Off the shelf, there are currently folding drones, which can fold down into the size of ~a 200rd SAW pouch. So a squad level drone would be quite doable. Especially if paired with some limited AI (fly forward 1k along this trail, send notification if FLIR detects anything human temperature).

  • Edited 02 October 2022 17:27  by  gatnerd
Refleks

From: Refleks

2-Oct

"I have to disagree.
It makes little sense to equip fireteams or squads with drones. Within the engagement range of the smallest units such systems are not necessary.

The combat effectiveness of small, simple and cheap drones also is very limited."

You're not wrong with regards to having more range than a squad is typically expected to need, but that isn't the goal, it's just a side effect of where the technology is and of being a loitering capable munition, so it's a non issue for me. Besides, there will be occasions where a such a range would be useful.

As far as the combat effectiveness of small, simple and cheap drones being limited I have no idea where you're getting that from, but this is not correct.  These are rounds of ammunition that can potentially fit in a typical 40mm grenade pouch (meaning a single soldier can carry as many as 12 in a typical 40mm bandolier), require no separate launcher, and can not only by and large fulfill the desire for a counter defilade asset at the squad level, they can do much more than that. 


Munitions you describe (small and light missiles, presumably like pike, bumblebee, etc) also have their place and purpose in the squad, these are not mutually exclusive nor do they fulfill each others roles sufficiently to render the other irrelevant.

  • Edited 02 October 2022 18:15  by  Refleks
schnuersi

From: schnuersi

3-Oct

gatnerd said:

Off the shelf quadcopters dropping 40mm equivalent warheads or scouting ahead for enemy positions (often both) have proven shockingly effective in Ukraine, and Syria before then.

Not really. They have been overrepresented in the public discussion because they are over represented in footage.

For starters these drones are weapons of desperation. They are used because there is a lack of proper military equipment. Theses drones simply do what a mortar normally would.
Second and this can not be emphasised enough the limited successes such improvised measures had are theatre and situation specific. They are used mostly in static situations and trench fighting. They are the current equivalent of the trench catapults and improvised grenade launchers from 100 years ago.
Last but not least such measures are only viable because in the theatre the opponents does not have the equipment to counter them. At least not enough for full coverage. Not only the UA AD has been successfull in shooting down drones. The RU AD as well. RU is also very good at ECM and ECCM. They are capable at detecting and quickly pinpointing drone guidance signals. They are just shit at getting fire onto this position quickly.

In the current phase of the war in UA which changed from very static trench fighting, almost siege warfare back to mobile manoeuver warfare payload drones and small loitering munitions are much less off an asset and their use has been reduced accordingly. Now recon drones are far more important.
The thing is if you have a recon drone and a mortar you don't really need a drone that drops small grenades.

It also isn't true that western militaries don't invest in drones, drone warfare or defenses against them. Just most of the work done in this field is classified. To a much higher degree than small arms. There is also lots of work done by the industry. The potential problem has been identified quite some time ago and systems and tactics are allready being implemented. It is highly doubtfull that drones would be as effective against a western military or NATO force as they have been in the conflicts befor. Since their true effectiveness in these conflicts is usually vastly overrated the effect against a proper equiped and prepared force will most likely be neglectable.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

3-Oct

stancrist said:

Small, guided missiles like the Pike do offer some advantages, but I'm not sure they are a necessarily better choice for the squad.

This one is a APGM. On the small end of the scale. From my point of view its also a result of the last decades. Its a piece of kit optimised for COIN and LIC. It might even be a good or great piece of kit.
I just don't see the necessity to equip all infantry squads in every theatre regardless of mode of warfare with it.

In UA we see more or a less a peer war HIC. The way infantry operated there is very different from what we saw in the last decades. For example engagement ranges are short for small arms. With 300 m allready being the exception. Also heavy weapons reign the field. In such an environment i do not think the approach for squads or platoons working independent and having to handle anything by themself until fast air can support, if this is greenlighted at all, is a viable. What we see in UA is more or less traditional combined arms warfare with combat elements in at least company size. Usually batallion sized units or battlegroups are deployed to specific goals.

I am not saying recon or other drones can not be given to squads and used by them. This is certainly possible. But to me it currently seems that this is a case of mission conflict. The infantry squad as part of a larger combined arms force is supposed to quickly get close and take and hold an objective. Why give them equipment that does not only not advance this mission but actively hinders hit because the now have assets that are best used from far away and if used prevent quick and agressive movement.
As support assets on company or maybe platoon level this might make sense. But for a squad? The smallest combat element. The one that actually has to get close and allready has problems carrying all the equipment they need. I really so not see it.

For small Spec Op teams and the lone squad in hostile territory during COIN this is certainyl different. But this is not what has been proposed. Drones as standard issue for infantry on squad level has. That makes no sense to me and there is currently no evidence that it does.

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