Author Topic: USMC Deploying with Suppressors instead of Radios  (Read 2392 times)

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USMC Deploying with Suppressors instead of Radios
« on: May 12, 2017, 20:09:47 »
The thing I wonder about is the effect on lethality.

Concurrent with this exercise both the Marines and the Army are looking at interim 7.62s and future 6mms to improve lethality and range.  I thought that the silencer negatively impacted muzzle velocity and thus range and lethality.

Quote
Marine Unit in Norway First to Deploy with Rifle Suppressors

Military.com | 11 May 2017 | by Hope Hodge Seck

VAERNES GARRISON, Norway -- When Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, arrived here in January, they weren't just beginning a brand-new rotational deployment. They were also the first Marine Corps infantry unit to deploy with suppressors on every individual service weapon.

And three months into using suppressed weapons in every exercise and live-fire training event, Marines who spoke with Military.com say they never want to go back.

In November, Military.com broke the news that the Corps was embarking on a proof-of-concept effort to silence every weapon in an infantry battalion, from M4 service rifles to .50 caliber machine guns.

In an interview at the time, 2nd Marine Division commanding officer Maj. Gen. John Love said the suppressors, also called silencers, were already changing the way Marines operated in early testing and evaluation.

"It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn't really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons," he said. "Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control, and effectively direct those fires."

Troops with Marine Corps Rotational Force-Europe agree.

They've used suppressed M4s and M27 infantry automatic rifles in Arctic cold-weather training environments and most recently at a joint live-fire attack event in Romania. During that event, three platoons from Bravo Company operated alongside one from the battalion's Weapons Company that didn't have suppressed rifles. The difference was marked, said Capt. Mark Edgar, commanding officer of Bravo Company.

"It took us back to remembering what it was like not to be suppressed, when you see people trying to communicate," Edgar said. "For guys in charge of other Marines, being able to talk is a big way that we fight. The suppressed weapons have helped that a lot."

For Staff Sgt. Troy Hauck, a platoon sergeant with Bravo Company's Weapons Platoon, not having to worry about ear protection when firing his rifle is a nice bonus. But a potentially bigger boon is the element of surprise that comes with a suppressed weapon.

"Just doing some of the training attacks that we've done on this deployment has been good," he said. "I'm on one side of the hill and [part of the company is] on the other side of the hill, and I can't hear them firing their weapons. It's pretty nice, real stealthy."

There are a few practical hassles that come with using the Marine Corps-issued SureFire suppressors.

They get very hot when used, and can burn skin and clothing if not handled with care. They must be cleaned properly in order to stay effective. They add a pound or so of weight to the rifle, and the current model occasionally comes loose from the rifle muzzle, said Staff Sgt. Nelson Acevedo, platoon sergeant for Bravo's 3rd Platoon.

Nonetheless, he said, the advantages of using the suppressors are clear. While the individual suppressors might add weight to the rifles, their use allows team leaders to stop carrying radios and extra radio batteries, making them ultimately lighter.

"Normally, going into a deliberate attack or something like that, we would want to have it be feasible and optimal to have team leaders equipped with radios, just because normally from the firing, it's going to negate the ability to laterally communicate by your mouth," he said. "With the suppressors now, there's no need for that, because they can communicate."

Acevedo also said he has noticed that getting rid of the radios has allowed the Marines to focus on the action in front of them, helping them to avoid "tunnel vision."

"If they can make the suppressor overall just a little lighter, that would be good," he said. "But overall, I'd say we're about at a 75-percent solution."

Whether that solution will be implemented for the full Marine Corps is up to the commandant and other senior service brass. Edgar said the unit has been providing feedback on using the suppressors since it began its predeployment workup in October, routing reports and insights through the 1/2 battalion gunner, or weapons officer.

Two other companies have been issued suppressors as the evaluation phase continues: Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, which deployed aboard the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in March; and Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, which deployed to Japan as part of the unit deployment program in February.

The 2nd Marine Division gunner, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, said in November that he was still working to equip the Marines' M249 light machine gun and M240G medium machine gun with suppressors, with plans to silence the .50 caliber heavy machine gun last.

Wade estimated equipping an infantry battalion with suppressors would cost about $700,000, a price tag that might give decision-makers pause.

Asked about the status of evaluation at the end of March, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told Military.com he is worried about both cost and weight when evaluating the possibility of issuing suppressors to infantrymen.

"The cost to kit out an infantry Marine used to be a couple thousand bucks; now it's like $7,500. I've got to store this stuff, they've got to carry this stuff. I'm trying to make the load lighter, not heavier," he said. "But it's a tool ... every action has a side-effect, but we'll work through all that."

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/05/11/marine-unit-norway-first-deploy-rifle-suppressors.html#.WRSqKa2T8_J.twitter

edit title for tech accuracy
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 10:58:33 by milnews.ca »
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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 21:27:28 »
Very interesting concept - wonder how much extra maintenance the supressors are?
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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 22:19:40 »
Suppressor still adds weight, and as they said, the section MGs aren't silenced. I don't think they're going to achieve any real weight savings. Intrateam radios also allow quick passage of orders where yelling at people in a patrol would be a security concern. They should be looking at options for generating power by the soldiers moving or solar-recharging batteries to reduce that weight load.

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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 22:54:14 »
Long term they'll probably pay for themselves in reduced hearing loss claims through VA.
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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 23:46:54 »

One only need look to .50 BMG suppresed sniper rifle as to whether it affects the ballistics to a concernable degree or not.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 00:08:34 by recceguy »
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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 00:06:34 »
Very interesting concept - wonder how much extra maintenance the supressors are?
Cleaning is not much different than the rest of the rifle. Take it apart and clean it. The bigger problem is the abnormal wear on the baffles due to high heat and pressure deterioration. It doesn't take many rounds before the internals require replacement. Hence the reason they are not used in SAWs and Pigs. They can be used in automatic small arms (think UZI, Sten, M16, etc).
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 00:27:21 »
Chris,
I took the liberty of fixing your title.   8)

Calling a suppresor a silencer is like calling a magazine a clip. [;)
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 00:31:10 »
Chris,
I took the liberty of fixing your title.   8)

Calling a suppresor a silencer is like calling a magazine a clip. [;)

Seen recceguy.  Gladly accept the correction.  Thanks.

You know, thinking about this.   Is there merit in suppressing the rifles while not worrying about the machine guns?  I mean, when those guns begin to chatter is stealth the major consideration?  On the other hand the ability to pick your shots with a rifle and not be detected .... that would have some value, I would think.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 00:34:30 by Chris Pook »
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 00:54:00 »
Seen recceguy.  Gladly accept the correction.  Thanks.

You know, thinking about this.   Is there merit in suppressing the rifles while not worrying about the machine guns?  I mean, when those guns begin to chatter is stealth the major consideration?  On the other hand the ability to pick your shots with a rifle and not be detected .... that would have some value, I would think.

I would imagine the opposition would likely and naturally put their attention to the MGs. The advantage to the suppresed rifle is lack of signature. Aural and visual. It's frustrating and time consuming to search for ghosts, especially at night, while those pesky MGs are chattering and their buddies are springing incomrehesible leaks for no discernable reason. I would not have a problem calling it a force multiplier. YMMV.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 00:57:27 by recceguy »
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2017, 00:55:59 »
Thier goal is to be able to communicate by mouth instead of radio, which is defeated when you have 2x LMGs providing suppressing fire, let alone a GPMG.

Having an intrateam radio also adds flexible into your comma plan, removing the single point of failure with the TL/Sect Come having the only radio...

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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2017, 01:03:54 »
Thier goal is to be able to communicate by mouth instead of radio, which is defeated when you have 2x LMGs providing suppressing fire, let alone a GPMG.

Having an intrateam radio also adds flexible into your comma plan, removing the single point of failure with the TL/Sect Come having the only radio...

Your job is safe  [:D it'll be fifty years before the CAF catches up :facepalm:

It may even appease the eviromental SJWs because of the reducion in lithium batteries.  :rofl:
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2017, 01:08:39 »
It's not job protection; if I'm providing Signallers to work below platoon-level we're in a world of hurt. Enabling C2 on the battlespace is my job, and I see the most flexible/effective way to do that is a lightweight and secure radio system that is also capable as an alternate section-level radio.

This isn't 1950, our technological overmatch is what makes us a first-world army.

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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2017, 01:25:30 »
Suppressors are not a panacea for communications neither are lightweight radios. I am surprized the USMC is actually operating at the team level without radios but perhaps.
In an urban fight,  fighting from stairwell to stairwell in the middle of a hotel tower complex lightweight radios are still likely not going to solve all the problems.  Similarly in a denied electronic environment the radios may all be jammed thereby necessitating reverting back to verbal direction relayed from soldier to soldier.
Having an arms room concept with suppressors, personnel role radios, etc etc is a better COA.  Let the chain of command decide what capability they need for each mission based on the threat and environment.
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2017, 01:48:04 »
Whoa guys! I was poking fun a siggies. Go easy.

I'm not arguing with you about pros and cons of the article.

Go back and look at the question Chris, the OP, asked in his first post. ;)
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2017, 01:58:47 »
A suppressor will actually increase velocity slightly due to the propellant gas remaining behind the projectile for a bit longer.  The increase will be very marginal though, in the neighbourhood of 1-3%.
Actual effect on lethality is minimal as the velocity increase is not enough to substantially change the terminal ballistics of the respective round at applicable distances.  The bullet will perform the same in terms of yaw, fragmentation, expansion etc. suppressed as it would unsuppressed.
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2017, 02:13:40 »
A suppressor will actually increase velocity slightly due to the propellant gas remaining behind the projectile for a bit longer.  The increase will be very marginal though, in the neighbourhood of 1-3%.
Actual effect on lethality is minimal as the velocity increase is not enough to substantially change the terminal ballistics of the respective round at applicable distances.  The bullet will perform the same in terms of yaw, fragmentation, expansion etc. suppressed as it would unsuppressed.

Agreed. A suppresor is similar to adding the same length of barrel as the suppresor is long. Every inch a barrel is cut back reduces velocity and accuracy as the range increases. Every inch longer increases it (to a point).
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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2017, 07:58:35 »
Cleaning is not much different than the rest of the rifle. Take it apart and clean it. The bigger problem is the abnormal wear on the baffles due to high heat and pressure deterioration. It doesn't take many rounds before the internals require replacement. Hence the reason they are not used in SAWs and Pigs. They can be used in automatic small arms (think UZI, Sten, M16, etc).
Seen - does that make the maintenance load on "the system" more than zero, but managable?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 14:55:06 by milnews.ca »
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2017, 11:47:26 »
Interesting commentary.

It is interesting in that the infanteer, with optics, with NVGs, with suppressors and, I'll assume, a Personal Role Radio is becoming more and more like a scout-sniper of WW2 vintage.  In fact he is vastly better equipped than those fellows were.

And yet we still organize our infantry as if they were equipped with bolt action clubs with iron sights and a light machine gun.

It took a hundred years from the time that the Brits introduced the Baker Rifle for them to modify the structure developed by Marlborough for Brown Bess. 

It is now a hundred years since we adopted the battalion structure we currently employ.

Riflemen used to be Special.  Then infanteers became riflemen.

Is it time for the infanteers to become more Special again?  Increased dispersion?  Skirmishing further forward in smaller groups?  Longer ranged support weapons?
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Re: USMC Deploying with Silencers instead of Radios
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2017, 15:00:43 »
Seen - does that make the maintenance load on "the system" more than zero, but managable?

I would think so.
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2017, 13:03:39 »
....
Is it time for the infanteers to become more Special again?  Increased dispersion?  Skirmishing further forward in smaller groups?  Longer ranged support weapons?

Maybe?

Quote
SOCOM looks to buy 5,000 lightweight machine guns in .338
5/15/17 | by Chris Eger


      
The LWMMG uses the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge to extend the battlespace for small unit machine guns out to an impressive 1,700 meters, eliminating the gap between 7.62mm and .50 caliber weapons. (Photo: General Dynamics)

The U.S. Special Operations Command, partnering with the Marine Corps, is looking for domestic sources for a .338 Norma Magnum caliber machine gun.

In a sources sought listing posted on May 11, SOCOM stated a need to fill an order for 5,000 Lightweight Medium Machineguns chambered in .338NM. The 300 grain belted magnum round is touted as having a recoil similar to a 7.62mm NATO round while still being lethal out past 1,700 meters. At 1,000 meters, the round is still capable of defeating Level III body armor and penetrating soft skinned vehicles, thus considered a bridge between the current 7.62mm offerings and .50 BMG.

The LWMMG specs include that it should be belt-fed, use polymer-cased .338 NM, weigh less than 24-pounds unloaded with a 24-inch barrel, and have a 500-600 round per minute rate of fire. The system, capable of using the standard mounts and M192 tripods designed for the M240 series general purpose machine gun, would include both a suppressed and unsuppressed barrel, capable of rapid changes between the two, as well as all accessories.

Defense contracting giant General Dynamics in 2012 debuted a 24-pound M240 style LWMMG that fired the .338NM and carries it in their catalog today.

The expansion into the .338NM caliber was preceded by a similar source’s statement last month by SOCOM for a convertible advanced sniper rifle system adaptable to fire the 7.62mm NATO, .300NM, and .338NM cartridges.

http://www.guns.com/2017/05/15/socom-looks-to-buy-5000-lightweight-machine-guns-in-338/

On the humourous side of things - Just about the time that they have figured out how to make the C6 lighter they now want to increase the weight of shot and create a new weapon that weighs as much as the old C6.  Your knees just can't get a break.
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 09:50:58 »
How heavy are intra-team radios?  Are there currently any viable options for solar-charging batteries?

It's crazy how much weight we expect a soldier to carry with the 522s.
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 11:47:51 »
How heavy are intra-team radios?

An MBITR AN/PRC-148(Im assuming this is what they are referring to) weighs 1.9 lbs(with battery) according to the Thales site.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 11:52:58 by LightFighter »

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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2017, 19:11:25 »
Interesting video from Gunner 2 MarDiv arguing that the suppressor does not detract from muzzle velocity and thus range and lethality - and that "you are going to get one".

https://youtu.be/LeWL3EL1ymM

He also demontrates the ancillary benefits of the suppressor.

https://youtu.be/eGS_K_d-c_c
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Re: USMC Deploying with Suppresors instead of Radios
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2017, 19:34:42 »
Interesting video from Gunner 2 MarDiv arguing that the suppressor does not detract from muzzle velocity and thus range and lethality - and that "you are going to get one".

https://youtu.be/LeWL3EL1ymM

He also demontrates the ancillary benefits of the suppressor.

https://youtu.be/eGS_K_d-c_c

From Soldier Systems:

Quote
No, The USMC Isn’t Adopting Suppressors For Everyone
Despite stories all over the Internet about a Marine Corps deployment to Norway where every weapon is suppressed, the service isn’t adopting suppressors across the board. It is part of a Marine Corps Warfighting Lab experiment. Nothing has changed from the update we gave you two weeks ago.

On another note, Mr Woodburn was asked during a Q&A period about when we should expect the test report for last year’s suppressor evaluation. He said that it should be ready by Fall but that the Marine Corps’ suppressor priority was for its Medium Machine Guns. Scuttlebutt suggests that the Marines noted a decrease in range during the evaluation when used with the M4 and M27. Furthermore, Mr Woodburn mentioned that the Marines are interested in finding a suppressor that is compatible with the M27, which could be construed as further evidence of the Marine Corps’ intent to field more M27s. Or, it could mean that the IAR would be next in line after the suppression of the medium machinegun fleet.

There still isn’t a requirement for additional suppressors in the GCE. Until there is, this is just an experiment.

http://soldiersystems.net/2017/05/12/no-the-usmc-isnt-adopting-suppressors-for-everyone/

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.