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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

10 Mar 10. The US Army will test an improved version of the M-24 sniper rifle when the candidate weapons for the programme are unveiled later this month. Soldier Weapons project manager Colonel Douglas A Tamilio said the industry was challenged to improve the M-24 sniper rifle to make it more accurate and more adjustable to soldiers’ needs. Four industry competitors are expected to supply their improved M-24 candidates by 11 March. “The improved version of the rifle will have an adjustable stock, adjustable cheek welds as well as five-to-ten round external magazines,” Tamilio said. In addition, the scope of the rifle will be improved from 3× to 25× magnification zoom, with a reticle that adjusts when the user changes magnification. In order to provide a standardised mounting platform for sensors and optics the sniper rifle will be complemented with Picatinny rails. Currently, the M-24 now is chambered for a 7.62mm round with a range of approximately 800m, however the improved M-24 can accommodate a larger round, the .300 Win Mag, to provide greater accuracy, according to Tamilio. Following the tests, the army will choose a producer in mid 2010, with a view to deploy the improved M-24 to army snipers later in the year. (Source: armytechnology.com)

26 Feb 10. India to ditch INSAS as part of major small-arms modernisation. The Indian Army is poised to replace the locally designed Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56 mm assault rifle, which it has reluctantly employed since the mid-1990s with an imported alternative. It is also seeking an alternative to its obsolete 9 mm carbine in addition to lightweight assault rifles for its Special Forces (SF) in what is anticipated to be one of the world’s largest small-arms contracts. (Source: Jane’s)

01 Mar 10. US Army PAM fails to impress during tests. The US Army’s Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) precision attack missile (PAM) struggled significantly during a recent test that was intended to inform an upcoming acquisition decision. The PAM scored two hits and four misses in a ‘flight limited users test’ that concluded in early February. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

26 Feb 10. Number of IED attacks is rising in Afghanistan, says head of JIEDDO. The number of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Afghanistan is still rising, according to the head of the Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO), Lieutenant General Mike Oates. Speaking at the AUSA Winter symposium on 25 February, Lt Gen Oates described how the IED threat had become increasingly “significant” over the past 12 months with more and more “unsophisticated but very dangerous” home-made and fertiliser-based devices being encountered. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

9 Mar 10. The U.S. Army and Raytheon intend to fire more test shots to fix what went wrong during a recent limited user test for the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS). “The plan that we’re working has us back shooting missiles this summer,” Michelle Lohmeier, Raytheon’s deputy vice president of Land Combat, said March 8. The service and Raytheon are still refining how many shots and other details of the additional testing, she said. The final plan will be presented to the Defense Acquisition Board on April 2, according to Army spokesman Paul Mehney. The NLOS-LS Precision Attack Missile failed four out of six times during a flight-limited user test that took place at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., between Jan. 26 and Feb. 5. Lohmeier said the Army and Raytheon know the causes of two of the failures. In one, it was a software issue that has “already been addressed and tested and confirmed,” she said.
In the other, “we understand that it’s a little adjustment that’s needed in our algorithms,” she said. The remaining two test failures, both of which were wide misses, are still being investigated. These “had somewhat similar behavior, if you will, and were wide misses, so those are kind of culminating in the same kind of fault tree,” she said. (Sour

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