Defense

May 6, 2013

Eglin AFB munitions unit creates ammo linker for AFSOC

A lightweight, mobile 30 mm ammunition round linker connects rounds to MK-15 links using a hand crank or a conventional electric drill. The linker was created by the Munitions Materiel Handling Equipment Focal Point, a section under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s armament directorate, specializing in developing locally manufactured equipment for the Air Force ammo and weapons communities. The new linker is one-tenth the weight and cost of the current ammo linker in use and will be delivered to Air Force Special Operations Command units in May.

A new, lighter, mobile 30 mm ammo linker system is set for delivery to Air Force Special Operations Command units at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in May.

The 89-pound apparatus can feed 15 unattached 30 mm rounds into MK-15 links via a crank system and was created and designed by Eglin Air Force Base’s munitions materiel handling equipment Airmen. The MMHE Focal Point, a section under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s armament directorate, specializes in developing locally manufactured equipment for the Air Force ammo and weapons communities.

“The MMHE receives taskings via the major commands as well as through customer support visits,” said CMSgt. Dennis Tangney, the MMHE focal point chief. “Our airmen and engineers visit ammo and weapons sections and talk with maintainers and weapons crews. We explain to them how we can develop support equipment and tools that could make their jobs easier.”

Those ideas and concerns are defined and passed up the chain of command for approval. If the idea is feasible, cost-effective and to the benefit of the Air Force, a design team begins the creation process on the product.

The initial AFSOC request was for a hand-held de-linker to easily and safely remove the 30 mm ammunition rounds from the links.

“The previous method of using the force of your hands was slow and potentially dangerous,” said TSgt. Mike Stratton, the linker project manager.

Engineers and drafters went to work creating a new product to meet the specific requirements to accomplish the task.

Several 30 mm ammunition rounds are loaded into the mobile, hand-cranked linker to be connected with MK-15 links for use on Air Force Special Operations Command C-130 aircraft.

The result was a 7-pound de-linker tool that resembles a very large set of plyers, but fit the 30 mm round perfectly. The de-linker reduces the amount of force to remove the ammo to a minimum.

After trying out the de-linker prototype, Stratton and his team received feedback that AFSOC Airmen could use a quicker, deployable way of connecting the ammo into the MK-15 belts.

“We evaluated the linking process at Hurlburt Field, and the ammo troops told us the current machine is too large, expensive, complex and not very mobile,” said Ben Chambliss, the linker project engineer.

Again the MMHE developers began designing to meet this new requirement.

MMHE created a new linker resulted that weighed and cost one-tenth of the current linker in use. The linker requires no electricity with the use of a hand crank, but it can also be controlled with an electric drill for faster speed. It is 58 inches long and 18 inches wide.

“(The linker) can be tossed in the back of a truck or on an aircraft and taken to wherever it’s needed,” Chambliss said.

The lightweight, mobile 30 mm ammunition round linker and de-linker sit ready for delivery to Air Force Special Operations Command. The linker connects rounds to MK-15 links using a hand crank or a conventional electric drill. The de-linker (similar to a large set of plyers) disconnects the rounds safely and easily from the MK-15 links. Both products were created by the Munitions Materiel Handling Equipment Focal Point, a section under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s armament directorate, specializing in developing locally manufactured equipment for the Air Force ammo and weapons communities.

An MMHE project goes through two main phases, the prototype phase and first article phase. The prototype phase is the creation by MMHE and the testing of the designed product by the customer. In the first article phase, another product is created with the changes and corrections provided from the customer testing. The new (first article) product goes back to the customer for final validation. Once it’s cleared by the customer and approved by an Air Force safety board for operational use, the blueprints become available to DOD personnel via a secure website.

The linker/de-linker prototypes are already in use by the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

“These tools allow AFSOC munitions personnel to support AC-130W (Stinger II) and future AC-130J Gunship 30 mm operations in a safe and rapid manner at home station or deployed to austere locations world-wide providing outstanding munitions support to the special operations force mission, ‘any time, any place,'” said Richard McDonald, the AFSOC armament systems section chief. “Both tools can stand up to the wear and tear of daily operations at home station or in the field, be locally manufactured and parts can be easily and rapidly replaced as needed.”

At any time, the MMHE airmen have as many as 25 new pieces of equipment in development for Air Force war fighters.

 

The Munitions Materiel Handling Equipment Focal Point, a section under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s armament directorate, specializes in developing locally manufactured equipment for the Air Force ammo and weapons communities. At any time, the MMHE Airmen have as many as 25 new pieces of equipment in development for Air Force war fighters.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>