Business

July 26, 2013

Natick develops holster for M320 grenade launcher

Darren Bean, an equipment specialist with Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment at Natick Soldier Systems Center, Mass., has been working since November 2012 on the M320GL Holster Soldier Enhancement Program.

 
When the M320 40 mm grenade launcher began replacing the M203 in 2009, it put a new and more lethal weapon into the hands of the soldier.

There was one question, however. How would he or she best carry it?

An equipment specialist with Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, or PM SCIE, is trying to answer that question. Darren Bean has been working at the Natick Soldier Systems Center since November 2012 on the M320GL Holster Soldier Enhancement Program, or SEP.

The detachable M320, named one of the Army’s top 10 inventions of 2009, comes equipped with a sling to carry it when not mounted to the M4 carbine or M16 rifle, according to Bean.

“It was a one-point sling, so (the weapon) was kind of bouncing around,” Bean said. “If you went down to the ground, you were dragging it through the dirt. Most people felt that protection was needed at some level because they were just getting dragged in the dirt and pounded on.”

Some soldiers began looking for a better solution than the sling for the M320, which weighs seven pounds with the butt stock.

“They decided they wanted to be able to put it in a holster rather than just shove it in their ruck sack,” Bean said.

The SEP allowed the purchase of enough holsters to equip a brigade combat team. He said the “buy-try-decide” concept allows the Army to test the functionality of equipment without spending a lot of time on research and development.

Bean found three commercial vendors who make M320 holsters, so PM SCIE acquired 167 of each.

“They’re of varying design,” Bean said. “All three of them were very different from each other.”

One model includes pockets for grenades but is bulky. Another is more streamlined but offers less protection for the weapon. The third is a cross between the other two.

Bean put the holsters in the hands of a dozen Soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., who went through a set of standardized tests in mid-May. The soldiers filled out surveys after the testing.

The testing was to make sure it was realistic to go forward, Bean said.

“Now we can actually test them with an entire brigade,” he added.

Each one of the holsters has had small issues, according to Bean.

“None of them have performed necessarily any better than the other ones,” Bean said. “They all have some small things that need to be tweaked.”

Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) from Fort Drum, N.Y., the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Vermont National Guard, and Soldiers in Afghanistan are currently evaluating the holsters. The Consumer Research Team at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center will collect data. PM SCIE officials will then make a recommendation to the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning by the beginning of fiscal year 2014.

“The need is there, for sure,” Bean said. “I think the end state of this will be that they will say, ‘Yes, we need a grenade launcher holster for this when we use it in the stand-alone mode.'”

 




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


 
 

 
boeing-avianco

Boeing, Avianca celebrate delivery of airline’s first 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Avianca have celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the Latin American carrier, helping the airline stay at the forefront of technology in the region. “The addition of the first Boeing 787-8 to...
 
 
boeing-boc-737

Boeing, BOC Aviation finalize order for two additional 737-800s

Boeing and BOC Aviation have finalized an order for two additional 737-800s, valued at $186 million at current list prices. The order is a part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel...
 
 

Northrop Grumman names chief compliance officer

Northrop Grumman has named Carl Hahn vice president, chief compliance officer, effective Jan. 15, 2015. Hahn is succeeding Judy Perry Martinez, who will be retiring, and will report to Sheila C. Cheston, corporate vice president and general counsel. “Carl brings to his role at Northrop Grumman a tremendous breadth of experience in global compliance, investigations...
 

 

GPS modernization advances as eighth Boeing GPS IIF becomes sctive

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ñ The eighth Boeing Global Positioning System IIF satellite has completed on-orbit checkout and joined the active 31-satellite constellation, helping the U.S. Air Force continue modernizing the network that millions of people worldwide use. The Air Force and Boeing have now put four GPS-IIF satellites into service this year, adding to the...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




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>