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Gripen287

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  1. Gripen287

    Railguns

    Which seems to be exactly what BAE is doing with their "Dispensing" charge. There's barely any room for explosives anyway Things might get more interesting with larger bore rail and coil guns due to the scaling factors of the various components. This paper contemplates a 12" coilgun firing projectiles 155mm in diameter, excluding the fixed control fins. The guidance package volume fraction isn't nearly so bad.
  2. Gripen287

    The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

    As a platoon commander, would rather have to ask company command for those attachments or ask company HQ to look after your CGs and GPMGs while you're rifle squads are on some sort of ninja mission? I'm not saying that the platoon would be 60 guys forever and always. CG rounds weight 6+ pounds each. Your'e going to need several bodies to lug a useful number around. While we're at it, why not distribute the load of a GPMG team amongst 5 guys instead of 3 and give them a DMR? Assaulting a small hamlet (e.g., 2-4 structures) after maneuvering on foot through restrictive terrain? Those 60 guys could give you two GPMGs on tripods in a support by fire position, two 15-man assault squads with 2 fireteams and a CG each, (i.e., two 15-man squads) and a 10-man squad in reserve. Battalion 81/120s or Brigade 105/155s drop smoke during the initial assault. The CGs accompanying the assault squad take out any fortified positions that could not be observed during initial reconnaissance or lay smoke if the respective assault squad needs to make a hasty retreat. IDK, I'm just an interested amateur. My interest is mostly motivated by figuring out how we might best incorporate the CGs that seem like a much better solution than whatever the current flavor of interim XYZ is that DOD wants to foist on the "light" infantry to achieve "overmatch." Additionally, I'm trying to think of ways to keep combat loads under 60 pounds or so.
  3. Gripen287

    The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

    Fair enough, but a USMC platoon with the 13-man squads is already at 43 men. My 60-man platoon gains 17 men because of a slightly larger platoon HQ and two 5-man CG teams. Is it better to expect a 12/13-man squad to lug around a CG in addition to everything else or expect a platoon commander to employ a couple of dedicate CG/mortar teams? I arrived at the "super-platoon" solution in order to incorporate a couple of CGs without overloading the squads. And if, for example, it make sense to delete the two drone operators or one drone operator and one medic from the platoon HQ and add an assistant platoon commander to give that 22 year-old a bit of experience in the assistant role, , and maybe add a platoon staff sergeant, I'd have no objection. Precisely, so is the 60-man platoon I laid out above a super-platoon or miniaturized company?
  4. Gripen287

    The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

    I think you're overstating the difficulty of storing a handful of extra weapons systems in a COP or gun truck and understating the difficulty of "simply" adding the manpower (and the logistics that come with it) of a weapons platoon to the company. Moreover, a weapons platoon might train together, and they might move together, but they're hardly ever going to fight together because every squad leader is going to be clamoring for support from a GPMG, CG, or mortar team. To keep the company at around 200 men, my company would have three 60-men platoons and a HQ but no weapons platoon. The weapons platoon is essentially distributed amongst the maneuver platoons. I think that has a few advantages. First, company HQ doesn't need to constantly make decisions as to which requests for weapons platoon assets get approved and which don't. Second, each platoon leader has an all-arms, all-effects combat team that should let him steamroll enemy squads, even if they're dug in. Third, I think my the maneuver squads would have a chance to develop better teamwork with the GPMG team and CG/mortar team that'll be supporting them. It's not as if they must be trained on the additional weapons systems. It's also possible that one grenadier might be certified on the CG and the other might be certified on the commando mortar (likewise wrt the gunner and assistant gunner on the CG/Mortar team). I view giving the Joes/Grunts a couple more goals to work towards as being an advantage. This stuff is small potatoes compared to requirements for artillery shells, fuel, and water. It might be a challenge to provide all of hit, but hardly insurmountable.
  5. Gripen287

    The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

    In this scenario, is there any meaningful difference between a 12/13-man USMC squad with one SAW-equipped fire team and a 9-man Army squad with an attached 3-man MG team? The only one I can think of is that the USMC platoon commander knows that that the de facto MG teams are “his” and not toys that the company commander is passing around. IMHO, instituting a more flexible platoon organization and arms room concept would address these deficiencies way better than merely throwing gear at the squads. If I were SecDef Mattis for a day, I'd change the TO&Es such that the infantry platoons, Army and USMC, include at least a couple 5-man MG teams and at least a couple 5-man CG/Mortar teams. I like 5-man building blocks because they make it easier to go all Generation Kill and have each squad roll around the AO in a couple of humvees or together in a single 10 + 2 APC. My notional 60-man infantry platoon that might look something like this: (3) x 10-man Infantry squads including: (1) x squad leader (1) x assistant squad leader (4) x riflemen (2) x grenadiers (2) x assault gunners (2) x 5-man MG Teams including: (1) x team leader (1) x machine gunner (1) x assistant gunner (1) x ammo bearer (1) x marksman/spotter (2) x 5-man CG/Mortar Teams including: (1) x team leader (1) x CG/Mortar gunner (1) x assistant gunner (1) x ammo bearer (1) x marksman/spotter (1) x 10-man Platoon Command Section (1) x platoon commander (1) x platoon sergeant (2) x RTOs (2) x drone operators (2) x medics (2) x runners/drivers I’d give the platoon commanders and/or squad leaders a good bit of flexibility to decide how they want to organize their squads at the fireteam level. In close terrain (e.g., urban environments), they could organize each squad into two balanced 5-man fireteams with the squad leader leading one fireteam and the assistant leading the other fireteam (team leaders might be designated on an ad-hoc basis or based on experience). In more open terrain (e.g., Afghanistan), they could organize into a 5-man fireteam including both assault gunners and another 5-man fireteam including both grenadiers. The “arms room” concept would be desirable because the assault gunners and grenadiers could be equipped differently in each scenario. In the balanced fireteam scenario, each assault gunner could carry something like a Knight’s LAMG or M27 IAR and each grenadier could carry M320s on their hips. In open terrain, the assault gunners could draw a GPMG from the armory, with one assault gunner acting as the assistant gunner, and the grenadiers could similarly draw a CG or 60mm mortar from the armory. I figure the GPMG would probably be used as an LMG on a bipod and the 60mm as a “commando" mortar. On top of flexibility at the fireteam level, the platoon commander would also know that he can count on having at least a couple of MG teams and a couple CG teams to play with. Like the grenadiers, I’d give the CG teams the option of drawing CGs or 60mm mortars from the armory but employing the 60s off the tripods were possible. I'd put a couple of gunnery sergeants at company level to oversee training of the MG and CG/Mortar teams, essentially acting as respective MG and CG/Mortar platoon leaders on training evolutions.
  6. Gripen287

    Non-exploding infantry hardware thread.

    And the article completely glosses over unpowered exoskeletons. Based on the paper below, it seems like there are plenty of challenges in designing a good unpowered exoskeleton, but it is encouraging that the weight and inertia of a 11.7 kg passive exoskeleton only increases the "metabolic cost of transport (COT)" by 5%. http://biomech.media.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/07/Walsh-2007_A-QUASI-PASSIVE-LEG-EXOSKELETON-FOR-LOAD-CARRYING-AUGMENTATION.pdf "Metabolic data show that the zero-impedance exoskeleton increases metabolic COT by 23% compared to the loaded backpack, and 12% compared to the quasi-passive exoskeleton, highlighting the benefits of spring and variable-damping mechanisms at the ankle, knee and hip. Finally, the added-mass condition increases the COT by only 5% compared to the standard loaded backpack, suggesting that added mass alone cannot explain the 10% COT increase caused by the quasi-passive exoskeleton." "One might expect that the added mass and inertia itself might fully explain the COT increase of the quasi-passive system. However, as noted in the results (Sec. 7), the added-mass condition only increases the COT by 5% compared to the loaded backpack. What might be the cause for the 18% difference between the zero-impedance exoskeletal COT and the added mass COT? Since the joint springs are removed in the zero-impedance case, the increase in COT cannot be attributed to a destabilization of the wearer’s walking pattern due to the release of stored elastic energy. Further, since active knee damping is not utilized on the zero-impedance exoskeleton and friction in the joints is minimized by the use of high-quality bearings, energy losses at the joints of the exoskeleton likely do not substantially contribute to the 18% increase in COT. We therefore conclude that the dominant causes for the observed COT increase are added mass and kinematic constraints imposed on the wearer." "More likely is that the exoskeleton applies kinematic constraints on the human wearer due to poor collocation of the joints and/or a restrictive interface between the exoskeleton and operator, forcing an unnatural, inefficient movement pattern. It has been shown that changes in natural gait increase the physiological energy expended during locomotion." Mawashi seems to be developing a much more advanced exoskeleton, at least in terms of ergonomics. It would be interesting to see what a collaboration with Bionic Power could yield with respect to an exoskeleton that is quasi-passive/energy-harvesting.
  7. Gripen287

    Railguns

    Report to Congress on Navy Laser, Railgun and Hypervelocity Projectiles
  8. Gripen287

    The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

    Thank you, Sturgeon, for your wonderful TFB article today. Like you, I've come to view light infantry as a primarily weight-constrained force. In general, trading firepower for lighter weight is advantageous with respect to the currently over-burdened U.S. infantryman. As you acknowledge in the article, generating suppressive fires via DMR rather than LMG is a weight-efficient means of achieving a suppressive effect in many of circumstances. I, however, do not believe that a belt-fed weapon is necessarily a dead end in the AR/DM role within the squad. There is at least one belt-fed weapon that can achieve very good accuracy: the HK21. The HK21, of course, achieves this by having much more in common with a battle rifle than a traditional LMG or GPMG, namely the closed bolt operating system, hammer, and fixed, top-mounted scope mount of the G3 from which it is derived. While the roller-delayed operating system may itself be a dead end, the HK21 provides a template that could inform future designs in that a belt-fed weapon can retain many of the advantages a traditional magazine-fed weapon if the magazine well is merely replaced by a belt-feed mechanism. The downside is that reloading the HK21 is arguably even slower and more cumbersome than a traditional LMG/GPMG. In the tear-down portion of that video, Mr. Vickers notes that one work around is use a starter tab. I, for one, would not want to be fumbling around trying to find the starter tab when my fine motor skills go out the window as rounds are impacting around me, so reloading without ANY belt handling is desirable. While H&K tried to develop a linkless feed system for the HK21, it didn't go anywhere. I'm dubious that a linkless feed system could be made light enough and sufficiently reliable for infantry use. If one goal of a future M249 replacement is that it share ammo with squads ARs, I agree that something along the lines of the M27 makes a lot of sense. I also believe that a GPC is a dead end, and that a two-caliber system for the infantry is probably the way to go. Ideally, my proposal is that the military replace 5.56x45mm with a cartridge optimized for a vld-epr bullet in the 50-77 grain range (i.e., an optimized SCHV round) and replace 7.62x51mm with a cartridge optimized for a vld-epr bullet in the 90-120 grain range, all concepts that I believe Sturgeon, among others, has touched on over the years. Ideally a composite case having a traditional extractor groove would be used. To summarize Sturgeon's work, the 7.62 replacement is, in essence, a composite-cased .264 USA (or possibly closer to 6.5mm Creedmoor) firing a 6.5mm vld-epr bullet. Let's call it a medium caliber, high velocity (MCHV) round. While I do not advocate equipping all members of the squad with a MCHV weapon, I do believe that having one or two MCHV DMRs within the squad would be desirable and that replacing the M249s with these makes the most sense. From a logistics point of view, it would be desirable to distribute all SCHV rounds in magazines and all MCHV rounds in belts, other than perhaps accurized MCHV loadings. For this reason, I think it would be worthwhile to investigate a conceptual successor to the HK21 as a SAW/DMR. One change that I advocate is moving to a gas-operated system with a fixed barrel, preferably a LW-profile barrel with a carbon fiber overwrap to increase rigidity, surface area, and thermal conductivity. The SCAR 17 with a lengthened upper receiver to accommodate a constant-recoil system might be a good starting point. The grunts would primarily use the weapon in semi-auto, but a limited full-auto capability would be available for engaging maneuvering infantry at a distance and in close ambushes. Reloading would still be an issue. This is where we borrow from the best SAW that never was, the XM248. The XM248, among its many innovations, used a cam-driven sprocket to advance the belt. While WeaponsMan unfortunately passed away recently, his great discussion of the feed mechanism lives on. While the XM248 promised belt-handling-free reloading, the ammo boxes did have potentially fragile exposed "plastic grippers" that held the first round in the feed position. Additionally, there is the potential for misalignment of the belt and feed sprocket during reloading. While, I don't consider these to be deal breakers, we might do better in terms of reliability by integrating the feed sprocket with the ammo box. The ammo box would hold a round in the feed position via an anti-backup pawl, as in the XM248 design. While carrying around a feed sprocket in each "magazine" would add weight, I doubt there would be any penalty in terms of weight or bulk versus drum magazines, and it would enable truly care-free reloading. I imagine they'd actually be significantly less bulky than drum magazines and no heavier, if not slightly lighter, if a plastic belt is used. I propose 60-75 round drums as being standard. A backup, loose-belt adapter could be carried and inserted into the "magwell" if only loose belts for the GPMGs were available. The cam assembly, however, does prevent the use of a traditional hammer and trigger mechanism. We might get around this by using a linear hammer, as in the QBZ-97, or use the slightly more complicated cam system of the HK21. What do y'all think?
  9. Gripen287

    Documents Repository: Small Arms

    Sturgeon's SAW post on TFB got me thinking about the XM248 and an idea of mine. Here are a few relevant XM248 documents and links. Somebody needs to find one and give Ian a call. Ford Aerospace XM248 Technical Manual XM235 '461 Patent XM235 '074 Patent Weaponsman Links: XM235: http://weaponsman.com/?p=11494 XM248 - Part 1: http://weaponsman.com/?p=11558 XM248 - Part 2: http://weaponsman.com/?p=11661
  10. Gripen287

    Railguns

    Hello all, Gripen here. Long-time reader, first-time poster here. I'm drinking Founder's Breakfast Stout and come bearing documents about railguns (is there a preferred method of posting/uploading documents?): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bZeNQNqLwoOxyGORELf7H80qI0ENFJ5M https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B21XX6zvOt4fdHpxVGdvaFdpR28 https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QUAUdaP_QGBmA9DTby6pWYINon8XZFn_ https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B21XX6zvOt4fWHJRdHZIdGlRWDQ https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B21XX6zvOt4fQjVyYkpWaG1CRkk And for the inductively minded: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B21XX6zvOt4fZDM3SHM3SWE5N2M Did I do it right?
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