Top 5 High Tech Infantry Guns
Five of the best and most innovative weapons which could be made available to our foot soldiers.
When the Pentagon announced that it adjusted its future Combat Systems Initiative, the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates voiced his concerns regarding the slow pace of fielding weapons to infantrymen who needed them now.
When the Pentagon recently tweaked its Future Combat Systems initiative, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made noise about fielding weapons to infantrymen who need them now, rather than planning for hypothetical dogfights and sea battles.
So, what are currently the most innovative systems available to our soldiers? Here are five of the best weapons either in use on the battlefield or in development stages to be issued in the near future.
- Developer – FNH USA (USA)
- Caliber – 5.56mm
- Features – More accuracy and less prone to jamming than an M-16 or M4 rifle. SCAR barrels can be change with ease on the battle filed using a minimal number of tools.
- Progress – The original release of the SCAR was planned for 2006, but after a limited production run last year, there’s hope for the SCAR.
Replacing the M-16 as well as the compact variant, the M-4 has been a largely tragic tale. One attempt was the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), which came with an integrated grenade launcher and laser-rangefinder.
Unfortunately the OIWC was scrapped due to excessive weight adding to the list of non contenders against the M-16 and M4.
In an effort to over come the seemingly impossible task of replacing these two assault rifles, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) held a competition to aid the development of a new rifle to be deployed with Special Forces personnel.
The competition led to the development of the SCAR, and after having passed rigorous test to ensure the weapon was more accurate and reliable than the M-16 and M4, FHN USA landed the contract to mass-produce the FN SCAR.
The SCAR comes in two calibers—5.56 for the SCAR-Light, and 7.62 for the SCAR-Heavy. The weapon also meets SOCOM’s requirements for quick changes in the field. Using a minimal amount of tools the SCAR’s 18 inch barrel can be replaced with a standard 14 inch or shorter 10 inch barrel within minutes.
Although the SCAR-Light is likely to be more common than the more powerful SCAR-Heavy, both two weapons share 99 percent of the same parts, making field repairs easier and streamlining the overall logistics.
- Developer – Alliance Techsystems (USA)
- Caliber – 25mm
- Features – Computer-aided targeting system which allows the user to aim quickly to adjust the range of the air-bursting round.
- Progress – The XM-25 is still in development, but in this industry—and particularly for a system that survived the OICW debacle—that amounts to very good news.
The grenade launcher is often envisioned as an under-the-barrel weapon attached to an assault rifle; however the self-contained XM-25 is an entirely new concept.
Using the onboard ballistic computer and laser rangefinder, the user can set the exact range at which the 25mm round will explode. This feature allows the Xm-25 to negotiate almost any kind of cover a target could find, especially in an urban environment.
For example, rounds could be set to go off, in midair, just past the corner of building, just inside a sniper’s window, or directly above a group of hostiles hunched behind a concrete barrier.
The company behind the development of the XM-25, Alliance Techsystems credits the overhead airbursts with the potential for five time greater lethality, compared to other grenade launchers such as the M203. This is because the shrapnel will be more likely to drop on the targets head.
While this may seem like a gruesome point of pride, more direct strike means less civilian casualties.
- Developer – Singapore Technologies Kinetics (Singapore)
- Caliber – 5.56mm
- Features – Integrated visible/ infrared laser sight and 1.5x optical scope, translucent ammo magazines.
- Progress – The SAR 21 became standard issue for Singapore’s armed forces in 1999, but there are no plans for adoption elsewhere.
While the United States has had trouble replacing the M-16, Singapore have been using a newer and perhaps better performing assault rifle since 1999.
The SAR 21 replaced Singapore’s licensed version of the M-16, and has since gained a reputation among gun experts as one of the best “bullpup” (where the action and magazine are behind the trigger) assault rifles on the market.
While the SAR 21 has a smaller profile than the M-16, it doesn’t sacrifice barrel length (shorter barrels have less accuracy over longer distances). It also has a more manageable recoil due to the weapons center of gravity, the recoil tends to kick directly back toward to firer, instead of pushing upwards.
The SAR 21 has a Kevlar cheek plate to deal with chamber explosions occurring next to the user’s face (a regular safety issue for bullpup weapons). It’s also one of the few assault rifles in the world equipped with an integrated laser aiming device.
Corner Shot Launcher
- Developer – Corner Shot (Israel), Dynamit Nobel Defence (Germany)
- Caliber – 60mm
- Features – A collapsible firing-post, which is fitted with a camera and video screen, attaches to a disposable, one-shot 60 mm grenade launcher. Rounds can be fired at a 90 degree angle—other Corner Shot devices fire at up to 60 degrees.
- Progress – Unveiled in 2004, the Corner Shot is still awaiting deployment.
To read our original post on the Corner Shot Assault Rifle, Click Here>>>
Thanks to a hinged frame, an under-the-barrel camera and a video screen, the Corner Shot can basically shoot around corners. There are currently three different versions available; a pistol, a compact assault rifle or a 40mm and 60mm grenade launcher.
Designed for urban combat, where the ability to see around corners and open fire while behind cover is a huge advantage.
FMG9 Folding Machine Gun
- Developer – Magpul Industries (USA)
- Caliber – 9mm
- Features – Spring-loaded design transitions from a box to a gun, with a 31-round Glock 18 magazine loaded and ready to fire, at the press of a button.
- Progress – Nonfiring semiautomatic prototype shown in March 2008. Unfortunately no word yet on when a firing model—much less a fully automatic one—might be available.
The concept of folding guns is not entirely new, legendary gun designer Eugene Stoner developed one in the 1980s, but Magpul Industries still made news earlier this year when it unveiled a prototype model of its FMG9 (short for Folding Machine Gun).
The folded gun resembles a small tool box with a flash light mounted on the top but with one push of a button the box suddenly transforms into a fully loaded, ready to fire 9mm submachine gun.
The gun also has an integrated laser sight, and can be carried without the handle and flashlight, for a sleeker, more pocketable profile.
- Unavailable, please contact us for more information.