By Kevin Doell, Public Affairs Specialist, PM Soldier Weapons, PEO Soldier
There was significant activity on the Army small arms front in 2013. Leaders “pulled triggers” on decisions covering everything from which service rifle soldiers will carry for years to come, to new applications of remote weapon stations that make soldiers even more lethal on the battlefield. What follows are program updates provided by PEO Soldier’s Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW) out of Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. PM SW leads the charge on Army small arms to ensure that soldiers on the battlefield have overmatch capabilities in individual and crew served weapons.
PROJECT MANAGER INDIVIDUAL WEAPONS
The M4A1 Carbine Program
PM SW fielded approximately 9,000 M4A1 Carbines to the 101st Airborne Division early in the year and is in the process of procuring components that will enable the Army to convert existing M4s into M4A1s starting in the second quarter of FY 14. Compared to the M4, the M4A1 has a heavier barrel for greater barrel life, improved sustained rate of fire, fully automatic trigger and selector switch, consistent trigger pull, ambidextrous controls, and improved ergonomics. The Army is also conducting a forward rail competition that is exploring the feasibility of further improvements to zero retention.