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Old 11-13-2008, 11:46 PM
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Default Military Hardware Contracts

Yay. A ship building company from right here in Western Australia, Austal, has been awarded a contract to build high speed transports for the US Navy. The vessels will be built at Austal's shipyards in Alabama. I feel like a proud uncle.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:51 AM
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This was posted by Thud 105 at the 93Games Studio forum.

New Lease on Life for the Beloved M-14
November 13, 2008
Tactical Life by Eric R. Poole

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated how critically important snipers are to a fight
marked by urban canyons and high-mountain caves. Problem is, those highly-trained sharpshooters are
in short supply, and the need for accurate, long-range fire has outpaced the services' ability to field one-
shot killers.

So both the Army and Marine Corps began a program to seed infantry squads with so-called "designated
marksmen" -- call them "snipers-lite."

The growing need to equip these new marksmen with accurized rifles prompted the Army to reconsider
the role of the venerable M-14 rifle for the war on terror. Back in Desert Storm, armorers from the 10th
Special Forces group took M-14s equipped with a match barrels and fitted a gas piston on them for
optimal performance, re-designating it the M-25. They replaced the stock with a McMillan M1A fiberglass
one, developed a scope mount and added a Bausch & Lomb 10x40mm fixed-power optic or a Leupold
Mark 4.

The revamped M-14 provides the Army squad designated marksman with on-command direct fire support
for his squad, a fire team or his platoon. The heavier-caliber sharpshooters provide cover when machine
guns displace, counter-sniper fire in urban areas, and they help in overtaking valuable real estate.

Infrared targeting lasers such as the AN/PEQ-2 and PAQ-4C make the DM's job more like 24-hour shift
work. Now that suppressors for the M-14-series of rifles are available, the night-vision capabilities coupled
with sound mitigation makes the Soldier's ability to own the night even more secure.

Taking the M-14 modifications a step further, Crane Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center teamed
up with Sage International to create an M-14/M1A package that is dubbed the "Enhanced Battle Rifle."

Using the M-14 barrel, receiver and trigger groups, the EBR chassis adds a retractable stock, a cheek
piece that's adjustable for height and a floated Picatinny quad-rail fore-end made of high-strength
aluminum. The EBR also adds a pistol grip for additional control and ergonomic sling points.

But the new rifle is heavier than the M-16 or M-4 which weighs nearly seven pounds, with each 30-round
magazine adding another pound. The basic M-14, however, weighs nearly 10 pounds with an addition of
almost two pounds for every 20 rounds of 7.62 the EBR fires.

A soldier's wisdom varies from one to another but many don't care about the weight. The confidence in
the effective range and terminal ballistics of the M-14's 7.62mm round brings the argument back to the
Vietnam-era rifle.

The EBR feels a little heavy at the fore end, but this helps the rifle address criticism that it is
uncontrollable when firing on full-auto. The additional weight -- and the fact that the stock is in line and
parallel with the barrel -- helps reduce muzzle climb.

The EBR chassis comes with a Picatinny rail that replaces the stripper-clip guide, helping Soldiers mount
high-powered scopes that can extend the rifle's range. Unique to the EBR is an extended rail just forward
of the receiver. For the followers of the Jeff Cooper doctrine on scout rifles, red dot optics work well in
making this rifle an effective close quarter battle scout rifle. Regardless of scope height, the shooter can
obtain proper cheek weld by adjusting the EBR's stock.

As the Army and Marines Corps continue to develop a semi-auto designated marksman rifle, many within
the tactical community feel that the resurrection of the M-14 is just a stopgap. But praise from troops
using the M-14's variants and moves made by the Navy suggest otherwise. In 2004, the Navy signed a
contract to upgrade nearly 3,000 of their M-14s with the Sage EBR chassis.

What will remain, in any case, is the designated marksman. The smallest infantry unit includes a team
leader, two riflemen and a gunner. One of these riflemen will be expected to fill the role of the designated
marksman, using optics to distinguish combatants from non-combatants and minimizing collateral risk
with precision fire in urban areas.

The book on small unit tactics has evolved to defeat a new kind of enemy, and the old standby Springfield
Armory M-14 has evolved right along with it.

http://www.military.com/news/article...tml?ESRC=eb.nl
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:17 AM
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I didn't really think this was new news?

Spec Ops have been using the M-14 for awhile (SEALs for instance)... and i know at least since the USS Cole the EBR has been in the works to provide 'security' for the Navy vs Small vessels.
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