Blackhawk! Omnivore

Archive for July, 2009

Sitka Gear Updates Website

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Outdoor clothing producer, Sitka Gear has updated their site to include the products released at SHOT show earlier this year. Of particular note are the additions to their Necessities line which include the Traverse Balaclava, Stormfront Gaiter, Bomber belt, as well as the Jetstream Hat, Beanie, and Gloves (seen below).

Sitka Gear Jetstream Glove

In addition to several solid colors and hunting patterns, Sitka was one of the first companies to incorporate W.L Gore’s Optifade pattern.

To check out their entire line visit them on the web.

New Hats and Tees from Shellback Tactical

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Shellback Tactical has just launched their new embroidered FLEXFIT logo caps with the Shellback Tactical logo. Additionally, they are offering a pre-order for the premier Shellback Tactical T-shirt.

Shellback Tactical's New Logo Gear

Due to numerous requests for Shellback logo gear they chose the popular FLEXFIT caps which are available in Black sized S/M or L/XL. The T-shirt is also offered in Black in sizes Large, XL, and 2XL. During this introduction, both the hats and t-shirts are both going for $18.00. Once the promotion has ended the price will go to $22.00 for each.

Visit Shellback Tactical online for full details.

Congress Proposes Common Ground Combat Uniform

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

In the 2010 House Defense Authorization bill there is a section that would require standard ground combat uniforms.

“Section 352—

Requirements for Standard Ground Combat Uniform This section would require the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Defense Logistics Agency, to require that future ground combat uniforms be standardized in order to ensure increased interoperability of ground combat forces and reduce tactical risks encountered when military personnel wear a different uniform from their counterparts in the other military services in a combat area.

The committee notes that, previously all the military services used the same desert camouflage uniform or the standard battle dress uniform, both in the temperate and enhanced weather versions. However, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia of the Defense Logistics Agency, which is responsible for the manufacture of all U.S. military uniforms, now procures unique camouflage utility uniforms for each of the military services: the Army combat uniform, the Airman battle uniform, the Navy working uniform, and the Marine Corps combat utility uniform.

The committee is concerned that the recent move toward unique service camouflage uniforms has resulted in increased costs and production inefficiencies. For example, problems with consistency in fabric shading have required remanufacture of some uniforms. In addition, the costs for the unique uniforms are substantially more than for the standard battle dress uniform because of the differences in design, camouflage pattern, and type of fabric.

Most importantly, the committee is concerned that this uniqueness poses a tactical risk in theater, especially for those assigned to combatant commands or as individual augmentees who may be wearing a different uniform from those they are serving with in combat.

The committee also notes that service-specific battle dress uniforms magnify the challenges and costs associated with procuring personal protective gear and body armor that conform to the design and coloration of the basic uniform”

US Military Utility Uniforms

Well, Congress pretty much hit the nail on the head, just six years too late. This horse has been out of the barn for awhile but it does seem that the hoopla over the Army’s use of UCP in Afghanistan has attracted some thoughtful analysis. Interestingly, these are essentially the same arguments made by Robert Strange McNamara when he was Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy administration. At his direction, in the early 1960s the services moved to a standard uniform including boots and at one point, even T-shirts. However, this proposed legislation also references an issue that has been a major concern in the field and that is fratricide and OPSEC.

The services rely heavily on their individual uniforms for branding purposes so it is unclear how the departments may react to such a directive. Although, according to the document, there is some wiggle room including a reference to “future ground combat uniforms” which might allow the services to delay any changes to coincide with the fielding of future individual equipment ensembles. Another issue is that the bill references both utility uniforms as well as combat uniforms. Interestingly, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps have all adopted FR combat uniforms that closely resemble one another except in the area of camouflage. The real differences come to play in the utility uniform realm. Such distinctions might make implementation difficult.

There have been calls within industry for some time for the services to adopt a single color scheme in order to simplify production and realize cost savings. While the implications of such legislation are very deep for the military as well as industry, it is important to note that this is still just a bill and not yet law. In fact, it may not even make it out of committee.

Thanks to ADS Ventures for alerting us to this legislation. It will be interesting to find out who is promoting this particular measure.

Daniel Defense DDXV

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Daniel Defense just released the new DDXV as an entry level carbine.

Daniel Defense DDXV

Functionally, it is the same rifle as the DDM4 and features the same flared magazine well, A1.5 rear sight, cold hammer forged barrel, rear receiver QD sling swivel attachment point as well as a host of other design enhancements. This is the perfect carbine for those that want to modify their rifle with different accessories. Daniel Defense has provided the carbine with Mil-Spec collapsible stock, hand guards, and pistol grip. These three items are most commonly replaced with after market items.

The DDXV is available now from Daniel Defense.

Tactical Tailor’s Hybrid Enhanced Vest

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

TT's HEVTT's HEVTT's HEV

The Tactical Tailor Hybrid Enhanced Vest (H.E.V.) is manufactured from 1000D Cordura with an air mesh lining. The design features modular webbing on all sides and is fully adjustable to fit most wearers. Safety features include a dual cummerbund system for proper vest posture and positioning on the body as well as a pull-over flap for quick removal in emergency situations. Internal pockets accommodate standard size plates and soft armor for most ballistic vests up to 17″ x 24″ front and 18″ x 22″ back. Also included with the H.E.V. are removal side closures with elastic for better fit and adjustment, padded shoulder straps with integrated microphone epaulets for added ease and comfort, and a heavy duty drag handle. The entire package has an empty weight of only 4.5 lbs. Soft armor packages are available exclusively to military and LE personnel with proper credentials. Available in Black, Coyote Brown, Ranger Green, and Multicam from www.tacticaltailor.com.

REF Equipment List

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

There have been numerous questions floating about the equipment chosen for the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group fielding of a battalion’s worth of lightweight COTS equipment to the 4th ID for their current deployment to Afghanistan. In an effort to dispel any rumors, we got a list of the equipment issued but have removed sensitive materials including any references to armor.

See the entire list after the jump.

LWRCI Improves Bolt Carrier

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Not ones to sit on their laurels, LWRCI is constantly looking at their weapons and determining ways to improve reliability and streamline the manufacturing process. Their most recent modification is a switch from a two piece bolt carrier with a dovetailed key to a one piece carrier. This enhancement has allowed LWRCI to reduce the number of parts necessary to build their weapons. In addition, there are now no screws to come loose (an extremely rare situation) and no staking is necessary. The initial units shipped with recent M6A3 weapons, but this modification has begun to trickle down to the M6A2 models. In the very near future, LWRCI will also offer an upgrade path for individuals who wish to discontinue use of their two piece carriers. In order to upgrade to the new carrier, a customer would also need to order a new operating rod as the rod was lengthened slightly in order to accommodate the new carrier design.

LWRCI Improved Bolt Carrier

In addition to the transition to a one piece carrier, LWRCI has introduced a few other upgrades in the not so distant past. First off, instead of using a phosphate or a standard hard nickel finish on the carriers, LWRCI is now applying a Nickel Boron treatment. This treatment is of benefit to the end user in a couple of different areas. For starters, the Nickel Boron has improved lubricity over other standard finishes and has a noticeably slicker feel to the surface. Secondly, the Nickel Boron allows for easier cleaning of the carrier. Along with the Nickel Boron, LWRCI has also incorporated an Over the Beach modification in the form of longitudinal cuts in the pad found on the tail of their carriers. This allows quicker draining of water from within the upper receiver when the weapon has been submerged. The OTB modification actually allows the LWRCI to be fired once the weapon has broken the plane of the water.

LWRCI's One Piece Bolt Carrier

It is this sort of attention to detail and forward thinking proven reliability, that has allowed the LWRCI M6A2 to be recently approved by the DEA.

LWRCI weapons and uppers can be sourced directly from LWRCI, Amendment Arms and various other resellers.

SASS Updates Website

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

UK Kit Gurus Extraordinaire Special Air Sea Services have updated their website. The new site is more user friendly and continues to feature their excellent line of customizable Smocks and other combat clothing as well as alternatives to British issue webbing and packs. One example is the current issue British Special Forces Smock.

SASS SF smock

Visit them at www.sasskit.co.uk.

S.O. Tech Sniper Sale

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Starting today at Noon until 31 August, S.O. Tech is sponsoring a sales blow out that includes a majority of their Sniper items. In addition to individual items they are also offering “Bundle savings”. Sale items are marked down between 30-35% but when customers buy a group of bundled items (Sniper Bundle #1, #2 & #3) they will save an additional 10-15%.

S.O. Tech Sniper Bundle #1

For example, Bundle #1 includes a Mission Go Bag, Carry Handle Pad, Sniper Mag Shingle, as well as Sniper T-shirt and Symbology Patch.

Full details will be unveiled today on the S.O. Tech website.

More on Galea

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Information on the new Dutch combat helmet continues to trickle out of the Netherlands. The article from the Dutch Ministry of Defense reveals Galea to be a component of Project VOSS (Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaten Systeem) or Improved Operational Soldiers’ System, IOSS in English.

Dutch NBC Mockup

A translation of an informational piece released by TNO

“TNO has developed a new multipurpose helmet for the Defense Materials Organization (DMO). The helmet’s design is based on operational experience from recent deployments such as the current one in Afghanistan. When/if all the tests are completed successfully, the Galea (Roman word for helmet) will begin issue by 2011.

The new helmet stems from the Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaten Systeem (VOSS in Dutch or Improved Operational Soldiers’System, IOSS in English) and offers some tremendous advantages. The Galea weighs less, has a better fit and offers better protection. The helmet consists of multiple detachable parts, and the intention is that the dressed down variant has a friendly, approachable appearance. This benefits contact with the local population when out on patrol.

Galea weighs 1100 grams, almost half the weight of the current helmet, which has been in use since the 1990’s.

The helmet fitting form has been improved professionally, resulting in a secure fit on the head. New as well is the ergonomic mount for night vision goggles and the helmet may possibly be equipped with an air conditioning system, situated between the helmet and the head.

It is also fitted with separate neck, jaw, and ear pieces which cancel out noise at high ambient sound levels. TNO is currently researching how it can improve the protection of neck, throat, and face even more. The first test run of Galea helmets will be evaluated in the field later this year. The design itself has received several awards at a innovation summit in Prague.

More wearer comfort, more flexibility, and better protection are core components of Project VOSS. In addition to the helmet, a smart vest and a communications and combat information module are also being developed under the project. The goal is to improve and harmonize the battlefield capabilities of the soldier as much as possible. His gear is no longer is a collection of individual components, but a lightweight, wearable system in which the components needed are integrated as much as possible.

5500 frontline troops have been selected for participation in VOSS which is an evolution of the Soldier Modernization Program (SMP), which started in 1998.”