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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

SIG SAUER TANGO6T Riflescope and Mount Adopted by DoD for Special Operations Forces

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Newington, N.H. (January 16, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has announced the selection of the SIG SAUER Electro-Optics TANGO6T 1-6×24 Second Focal Plane (SFP) Riflescope and ALPHA4 Ultralight Mount for use by Special Operations Forces.

The TANGO6T 1-6×24 riflescope, selected by DoD is a second focal plane, ruggedized riflescope with a Flat Dark Earth (FDE) anodized aircraft grade aluminum maintube. The riflescope features an M855A1 Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) illuminated reticle with holds for CQB to medium range engagements, an ultra-bright red Hellfire™ fiber optic illumination system for fast daylight target acquisition, locking illumination dial, Power Selector Ring (PSR) Throw Lever, and a laser-marked scope level indicator for intuitive mount installation.

“The TANGO6T riflescope line combines ruggedized MIL-SPEC810-G mechanical systems and HDX high definition optical design with advanced electronic technologies,” began Andy York, President, SIG SAUER Electro-Optics. “We are firmly committed to supporting the Department of Defense with this riflescope to provide greater adaptability, increased lethality, and enhanced target acquisition for our Special Operations Forces.”

This DoD award was also inclusive of the new ALPHA4 Ultralight Mount which was designed specifically by the SIG SAUER Electro-Optics division for the TANGO6T series of riflescopes to attach to a MIL-STD-1913 rail. The mount is machined from a single piece of 7075 aluminum for added strength and weight reduction, and hardcoat anodized to provide additional environmental protection.

“We are honored to receive an additional award for our TANGO6T series of riflescopes for use with our elite forces, and be recognized for our commitment to providing equipment that performs and adapts to the most critical mission requirements,” added Ron Cohen, President and CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. “We are also very proud that we were successful in our first submission for our ALPHA4 Ultralight Mount, and that it was recognized for quality and durability through this award.”

The DoD Award for the TANGO6T SFP 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope and ALPHA4 Ultralight Mount is a $12 million, five year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity, firm-fixed-price contract with an expected completion date of July 2023. The riflescopes and mounts will be built at the state-of-the-art SIG SAUER Electro-Optics facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.

www.sigsauer.com

L3 Technologies Awarded Special Operations Command Contract for EOTECH Optics

Monday, January 7th, 2019

NEW YORK, January 3, 2019 – L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that it has been awarded a $26.3 million contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to provide close-quarters sights and clip-on magnifiers from its EOTECH brand for the Miniature Aiming System–Day Optics suite. The award marks the continuation of an 18-year relationship between USSOCOM and EOTECH.

Under this five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (with five option years), EOTECH will deliver an updated model of its holographic weapon sight and the G33 clip-on magnifier. All work will be performed at EOTECH‘s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“We are extremely proud to continue to provide America’s tip-of-the-spear warriors with the most advanced holographic sights in the world,” said Jeff Miller, Corporate Senior Vice President and President of ISR Systems business segment that includes EOTECH. “It’s a testament to L3’s commitment to quality that SOCOM has once again competitively selected EOTECH as their choice for battle optics.”

EOTECH has provided Special Operations Forces with rugged and advanced holography weapon sights since 2001.

A part of L3 Technologies’ Field Vision Systems sporting optics business, EOTECH delivers cutting-edge technology and products, including holographic sighting systems and magnified field optics. The company is dedicated to providing high-quality, ruggedized products for military, law enforcement and commercial markets around the world. Visit www.eotechgear.com to learn more.

L3 Technologies is an agile innovator and leading provider of global ISR, communications and networked systems, and electronic systems for military, homeland security and commercial aviation customers. With headquarters in New York City and approximately 31,000 employees worldwide, L3 develops advanced defense technologies and commercial solutions in pilot training, aviation security, night vision and EO/IR, weapons, maritime systems and space. The company reported 2017 sales of $9.6 billion.

To learn more about L3, please visit the company’s website at www.L3T.com. L3 uses its website as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and othermaterial information regarding L3 is routinely posted on the company’s website and is readily accessible.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release are forward-looking statements. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to events or conditions or that include words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “will,” “could” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements set forth above involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such statement, including the risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s Safe Harbor Compliance Statement for Forward- Looking Statements included in the company’s recent filings, including Forms 10-K and 10-Q, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

The Digital Message Device Group

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Not long after ET used a modified Speak & Spell to phone home, select units within the US Army were using the OA-8990/P Digital Message Device Group (aka KY-879/P) to communicate.

I used the DMDG from the late 80s up until the mid-90s while assigned to both 3rd ID LRS and in 3rd SFG(A) on a SOT-A.

Manufactured by Racal Communications, it was a burst transmission device. Messages were formatted and encrypted via one-time pad and then entered into the device via the keyboard. The dot matrix screen could be backlit but was used only with caution so as not to give away the user’s location at night. Although, the nylon cover could be configured to partially conceal the screen from three sides, the glow reflecting off of the user’s face was noticeable, especially if he was wearing glasses.

The DMDG sent a digital burst signal when used primarily in conjunction with HF radios. Initially these were the AN-PRC-74 and 70, but I only ever used the device with the AN/PRC-104A and 132. It could also used with SATCOM systems such as the AN/PSC-3, AN/LST-5 and AN/MST-20.

In the photo at the top, you can see the cables used to connect the DMDG to the radio as well as an external battery such as the Magnesium BA-4386 (also used in the AN/PRC-77) which only provided about four hours of power.

The combination of burst transmission and HF comms was intended to thwart threat radio direction finding efforts but the baud rate was so slow (266.6 baud), messages took a really long time to transmit. At that speed, you could only transmit 27 characters a second on HF. For SATCOM shots, you could speed it up to 1200 baud but satellite time wasn’t as prevalent during the 80s and 90s.

During an International (NATO) LRRP exercise in the late 80s, I learned that the Dutch 104th Reconnaissance Co used the MA-4450 Message Entry and Read-Out Device. The MEROD looked like the DMDG, but offered onboard encryption.

By the mid-90s we began to transition to the AN/PRC-137 Special Mission Radio System which was much smaller and lighter than earlier radios and used a palmtop Data Messaging Device to transmit messages via a radio which could be queried by a base station for message traffic. When used for Special Reconnaissance missions this allowed to communicator to leave the radio a safe distance from the element. This combined with much faster data transfer rates greatly lowered the risk of threat direction finding.

The DMDG is now a relic of the Cold War. Today, handheld cellular devices provide more capability than we could carry just two decades ago. Communicators use a variety of multi-band devices which offer onboard encryption as well as data transfer rates high enough to provide live video feeds using waveforms which boast low probability of detection and intercept.

What Do You Bet He’s A Lieutenant?

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

OSS Detachment 202 radio crew with hand-crank generator and hash pipe. China, 1944.

SOFWERX TechWatch

Friday, January 4th, 2019

TechWatch is a weekly UNLASSIFIED collaborative newsletter produced by SOF AT&L, J5 Donovan Group and SOFWERX. It is compiled using only open source information on technology topics which may be of interest to the SOF enterprise and to prevent technical surprise.

TechWatch is posted to their website and can be downloaded at www.sofwerx.org/techwatch

Closing Out 2018

Monday, December 31st, 2018

We bring 2018 to a close with an image taken earlier this month of members of 1st Bn, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), training in their wartime tasks.

US & Polish Combat Controllers Conduct Combined Training

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Combat Controllers from the U.S. and Polish forces conduct a military free fall during a culmination exercise near Krakow on Dec. 5, 2018. The exercise follows a two-month training in which the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command’s 321st Special Tactics Squadron assigned to the 352nd Special Operations Wing in England, and the Polish Special Operations Combat Control Team, share their best practices in order to build upon the Polish Special Operations Command’s ability to conduct special operations air land integration.

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Pena, USASOC PAO)

Blast From The Past: BDS – The Grey Uniform That Almost Was

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Long before Wolf Grey there was something else. In the early 1990s Army Special Operations Command experimented with a layered clothing system called Battle Dress System. Leveraging lessons learned from the original Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS), it featured a Capilene Next to Skin layer, Fleece mid-layers including a bib and jacket, a Gore-Tex undergarment and an outer layer called the SOF BDU. The underlayers were all Black and eventually became the Lightweight Environmental Protection (LEP) component of SPEAR.

It was quite popular with those that used it, offering material and design improvements over ECWCS which was just beginning to see widespread fielding.

The SOF BDU was a solid grey combat jacket and trouser. These were essentially over garments that were intended to be worn as an outerlayer, over any combination of the other components depending on the weather. The material was new and consisted on Nylon, Cotton and Kevlar for increased abrasion resistance. The design of the jacket was unlike anything else in the inventory with large Napoleon pockets on the chest and a hood that could be stored in the collar. It also boasted pit zips for ventilation, a rank tab on the chest and pockets mounted on the sleeves. The pants were quite similar to the M1950 field trouser and incorporated thigh tapes designed to help stabilize the load in the cargo pockets. They also added a zippered lower leg opening in order facilitate donning and doffing.

Today, when readers learn about BDS and the Charcoal colored Gore-Tex undergarment they are surprised that it wasn’t the outer most layer but beginning in the mid-80s there were lightweight 3-layer undergarments available commercially. This was before ECWCS or other camouflage shells were commonly available. The Gore undergarments were used by a variety of troops and worn under their BDUs in order to maintain camouflage. It also gave them a lightweight waterproof breathable layer.

With its solid grey color the item was rejected, primarily due to institutional prejudice. When LEP was adopted finally adopted later in the decade, it was without the SOF BDU.