Protonex Technology Corp


Marine Corps Considers Collapsible Buttstock

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

On February 27th the MARCORSYSCOM’s Program Manager for Infantry Weapon (PM IW) issued a Sources Sought Notice for a Collapsible Butt Stock for the M16A4 Marine Corps Service Rifle. The current fixed stock of the M16A4 becomes “an obstacle when combined with the increased bulk of improved body armor”. Consequently, they are looking for something to make the weapon a little more accommodating to different body types.

The Marine Corps’ requirements are pretty straight forward:

– It has to be collapsible

– They want a minimum of four (4) and a maximum of six (6) position stops in the butt stock for adjustment

– The new stock has to be just as reliable as the current stock if not better

It is important to note that there is no solicitation document to actually purchase any collapsible stocks but it is an important first step in that direction.

You can read the entire RFI on FedBizOpps.

USMC Prepares for Improved MTV Program

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

MARCOSYSCOM is preparing to engage in a quest for a replacement carrier for the ill-fated MTV. In 2007, the Commandant of the Marine Corps halted further procurements of the bulky MTV and last summer the Marine Corps fielded a limited number of Scalable Plate Carriers. Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater, officials at MARCORSYSCOM are formulating a plan to replace the carrier and retain the armor systems purchased during the MTV program. It looks like the concept of “Survivability Through Mobility” espoused by PM-ICE at MARCOSYSCOM is coming to fruition.

Perhaps they will make use of the upcoming SHOT Show in order to take a look at the current state of the art in armor carrier design.

USMC Scalable Plate Carrier Follow Up

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Eagle Industries

The Marines recently fielded a new Scalable Plate Carrier. At the time of the article we did not know the manufacturer but we can now confirm that it was designed and manufactured by Eagle Industries. At the recent AUSA annual meeting Eagle displayed a version of the carrier in UCP but while several units are interested in the product, there have been no overtures from PEO-Soldier. However, as more and more Soldiers see their Marine brothers in arms wearing the lightweight armor, we expect them to begin to request similar systems.

Marine Scalable Plate Carrier

USMC Combat Desert Jacket

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

USMC Combat Desert Jacket

If you have ever heard the term “scarce as hen’s teeth”, then you can aptly describe the Marine Corps issue Combat Desert Jacket. Designed by 180s, an innovator in the outdoor industry, and manufactured by Tennessee Apparel, the CDJ has seen limited fielding. The concept actually goes back to the early 90s when Raven Industries, the first full-scale contractor for ECWCS, developed prototypes of a lightweight Gore-tex 3-color desert shell for MARCORSYSCOM.

Naturally as the CDJ was designed specifically for desert operations, it is available only in Marine Desert Pattern Camouflage. Since the CDJ utilizes a complex print, the design’s strength has caused a bit of a technical challenge. As you can see from the photo, the sleeves are slightly discolored compared to the body. This is because the CDJ is made from various fabrics which are strategically placed in the design to provide diverse forms of protection and these fabrics all absorb dyes differently. For example, the lower back and shoulder area of the jacket are made from Freedom-Plus, a lightweight Gore-tex fabric in order to keep the wearer dry while the middle of the back, which requires more breathability when wearing a pack is made from a lined, knit fabric. The sleeves are crafted from a four way stretch material. Rather than pit zips, from the waist to the sleeve, along the entire length of the underarm, the CDJ features a stretchy wind resistant nylon material. Lined with coyote gridded fleece, it also features color matched waterproof zippers throughout. The pockets include handwarmer, chest, and sleeve as well as a rank tab. The sleeves are capped with a monkey paw design and the Marines hope to incorporate FR technology into the sleeves in future versions unless the winter FROG shirt is developed. The CDJ also has a roll up neck gaiter incorporated into the collar. To top it all off, the entire jacket is treated with silver to suppress the growth of odor causing fungus.

Combat Desert Jacket Improved Sleeve

*UPDATE: A reader has sent me an update and a new version is being issued. They have solved the shade issues on the sleeves and dropped the monkey cuffs.

Photo Courtesy Eric Chevalier

For those who need a CDJ, the early version with shade differences on the sleeve is available from AFMO.

Survivability Through Mobility

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Finally the tide seems to be turning and the conventional wisdom of armoring service members like tanks seems to be coming to an end. At the Soldier Systems APBI in May MARCORSYSCOM officials stated the they were “willing to accept risk for the sake of mobility” and the term “Survivability through mobility” has become PM-ICE’s mantra in their quest for a replacement for the Modular Tactical Vest program. The effects of this push can already be seen with the fielding of the new plate carrier to Marines in Afghanistan. PM-ICE representatives also stated that they were looking to reduce the area of coverage on the MTV replacement and reduce cumbersomeness in order to increase lethality.

Marine Plate Carrier

USMC Scalable Plate Carrier

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Responding to an Urgent Needs Statement from Marines in Afghanistan, MARCORSYSCOM has begun fielding a plate carrier. The recent backlash over the Modular Tactical Vest can also be credited with this bold move. It seems as though the services are getting the message that a more mobile shooter is a more lethal shooter. No details as to manufacturer have been released. However, an interesting feature on the prototype is offset PALS webbing on the upper chest.
Marine Scalable Plate Carrier