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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 16:20
US Army leads development of improved coating for howitzer breech spindles

An M776 howitzer's corroded chrome-plated standard obturator spindle sits next to a newly plated production at the US Army Aberdeen test center in Maryland, US. Photo Conrad Johnson, RDECOM.


8 April 2014 army-technology.com


The US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's (RDECOM) Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) is working on a project to identify, evaluate and implement an improved coating process for howitzer breech spindles.


Working in collaboration with the Product Manager Towed Artillery Systems (PM TAS), the ARDEC has shortlisted three new coating and application processes for further testing based on performance and cost. It had been evaluating 12 material formulations in small samples.


The selected processes include high power impulse magnetron sputtering from Sheffield Hallam University, accelerated plasma arc from Phygen Coatings, and electroless nickel plating.


The team had developed a list of ten primary metrics necessary for a new coating and application process, which included resistance to corrosion, mechanical wear and high temperatures.


In an effort to ensure that the coatings withstand the rigours of soldier use, the team has joined forces with the Aberdeen test center for live-fire testing on a howitzer range.


After the first round of firing, the spindle undergoes 30 days of weathering in a caustic and acidic propellant byproduct, called a swab water. This is to replicate potential combat conditions, and is followed by another round of firing and then a final weathering cycle.


ARDEC project technical lead and materials engineer Dr Christopher Mulligan said the new processes are vastly outperforming the legacy chrome electroplating in terms of corrosion and wear.

"The new technique will boost the howitzer performance, reduce the logistical burden on the soldier, and reduce environmental hazards."


The team has also identified and funded a newly developed chemical vapour deposition type coating known as Carbonyl from Canada, and is planning to start testing over the next few months.


A final decision is expected to be made within 90 days of the completion of testing of all processes, with an aim for a production-ready coating within six months to a year.


The new technique will boost the howitzer performance, reduce the logistical burden on the soldier, and reduce environmental hazards. According to Mulligan, it will save the government more than $2m each year.


The evaluation of foreign processes and materials is being funded through the foreign comparative testing (FCT) programme.

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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 08:20
US Army opens acquisition for counter-UAS weapon system


Mar. 24, 2014 By Erik Schechter  - FG


New York - Concerned about the emerging threat of unmanned aircraft, the US Army is canvassing American defence contractors for information on systems that can detect, classify and destroy drones of varying sizes.


According to the request for information (RFI), the army’s Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) is open to both “kinetic and non-kinetic options” – the latter referring to lasers.


The US Navy has already placed a laser weapon system demonstrator aboard the destroyer USS Dewey and tested the weapon against target drones in June 2012. The Army has likewise tested a vehicle-mounted Boeing high energy laser mobile demonstrator against mortar rounds and drones. However, there is no programme of record among the services to develop such a directed energy weapon.


Another interest of ARMDEC is that proposed systems be able to operate at both at the brigade-and-above and brigade-and-below echelons, which have their own network connectivity issues and levels of situational awareness.


The RFI, for example, notes that those at the tip of the spear resemble those homeland security operators in terms of the ad hoc nature of their deployment and size of their area of operation.


Indeed, the systems proposed should be designed for both overseas and domestic operations, the RFI states.


Contractors have until April 1 to answer the RFI, with selected respondents invited to two-day workshop starting April 30 at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.


The RFI opens the acquisition phase of the army’s pursuit of a capability to defeat unmanned aircraft.


Last year, the army’s armaments research, development and engineering center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal staged an experiment.


The center integrated a fire control radar with existing weapon systems. Using a “novel warhead design”, a gun-launched munition destroyed a small-class unmanned aircraft, according to army documents.


One challenge in the fight against unmanned aircraft is the cost. The army has highly capable air defence batteries, but their cost may seem excessive if used against a small unmanned aircraft.


The ARDEC experiment focused on a “low-cost-per-kill weapon system”, the army says.

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2 octobre 2013 3 02 /10 /octobre /2013 07:20
Nobles enters CRADA with ARDEC for Innovative Heavy Machine Gun Mounting System

Sep 30, 2013 ASDNews Source : Nobles Worldwide, Inc.


Nobles Worldwide, Inc., located in St. Croix Falls, WI, and the global leader in ammunition feed system design, development and manufacturing, is pleased to announce a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for the development of a mechanically stabilized crew-served gun mount with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.  The arrangement is aimed to integrate Nobles’ Viper Lite™ universal crew served weapons mount, with existing Objective Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK) armor packages, in order to provide the U.S. and Allied forces with increased gun mounting options for the battlefield. 


The Viper Lite is compatible with all crew served machine guns, currently in use in the US arsenal, and is a technologically advanced alternative to the legacy MK93 mount.  The CRADA will ensure the Viper Lite™ system is compatible with various OGPK configurations.  “It was important for us to undertake this effort so we can provide a superior capability to the Warfighter without creating a logistical burden which often plagues universal mounts ” said Vice Admiral John Morgan, USN (RET), and CEO of Nobles Worldwide. “Through working with ARDEC, we are able to ensure we can provide the Warfighter with the fully integrated, plug and play, solution he deserves.”  The CRADA was executed on 17 September, 2013, and is scheduled to be complete by early summer 2014.


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