The latest versions of SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) were on display by FNH USA. These included a sharpshooter configuration of the -L, displayed with the long barrel, a Leopold sniper scope, and bipod. A shorter version of -L was displayed with a short barrel chambered for 5.56×46 mm, a holographic sight from L3 EOTech, and the new Clip-On Night Vision Device – Thermal (CNVD-T) from Insight Technology. -H, configured for 7.62×51 mm ammunition, was shown with the Elcan Specter DR night sight. Also displayed was the 40mm LV grenade launcher.
An innovative device from MTC was the PARASCOPE, displayed by CERDEC and MTC Modern Technologies. This is an x1 optical sight coupled to a prism that allows the user to view the target from the side of the weapon. It also has a rear viewing port for alignment and conventional shooting. , The sight mounts on the 1913 Picatinny rail, behind the enabling the user to operate red-tot, laser or holographic sights, as well as simple iron sight.
Specialized weapon systems shown at AUSA 06, designed for Special Forces included the magnetic and infrared-activated improved M4E1 SLAM, developed by and the FLY-K lightweight indirect fire weapon system, a portable indirect fire weapon system designed to fire 52mm mortar bombs from a quiet, low-signature launcher, at distances up to 800 meters. Other aspects of Special Operations support highlighted were the logistical support of remote teams, utilizing covert air delivery systems by air deliverable payloads dropped by UAVs. Examples shown at AUSA 06 include the U-ADD from Textron Systems, and QuickMEDs from Dynetics. Heavier loads of 30 – 500 lbs can be delivered from high altitude utilizing Altair’s Onyx guided parachute system.
Armoring the Special Forces
A prototype of the all-terrain Flyer Light Tactical Vehicle was shown wearing the new ballistic protection, based on Ceradyne’s FlexKit modules. Two protection levels are available, utilizing various materials formed into modular kits, including ceramics, composites, steel and transparent armor. The armored Flyer retains its air transportability inside the V-22 aircraft, in support of special-forces operations.
Another all-terrain vehicle shown for the first time was the Stealth Reconnaissance Assault and Transport System (SRATS), developed by Utah based SRATS Inc. According to company sources, the vehicle was developed as ‘proof of concept’ platforms, but at least 10 examples are currently in production and will soon ship to Afghanistan to support special operations forces there. As a “rock crawler”, the vehicle has an outstanding mobility characteristics; it can be fitted with an armor kit weighing about 2,000 pounds (907 kg) bringing its maximum weight to 6,700 pounds (2.7 tons). Two SRATS vehicles can be lifted by a single CH-47.
A different approach to the off-road mobility is pursued by the Land and Sea Special Operations (LASSO) diesel powered all-terrain vehicle (ATV). LASSO uses a unique chassis allowing it to transform from a 4×4 tactical vehicle into 6×6 logistical vehicle, with a quick removal of the rear wheel module. In the shorter configuration, LASSO can transport cargo up to 1,500 pounds (680 kg). The diesel powered LASSO is running on JP8 heavy diesel fuel.