April 1, 2009:
The U.S. M249 5.56mm light machine-gun produces most of the firepower for a squad (10-11 troops). One of the major complaints about this weapon is the standard box magazine. A new (soft) fabric, camouflage colored, reusable magazine solves the problems.
This original plastic container is black, and stands out. Worse, when most of the ammo has been fired, the remaining rounds rattle around in the box magazine, giving away the position of the user, especially at night.
Each fire team of five troops has an M249 and troops have long complained about the magazine. Army technicians worked with a commercial firm to develop the new magazine, and field tests showed that the new design worked.