Infantry: August 17, 2000


: The US Army is running a series of tests known as MOUT-ACTD (Military Operations in Urban Terrain Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration). This is designed to find quickly-available systems that can improve the effectiveness, lethality, and survivability of troops fighting in cities, where casualties are traditionally high in short-range fighting. Some of the systems tested and found worthy include: 

@ Explosive Cutting Tape. This relatively small device blows a man-sized hole through a brick wall.

@ BEAST is the Breachers Explosive Access Selectable Tool. It is roughly two-by-five feet and looks something like a sleeping bag. Fastened to a wall, it can blow a man-sized hole through brick or masonry walls.

@ RLEM is the Rifle-Launched Entry Munition. It looks something like a fencing sword. The "blade" is slid into the barrel of an M16 and fired by a grenade launching blank; the blade then trails the massive "handle" to provide stability in flight. The weapon is designed to break through doors or windows from a distance of 30m. 

@ Two new portable ladders are under testing. The Quick Stepladder folds up to 2x3 feet but extends to 14 feet long. It is carried clipped to the outside of a soldier's pack. The Light Modular Ladder extends to 15 feet; a second module can be added to reach 30 feet. The system is carried inside a bag the size of a rucksack. The 30-foot length allows soldiers into third-story windows or onto the roofs of two-story and lower three-story buildings.

@ The Hooligan Tool is a "wedge on a handle" which can be pounded into doors with a hammer to provide leverage to break them open. This allows soldiers in restricted quarters to defeat barricaded or locked doors. 

@ Flash bang grenades, new lighter but stronger body armor, new elbow and knee pads, and Tuff Cuffs (a new system to restrain prisoners). --Stephen V Cole


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