You don't see me
Source: http://world.guns.ru/ -- None of the opinions in this are mine, I just posted theese for comparison.
OICW ammunition - HE ant TP (target practice) rounds for 20mm and KE 5.56mm NATO round
Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (KE) and 20x85mm (HE)
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt (KE), unknowh (HE)
Overall length: 890 mm
Barrel length: 250 mm (KE) 460 mm (HE)
Weigth: ca 5.5 kg empty; ca 6.8 kg loaded
Magazine capacity: 30 rds box (KE) and 6 rds box (HE)
The OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) is very ambitious project of the US military that should enter the service circa 2009. Initially, two teams were selected to made prototypes, but in the 2000 one team, leaded by Alliant Techsystems Inc., won the contract for further development. This team also consist of Heckler&Koch, Dynamit Nobel and some other companies.
The key idea behind the OICW programme is to increase effectivnes of the soldier and the kill probability. To achieve this, the OICW has three major components: the Kinetic Energy (KE) module, which is, in fact, modified Heckler-Koch G36 asault rifle, High Explosive (HE) module, which is a semi-automatic, magazine fed 20mm grenade launcher, and computerized day/night sighting system with integrated laser rangefinder and fire control unit. The system is advertized as being (or GOING TO BE) 5 times more lethal than current M16A2 / M203 combo.
The design of the KE module has nothing new behind it. The only one unusual thind is a set of buttons on the left side of the pistol handle. These buttons control fire computer and laser rangefinder, as well as selection of fire mode (KE or HE).
The HE module fires 20mm high-velocity grenades. These grenades had programmable fuzes, that could be set for Air Burst mode (grenade explodes at the specified range above the target; range is set via Fire Control module from laser rangefinder), or for Point Detonation (grenade explodes upon impact).
For obvious reasons the KE module could be separated from HE / Fire Control modules and used as a typical assault rifle with iron sights, but without buttstock. The separated HE module is completely useless since it uses KE module trigger to operate.
Now - some private opinions
The OICW, to be effective, relies upon computerized fire control module. Both KE and HE modules could be fired with iron sights, but this greatly reduces the overall effectivness of the system, so as soon as the batteries goes off, or the computer/optics/laser get any damage, you'd better throw the Fire Control module away... But it costs more than half of the whole system price, and that's some 5000 dollars (probably, much more), so guess what the soldier should do when the Fire Control module fails...
Another point is that 20mm programmable ammunition is no way the cheap round.
Third, the whole system is bulky and cost a small fortune...
Resume: In my opinion, the OICW is a weapon for so called "peace-keeping" operatrions - low intensivity conflicts, when US troops had always good supplies (of batteries and spare parts) and carry the weapons for limited time (forgot about weeks-long raids beyond enemy lines). It also costs too much, and now i'm doubtful about the plans to issue the OICW to every 4 soldiers in every Infantry squad of the US Army, USMC etc (the OICW is intended to replace M16/M203 combos and M249 SAWs, as well as some M16s or M4s).
Caliber: 5.56 NATO (.223 rem)
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 1016mm
Barrel length: 508mm
Muzzle velocity: 991m/s
Muzzle energy: 1712 J
Dissatisfaction in the "Battle Rifle" concept of US Army in the late 1950's caused an issue for lighter selective-rifle with smaller caliber. One of the such rifles offered for the US Military was AR-15, designed by Eugene Stoer at Armalite. This rifle was in fact scaled-down AR10, redesigned to fire new small-caliber cartridges .223 Remington (developed at Sierra Bullets; based on .222 Remington hunting cartridge). AR15 have same gas-driven rotary-bolt mechanism without the gas piston, as an AR10. Armalite sold this design to Colt, and when US Army adopted AR15 in 1957 under official designation of M16, all further modifications were made by Colt. Then-new M16s were sent to Vietnam, where many problems were found. Due to "dirty" design (powder gases vented directly into receiver) M16 were very prone to soppages and jams when insufficient cleaning was applied. Also polymer hanguards, grips and buttstocks were found too fragile for battle environment. In 1967 M16 was modified into M16A1 version. Improvements included a pushbutton on right side of the receiver, which was used to close the bolt in case of cartridge feed failure (so called "forward assist device") and some other changes, including brass defelector to prevent spent cases from hitting in the face of the left-handed soldier, and new 30 rounds box magazine instead of the original 20 rouns magazine.
In early 1980s M16 was modernised again, now into the M16A2. Major upgrade was new, heavier barrel with new rifling, to accept new cartridge SS109 with heavier bullet (designed in Belgium by FN). This upgrade gave the bullet fired from M16A2 more flat and stable traectory. Other upgrade was done to fire selector - new mode of fire - 3 round burst was added to single-shot and full-auto modes of the original M16. New dual-aperture peep-hole sight with bot elevation and windage ajustment was also installed, along with new circular-crossshaped handguard instead of the old triangular-crosshaped one.
Latest modification of AR15/M16 family is M16A3, which is exactly the same as M16A2 except for integral carrying handle, which is replaced by Picatinny-Weaver rail system to accept different types of scope mounts, laser-aiming devices etc. Carrying handle with iron sigths, similar to that of M16A2 also could be installed.
While being popular military rifle (adopted by nearly 30 countries, including USA, Canada, Israel and others), "civilian" and "law enforcement" clones of the M16 also gained significant popularity. Being marketed under many designatons (such as AR15, M15, XM15 etc.), those clones are manufactured by many US and other countries companies, such as Bushmaster, Armalite, Professional Ordnance and others. Those guns may reproduce original M16s in everyting excluding semi-auto trigger mechanism, or represent some improvements or tuning options (barrel lenghts and styles (light, heavy, match)), buttstock types etc.
edit: The oicw also sports its amazing 5 inch barrel, sucessfully proving someone with a longer barreled assault rifle will probably hit you before you can get a shot off, rate of fire doesn't really matter in thoose situtations, neither does the damn grenade launcher (20mm) I would much Perfer an M4/M16 + M203 then an O.I.C.W. Because of its sheer bulk and lack of proper iron sights
Last edited by Duker900 on Jun 13 2002 at 11:07