Suppressors could soon be used for more than just special operations
2nd Marine Division Testing Suppressors
The US Marine corps has recently completed experiments with outfitting an entire infantry battalion with suppressors and the results look promising.
The goal of these tests was to see how the inclusion of suppressors on all firearms, from the M4 Rifles all the way up to .50 caliber machine guns would impact the combat effectiveness of the battalion.
In an interview with Military.com Major General John Love stated that it has “revolutionized” the way that his battalion fights.
“It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn’t really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons. Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control and effectively direct those fires.”
Suppressors have long been in use by scout snipers and special operations however introducing their use to an entire infantry unit is a new idea, one that seems to be paying off.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade also spoke to Military.com saying,
“They shoot better, because they can focus more, and they get more discipline with their fire… They’ve got to get up and look, see what effect they’re having on the enemy because you can’t hear it.”
Still Some Challenges to Overcome
Despite these promising first results the idea of outfitting everyone in a battalion with a suppressor still has some hurdles to overcome.
First, it is another piece of hardware to supply and maintain, increasing logistical concerns. Suppressors just don’t work as well when used in full auto and wear out much faster. Next there is the cost. Equipping an entire infantry battalion currently costs almost $700,000, a steep price tag. However given that the money could easily be found in far less proven projects, $700,000 seems like a far wiser use of military spending than on failed projects.
Furthermore this cost could be brought down by scale. I feel confidant in saying any suppressor manufacturer would bend over backwards for such a large-scale military contract. I have no doubt that the cost per unit would dramatically fall if the Marine Corps decided to start asking for bids.
In the meantime testing and data gathering on the experiment continues, with Chief Warrant Officer Wade confidant in the project, saying,
“When I show how much overmatch we gain … it will have sold itself.”
So long as this can be proven to provide benefit to our troops, I certainly hope so. The more advantages that our military has the better. I want to see each and every one of them come home safe. And if outfitting our military with suppressors across the board will give them a definitive edge in combat, I’m all for it.