The PD-100 Black Hornet is a toy-sized UAV that makes short-distance reconnaissance easy. The four-inch, 18-gram personal scout can fly for about 25 minutes, maxing out at about 11 miles per hour while taking video and high-resolution images. A small, hand-held terminal receives the feed and controls the bird.
Cummings said it was one of the items that could come down the pipe next year that could have a big impact, though he didn’t have a specific timetable.
New XM17 pistols for 2017
The XM17 pistol modular element is key, as the program’s name indicates. The Army wants a gun that can be adjusted with different-sized grips, as well as accommodate a variety of accessories, such as laser sights and flashlights. The competition will be open-caliber, which opens the door for .40- and .45 -caliber bullets, along with the smaller current Army and NATO standard 9mm. Hollow tip and fragmenting bullets are possible; the U.S. has never signed onto the 1899 Hague Convention that bars them.
Gun-makers are preparing their bids to replace the Beretta M9 — the Army’s pistol of choice since 1985 — with a new Modular Handgun System, dubbed XM17. PEO Soldier expects the guns to reach the first units in early 2017.
Official requirements for the XM17 program include:
- non-caliber specific
- modular grips
- grip that accepts a wide-range of hand-sizes (5th to 95th percentile)
- ability to accept different fire-control devices/action types
- ability to accept various magazine sizes
- suppressor compatible
- ability to mount “target enablers” (lights, lasers, etc) on a picatinny rail
- match-grade accuracy (90% or better chance 4″ circle at 50 meters)
- low felt recoil impulse
Leading XM17 candidate guns
A MHS variant of the Sig Sauer P320 will feature a frame-mounted manual thumb safety and come in a neutral color.