Infantry Weapons

Saab Dynamics to research Massive Overmatch Assault Round for DARPA

24 October 2016

Key Points

  • The research effort is expected to be of some 15-months duration, according to a Massive Overmatch Assault Round Notional Study Schedule posted by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Saab will conduct studies using its own Carl-Gustaf and AT4 shoulder-fired weapons, both of which are current US Army Programs of Record.

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Saab a research contract of undisclosed value for the development of an 'advanced precision engagement capability' for shoulder-launched weapons under the agency's Massive Overmatch Assault Round (MOAR) Study initiative.

The proposed MOAR study falls under the 'Ground Systems - Soldier/Squad Technologies' section of the DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) Wide Broad Agency Announcement DARPA-BAA-15-27: 'Innovative Systems for Military Missions'. According to a Notional Study Schedule posted by the DARPA, the duration of the MOAR research effort is expected to be of 15-months duration, with the final report due back to the DARPA by second quarter 2017.

MOAR Notional Study Schedule (DARPA)MOAR Notional Study Schedule (DARPA)

The MOAR study focuses on two principal areas of research: i) multi-use rounds "capable of defeating a wide range of threats - dismounted personnel, hardened structures, moving vehicles, armour, and unmanned aerial systems - with traditional and non-traditional defeat mechanisms"; and ii) multi-function rounds, which should be "capable of being fired as a shoulder-launched or vehicle-mounted weapon; capable of first-party targeting or receiving targeting information from a networked third party source".

According to a Special Program Announcement for the DARPA/TTO 'Research Opportunity: Massive Overmatch Assault Round (MOAR) Study' (Special Notice DARPA-SN-15-79), "MOAR will seek to leverage commercial technologies to provide a low-cost, multi-use, and multi-function precision engagement capability. Current short-range weapons are used against a variety of target sets using different munitions and launchers without the benefit of active guidance. Current long-range weapons in support of dismounted operations are highly effective against a specific target set at range, but come with a heavy physical burden, high cost per shot/procurement cost, and often require teams of operators (sometimes dedicated) for employment," the announcement notes.

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