U.S. Army has developed Third Arm device that could lessen Soldier burden and increase lethality 11004171

Military Defense Industry Technology - Third Arm System
 
U.S. Army has developed Third Arm device that could lessen Soldier burden and increase lethality.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has developed the "Third Arm" device which can be attached to the protective vest of soldiers that will hold their weapon, lessening the weight on their arms and freeing up their hands for other tasks.
     
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has developed the "Third Arm" device which can be attached to the protective vest of soldiers that will hold their weapon, lessening the weight on their arms and freeing up their hands for other tasks. The Army Research Laboratory is developing a "third arm" passive mechanical appendage that could lessen Soldier burden and increase lethality. Weighing less than 4 pounds, the device attaches to a Soldier's protective vest and holds their weapon, putting less weight on their arms and freeing up their hands to do other tasks. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo)
     
Weighing less than 4 pounds (1.8 kg), the body-worn weapon mount is currently undergoing testing at the Army Research Laboratory, where researchers hope the lightweight device will ensure Soldiers pack a more powerful punch in combat.

Today, some Soldiers are weighed down by combat loads that exceed 110 pounds. Those heavy loads, he said, may worsen as high energy weapons, which could be larger with heavier ammunition, are developed for future warfare.

The goal of the third arm device is to redirect all of a weapon's weight to the body, making it easier for the Soldier to carry a more lethal firearm.

The passive mechanical appendage, which is made out of carbon fiber composite, can be used in the prone position and on both sides of the body.
     
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has developed the "Third Arm" device which can be attached to the protective vest of soldiers that will hold their weapon, lessening the weight on their arms and freeing up their hands for other tasks.
Zac Wingard, a mechanical engineer at the Army Research Laboratory, explains the "third arm" body-worn weapon mount during the Association of the United States Army's Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., March 14, 2017.
     

To test the device, researchers are conducting a pilot with a few Soldiers using an M4 carbine on a firing range at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. As part of the pilot, Baechle said, the Soldiers wear electromyography sensors on their arms and upper body to measure muscle activity to determine if there's a change in fatigue when shooting with the device.

While the M4 is the only weapon currently being tested with the device, Baechle said, they plan to investigate other types of weapons with different calibers, like an M249 squad automatic weapon or M240B machine gun.

Researchers also plan to examine the device's potential applications for various fighting techniques, like shoot-on-the-move, close-quarters combat, or even shooting around corners with augmented reality displays, he said.

Other possible applications for the device include helping a Soldier keep his weapon close by as he cuts through a barrier with a power saw during a breaching operation. A Soldier might also use it to carry a shield as he leads other Soldiers in clearing a room.
 

 

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