Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW)
Selectable Assault Battle Rifle (SABR)
Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) program sought to produce a light weight weapon capable of firing kinetic energy projectiles, as well as an air-bursting fragmentation munition. It would allow soldiers to effectively attack targets at greater ranges, and to attack targets in defilade. It would combine leading edge technologies in miniaturized fuzing; integrated fire control; light weight, high strength materials; and munitions effects. The OICW would increase the lethality and survivability of the individual soldier. It was the sole lethality component of the Dismounted Battle Lab's 21st Century Land Warrior (21 CLW) Top Level Demonstration.
The OICW was expected to provide an all-new level of capability at extended ranges against exposed targets and against targets in defilade. It was intended for the infantry who were in the direct line of battle or 'at the tip of the sword.' The OICW was the lethality upgrade for the Force XXI soldier and was intended to replace the M16A4 Modular Weapon System rifles, which were used in conjunction with the initial Land Warrior program. How many would be replaced in each of these frontline squads was under analysis. As the OICW worked its way into the force structure, it was expected that modular weapons would supplant M16A2 rifles and M4 carbines. With the large number of these weapons already in the force and because of budget limitations, there was expected to be a coexistence of the various weapons for the foreseeable future, following initial fielding of the OICW.
Advanced technology ammunition was seen as playing an increasingly critical role on future battlefields, allowing individual soldiers to engage targets with lethal precision under conditions difficult to imagine for the existing generation of infantrymen. That was the premise of the Army's latest generation rifle, the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), also known as the Selectable Assault Battle Rifle (SABR). The target unit cost for SABR was $10,000, with initial fielding of 40,000 units.
SABR was a modular weapon system, consisting of the Fire Control System (FCS); a "kinetic energy" component comprised of a short barrel 5.56mm rifle and trigger group; and the air-burst grenade launcher consisting of a magazine-fed, semiautomatic 2Omm grenade launcher barrel and an action and recoil absorption mechanism. While the early generation SABRs weighed about 18 pounds, the goal for production units was 14 pounds, or about the weight of a standard M16-type rifle with an M203 grenade launcher and optical sight. The FCS, along with the 20mm ammunition, was the key to the system's capability. The FCS incorporated a laser rangefinder, 3x day optic, 3x night/thermal imaging optic, TV mode with CCD camera that could double the effective image magnification day or night, and the microprocessing components. The microprocessing component could compute the "full ballistic solution" to destroy a designated target and program the system's primary ammunition: 2Omm high explosive fragmentation grenades.
Based on the desired effects on target, the operator could program the FCS to detonate grenades in one of 4 modes: Bursting, Point Detonation, Point Detonation-Dely, and Window. The Bursting mode would select an above ground, 3-5 meter airburst. Point Detonation would detonate the grenade when it impacted resistance. Point Detonation-Delay would briefly delay the detonation after impact, enhancing effects on semi-hard targets like car doors or light structures. The Window mode would command an airburst at an operator specified range beyond a specific aiming point, enhancing effectiveness against soft targets inside windows or open doors.
The Objective Individual Combat Weapon Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) provided an enhanced capability for the 21st century infantryman, with the potential to selectively replace the M16 rifle, M203 grenade launcher, and M4 carbine. The FCS, using a laser range finder, could pinpoint the precise target range at which the high explosive round would burst and relay the information to the round's fuzing system. Fragments from the bursting munition would be able to defeat PASGT armor. The sighting system could provide full 24-hour capability by employing uncooled IR sensor technology for night vision.
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