The US Army is seeking state-of-the-art suppressors for its M240 machine guns to reduce the weapon’s sound and flash signature.
The US Army Contracting Command recently issued a “sources sought” notice for a weapon attachment to moderate the M240’s muzzle blast intensity and drastically reduce its recoil.
According to the service, M240L machine guns are unsuppressed weapons that only utilize a flash hider for signature reduction. The new suppressor must be designed to further reduce disturbance without significantly increasing thermal signature.
Any proposed suppressor must reportedly yield a more than a 50 percent reduction in sound, flash, toxic fumes, and disturbed earth performance. It must also demonstrate a minimum service life of 10,000 rounds, with a desired service life of 25,000 rounds.
“The suppressor should be able to survive 50 to 125 of the 200 round belt standard duty cycles, in order to achieve the service life to 10,000 to 25,000 rounds,” the notice reads. “The suppressor should weigh between 16 to 56 ounces at zero rounds and should not extend past the end of the muzzle more than 4-10 inches.”
During the SHOT Show in 2020, American gunmaker Radical Firearms unveiled a potential suppressor for M240 machine guns. It was selected for evaluation by the Joint Special Operations Command.
Several army officials from the Maneuver Battle Laboratory in Georgia also conducted live-fire testing of an M240 suppressor called the MSX-240 in 2020. It reportedly weighs 63 ounces and has a measured sound reduction of 136 decibels.
“[The suppressor] is quiet enough for two people to have a full conversation without raising our voices about one meter from the gun,” Maxim Defense’s Travis Bundy told Task & Purpose. “It’s a total game-changer for battlefield communications.”
Despite the conduct of various experiments on M240 suppressors, the US Army has yet to adopt a specific model for the weapon system.
Army spokesman Peter Rowland also said that there is no definitive plan for procurement and fielding of the potential M240 suppressor and the service has no data on the Maxim suppressor experiment.