TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Special Operations Forces are being equipped with .50-caliber muzzle flash suppressors from Arizona's Smith Enterprise Inc.
The contract is from U.S. Naval Service Warfare-Crane, the Navy's testing and contracting division for the U.S. Special Operations Command, which includes the Army Rangers, Navy SEALS and other Special Operations Forces.
The contract for the company's patented Vortex flash eliminator is for five years and is worth $1.5 million.
Smith Enterprise said rigid testing performed by NSW Crane showed that the Vortex Eliminator was superior to other suppressors, easily passing the 95 percent flash reduction threshold through 10,000 rounds of machine gun fire.
The tests also showed the Vortex didn't interfere with normal combat functions, alter weapon firing or cycling or interfere with mechanical sights. Hazard analysis, visual flash analysis, hardness testing, drop testing, vibration testing, rust resistance testing and measurement testing were also conducted.
Smith Enterprise said its Vortex uses a helical flute design that breaks up the flash at multiple locations and angles in the suppressor.
"SEI is especially pleased to receive an award for the .50-caliber weapon system," said Smith Enterprise President Ron Smith. "Flash suppression is especially needed for .50-caliber gunners in Afghanistan because many mounted vehicle gunners are often exposed to enemy snipers during mounted combat patrols … the gunners are essential when fending off enemy ambushes at night."
NSW Crane has ordered 638 suppressors to date with a forecasted 4,500 to be ordered through the life of the contract.