SHAH ALAM: Colt Advanced Piston Carbine (APC) is set to become the standard assault rifle of the police Special Forces units, the UTK and the VAT69 replacing the Bushmaster M4 carbines.
Although some of the units had already purchased other rifles to replace Bushmasters, the contract signed between the Home Ministry and SMEO Sdn Bhd, today indicated that the APC will become the standard assault rifle for them.
The contract for the APC – signed at the ongoing GPEC Asia 2015 – worth some RM8.4 million clearly marked the end of the Bushmaster reign as the PDRM’s Special Forces assault rifle. Although already superseded by small batches of HK416s and the Ferfrans SCW in certain teams of the UTK and VAT69 , the Bushmaster remained in the inventory, mostly for the lack of anything else.
Apart from anecdotes from operators, no one had published the full details of the Bushmaster travails in service however.
The APC is also known as P0923 in Colt military products catalogue. According to Colt, “The Colt P0923 is an advanced modular 5.56mm caliber piston-operated, lightweight, one-piece upper receiver, magazine fed carbine capable of firing in automatic and semi-automatic modes. The Colt P0923 incorporates a new ALP advanced operating system (articulating link piston) that reduces the stresses in the piston stroke by allowing for deflection and thermal expansion. Designed for consistent cyclic rates, it’s just as easy to disassemble, clean and reassemble as our gas operated system.”
Basically its an M4 with a piston system which supposedly made the gun more robust in the field. One of the most popular piston operated firearm is the HK416.
It must be noted that Bushmaster was procured in 2008 (delivered in late 2009 or early 2010) although the HK416s was put up for procurement after trials conducted by VAT69. Two APCs were field tested by VAT69 prior to the contract signing.
The Colt APC is to be bought directly from Colt Defense LLC. Although the company had declared itself bankrupt recently, its operations are running normally. Why CBU? The numbers are too small for local assembly.
If all goes well, most of the APCs could be delivered before mid-2016. How is this procurement affect other SF units in Malaysia? For starters I believed it will put pressure on MMEA which want some 2,000 HK416s for its units to have a look at the Colt APC instead.
If the APC performed well in UTK and VAT69 it may well also lead other SF units especially in the Armed Forces to request for it instead of the 416s.
This will be the fourth Colt firearm to be introduced into Malaysian service in recent times after the M4A1, M4A1 Heavy Barrel and the CM901, all of which are in service with the Army.
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