The nights are getting deadlier for the Taliban now that it’s much harder to see Americans shooting at them.

Late last year, overall Afghanistan commander Gen. David Petraeus became concerned that the muzzle flash from weapons such as the M4 carbine was too easy for the enemy to spot.

As a result, the Army began equipping troops with special muzzle flash hiders that significantly reduce the visual powder flare during night firing.

“He wanted an immediate fix,” said Col. Doug Tamilio, the Army’s top weapons buyer, at a Feb. 2 Pentagon round table with reporters.

The Blackout flash hiders, made by Advanced Armament Corp., replace the M4’s closed flash hider with an open-prong device. The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force shipped about 10,000 of these flash hiders to Afghanistan for use on the M4 carbine and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and about 1,000 flash hiders made by Surefire, for the 7.62mm M240 machine gun.

“Those are overseas now and that satisfied General Petraeus’ concern,” Tamilio said.

The interim fix is part of a broader effort by the Army and the Marine Corps aimed at reducing the flash and audible report of individual and crew-served weapons.

Source: Matt Cox for

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