PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – The Army will honor four weapons-development teams based here by presenting each a highly coveted top 10 Army Greatest Inventions of the Year Award for 2007 June 12.

In an April 25 letter, Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, announced that four Picatinny research and development teams will be recognized for their commitment to improving readiness and their innovative technologies that positively impact Soldiers.

Nominations were submitted from across the Army laboratory community and evaluated by Soldier teams from the Training and Doctrine Command and Army divisions.

“The Army’s greatest inventions are chosen by our customers – Soldiers who use the equipment in war zones and whose lives depend upon having the best equipment,” said Dr. Joseph A. Lannon, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center director.

“There is nothing more satisfying and motivating to our workforce than knowing they have made a difference to our Soldiers on the battlefield,” Lannon said.

Picatinny items on this year’s list are the Objective Gunner Protection Kit, XM982 Excalibur Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile, M110 7.62 mm Semi-Automatic Sniper System and the Picatinny Blast Shield for the Light Armored Vehicle.

All the inventions are designed to keep Soldiers safer when dealing with potentially volatile situations.

Since the Army Greatest Inventions program began in 2002, Picatinny teams have won 17 out of a possible 60 Army greatest invention positions. This is more than any other Army laboratory or organization.

“We have been successful in winning many of these awards because of our great teaming with our life cycle management commands and their program management offices,” Lannon said. “These are truly team efforts and team awards.”

The awards will be presented during a luncheon ceremony in Arlington, Va.

More about the winning inventions:

Objective Gunner Protection Kit

The Objective Gunner Protection Kit is an integrated armor and ballistic glass turret that is mounted onto the top of tactical and armored vehicles. The purpose of this invention is to provide 360-degree ballistic protection while retaining visibility for situational awareness by gunners without compromising system effectiveness, reliability and lethality.

The design configuration provides protection in the frontal area, which allows the gunner protection in the critical areas that are typically vulnerable to improvised explosive device fragmentation and enemy small-arms fire.

More than 8,000 Objective Gunner Protection Kits were fielded in fiscal year 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

XM982 Excalibur Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile

Excalibur is the first global positioning system and inertial-guided artillery projectile providing 155 mm cannon artillery precision-guided, extended range capability.

It provides revolutionary accuracy compared to all other conventional artillery projectiles.

Excalibur, in conjunction with other battlefield systems, provides the Army warfighter with unmatched precision and lethality for artillery projectiles. This is critical to urban warfare where risk of collateral damage is extremely high.


The M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System is a 7.62 by 51 mm caliber, semi-automatic, shoulder fired, direct-line-of-sight weapon system that is capable of delivering rapid-fire precision on targets.

The SASS provides suppressed, rapid-fire precision lethality against personnel targets and light-materiel targets with high-capacity, ammunition-configurable, quick-change magazines and a greater shooter focus on engagements.

Picatinny Blast Shield for Light Armored Vehicles

More than 150 Picatinny Blast Shields were fielded in fiscal year 2007 for the Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle, or LAV-25, in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Picatinny Blast Shield has direct application to the vehicle commander hatch station of the LAV-25 to protect the vehicle commander from small-arms fire and fragmentation resulting from explosive devices.

The Picatinny Blast Shield for the LAV-25 allows the vehicle commander to perform missions under constant flank protection and also enables full visibility and complete weapons integration.

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