MP9-SAW Special Action Weapon

MP9-SAW Special Action Weapon

Government Arsenal - Safariland Corporation MP9-SAW "Special Action Weapon" Following text and informations from: the manufacturer's website, some parts re-arranged, added-on or updated by me. The part about the weapon itself is directly mine. - - - ORIGINAL PRESS-ADDRESSED TEXT (Year 2003) ANNOUNCING THE RELEASE OF THE FIRST MP9-SAW PROTOTYPE -AUTHORITY. The Government Arsenal (GA), a creation of RA 1884, is mandated to manufacture small arms, mortars, other weapons, ammunition for these weapons and other munitions for use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the country’s other law enforcement agencies. The establishment of GA was aimed to achieve self-sufficiency in the country’s defense requirements. -MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT. Guided by these mandates, the GA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Safariland Firearms Manufacturing Corporation (Safariland), a duly licensed gunsmith based in Mandaue City, Cebu for a joint research and development undertaking on the prototyping, evaluation, enhancement and eventual production of a 9mm machine pistol (MP9). After several technical discussions between representatives of both parties, Safariland handed over to GA its prototype of the machine pistol for evaluation, testing and assessment of its performance. The GA technical personnel shall determine what aspects are to be improved and standardized to meet military specifications as to dimensional requirements, as well as ballistic performance. Under the MOA, the GA will share its equipment and technical expertise in the improvement of the design, testing and eventual development and manufacture of 9mm machine pistol or a Special Action Weapon (SAW) for the AFP and the PNP. -FEATURES. The design of the machine pistol incorporates into a single firearm the excellent features of worldwide known assault weapons, as it adopts the closed bolt concept of the MP5 (HK) for high level accuracy; the barrel arrangement of UZI for versatility; and the upper and lower receivers of the M16 rifle for ease in mass production recognizing the practicability of using materials that are readily available in the local market. The material for the receiver group is T6-7075 aluminum alloy which is the same material used for the M16 rifle, while the barrel uses SAE 4340 alloy steel. The development of MP9 as a Special Action Weapon is envisioned to reduce the cost of firearms being procured at least for the AFP, and at the same time, enhance its capabilities in special action operations. It could also put into productive use the surplus/idle M16 parts at the AFP Logistics Center, which could further reduce the production cost of the initial units. -USER. Initially, the machine pistol could be used as the close-in weapon of the elite units of the AFP such as the Reconnaisance Unit (RECON) of the Philippine Marine Corps, Scout Ranger of the Philippine Army and/or the Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG). These units in fact are targeted as the test units to further assess/validate the capability and durability of the firearm in order to improve the firearm's features and performance. Considering its size, weight, muzzle velocity and cyclic rate of fire, the firearm could eventually be adopted as the basic assault weapon of the AFP, and the PNP's Special Action Units. Export could likewise be explored eventually. - CREATION OF THE PISTOL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE AND TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP. Upon conceptualization of the MP9 project, the Arsenal Pistol Development Commitee was created on July 05, 2001 to make coordination with Safariland; draft the MOA; and oversee, direct and supervise the activities of the Technical Working Group. The Assistant Director is designated as Chairman; Superintendent of Engineering Division as Vice Chairman; and Superintendent, Comptroller Division; Assistant Superintendent, Engineering Division; Chief, Loss Control Office; the Military Assistant to DA, and Chief, Arsenal Modernization Office as members. Meanwhile, a Technical Working Group has been formed to take charge of the design and development, and eventual fabrication of the prototype. The group is composed of technical personnel from GA namely: Engr. Dennis Chua as Chairman; Lt Herr Escalona as Co-Chairman; Mr. Ernesto Allida as Vice Chairman; and Mr. Felizardo Gero, Mr. Rodrigo Simeon Jr, PO1 Edgardo Tapia, PN and Maj Ronilo Secretaria as members. Mr. Jude Espenocilla joins the group as CAD draftsman. -TECHNICAL PROCESS. Initially, parts were drawn through Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) based on accurate specifications and tolerances. Fabrication of the upper and lower receiver and small parts at the GA Machine Shop facilities followed. The first prototype was completed and assembled last March 27, 2002, wherein the barrel and butt extension were taken first from the Safariland prototype. Testing at the GA ballistic proof range was conducted on April 1-4, 2002. A total of 1,600 rounds of 9mm ammunition were fired using 4-inch and 6-inch barrels, taking note of the minor deficiencies observed in the weapon during test firing. Accordingly, corrections were made on the drawings, and the changes were incorporated in the fabrication of the second prototype. Once the design is perfected, fabrication of ten (10) units would follow for the endurance/field testing by the AFP. -BRIGHT PROSPECTS OF THE PROJECT. With the encouraging results of the tests made on the first prototype and slight modifications on the design/specifications, fabrication and assembly of succeeding prototypes are expected to perform competitively with firearms manufactured abroad and at much lower cost. It only takes belief and pride in the Filipino ingenuity for this project to succeed. - - - HISTORY AND BACKGROUND FOR THE SPECIAL ACTION WEAPON PROJECT The GA (Government Arsenal of the Republic of Philippines) started with its initial venture on weapons manufacture in line with its mandate and new thrust to acquire an indigenous capability for the production of a cost effective assault weapon for the AFP and the PNP. This has been made possible through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the GA and Safariland Firearms Manufacturing Corporation, a local gunsmith based in Mandaue City, Cebu, in August 2001. Hence, a joint research and development undertaking ensued on the prototyping, evaluation, enhancement and eventual production of a 9mm machine pistol, the Special Assault Weapon, also named "SAW-9" or "MP9-SAW". With the approval of SND of the project proposal on April 21, 2003 and release of the initial fund of P750,000.00 from SRDP on October 2003 out of the P1.5M allocation, the GA proceeded with the fabrication of the enhanced model under a joint undertaking with the Metals Industry Research & Development Center (MIRDC). Fabrication of the seven prototypes followed and underwent surface finishing by a private enterprise. The seven completed units are presently undergoing the necessary tests at the GA facility. Eventually, they will be turned-over to the Philippine Army Research & Development Center (PARDC) for field testing and final evaluation. - - - THE PROJECT After three decades since its establishment, the Fovernment Arsenal of the Republic of Philippines has finally embarked on small weapons development and possible manufacturing. Knowing and understanding that the GA is more than what it is today, the current leadership took a leap on small weapons development by identifying the holistic way to establish weapons manufacturing capability the soonest possible time. The present leadership as such created a TRI-PARTY cooperation and venture subscribing the area expertise of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as the source of SRDP fund and end-user of the gun; the privately owned Safariland Arms Corporation of Mandaue City as the primary designer of the gun; and the Government Arsenal itself whose mandate is to develop in-country capability munitions production. The Project tested the Bureau’s organizational capability and capacity to undertake weapons development within the limits of its very finite government resource allocation. The project indeed unearthed another potential of the Bureau that for three decades had been waiting to be showcased. Modesty aside, the Bureau was able to produce four different models of the gun from which the final model for field testing and eventual mass production will be taken. All prototypes produced are working operationally, never wasted any government resources in the development process. The Bureau’s Vision guided all participating entities to work closely effectively and efficiently. The personal supervision and guidance by the Director, Arsenal tapped the commitment and devotion of primary R&D members for the project. The Arsenal Research and Development Team harnessed individual expertise from all Divisions to come up with SAW9 standardized specifications and a Technical Data Package (TDP). The Engineering Division’s Design & Development Section finalized the Technical Drawings utilizing Computer Aided Design (CAD) Program while its Machine Shop manufactured all its major components thru Computer Numeric Controlled Machines (CNCM). Finally, the Quality Assurance Division’s Ballistics Section ensured the functional and operational compliance of the finished prototypes. Under a different formal agreement, the final prototype design was further tested and eventually produced by the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) of the DOST in its Bicutan Facility. The MIRDC utilized state of the art CNCMs, Wire Cutting Technology, Electric Discharge Machines (EDM) and various Computer Aided Design (CAD) Programs to ensure design and metallurgical integrity of the gun. The MIRDC facility produced for the Arsenal seven units ready for field-testing by the Armed Forces of the Republic of the Philippines. - - - THE WEAPON The Special Action Weapon (SAW-9 or MP9-SAW) is a short-sized submachinegun engineered and manufactured by the GA (Governmental Arsenal of the Republic of the Philippines) with the collaboration of the previously unknown Safariland Firearms Manufacturing Corporation (which seems to have no ties with the notorious firm of "Safariland" that manufactures holsters and firearms accessories so far), with the task of providing the National Police and the Armed Forces of the Republic of the Philippines with a compact weapon to fight criminal and terrorist activities; the Republic of the Philippines has started whatsoever a massive armaments modernization program since the terror attacks of 9/11/2001, which saw the long hands of Al-Qaeda start agreements and liaisons with the muslim integrist groups in the southern part of the Philippinean archipelago; these very same groups started hence a fierce guerrilla activity against the central Philippinean government, and delivered several attacks against tourists in the area. The Armed Forces (ANP) and the National Police (PNP) of the Republic of the Philippines are massively engaged in fighting this menace. The Philippinean National Police has reached in the past years an agreement with the national FLORO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION for the purchase of several thousands of their MK-9 and MK-9A submachineguns, thus "re-animating" a FLORO project that had been launched in the late 1990s and declared dead after a short amount of time (the Philippines aren't the place that the international Military and LE communities usually address to when they have to find modern weaponries for duty). Besides, in the meanwhile, the GA has teamed up with the development groups of the AFP (especially with the Filipino Marines) to develop weapons such the MSSR marksman rifle, the NCWS integrally-suppressed assault rifle, and ultimately, the MP9-SAW submachinegun. The Republic of the Philippines has been massively armed during the years with US-made M16-A1 assault rifles, but those weapons are now aging; the country has thus acquired manufacturing capabilities, and while the State-owned GA has developed the above-mentioned weapons, in the meanwhile doing its best to re-arsenal the existing M16-A1 rifles, the privately-owned FLORO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION is engaged in the manufacture of two new M16-based, .5'56mm firearms: their PDW (which is all in all a short-barreled M16-A1 receiver with proprietary magazine, flat top with iron sights and no carrying handle, side-folding wire stock and M16-A2 - style handguard) is in competition for massive issue to the AFP for those units which personnel needs a Personal Defense Weapon better than a pistol; and their MK-4 assault rifle, which is all in all an M16-A1 assault rifle with no carrying handle, iron sights, and a top Weaver rail. FLORO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION has also developed a semiautomatic-only, should-be civilian-legal version of their MK-9 submachinegun, dubbed the "Federal" selfloading pistol. They also import rough parts from the People's Republic of China to manufacture a pistol called the "Viper"; this is a Tokarev-style selfloading handgun with an 8-rounds capacity single-stack magazine, chambered for the .9x19mm-Parabellum caliber, made in steel and lightweight alloy, with a match-style light trigger and working in single-action only, with a decocking lever as safety. The weapon has no provision for military/LE issue whatsoever. The Special Action Weapon (SAW-9 or MP9-SAW) has thus born with the task of providing the AFP and the PNP with a short submachinegun that had to be as "modular" as possible, and had to be manufactured with national capabilities. The Republic of Philippines manufactures their M16-based issue weapons by importing most parts from the United States of America, their best-choice distributor is DPMS, which can offer low-cost off-the-shelf parts and complete weapons of a decent quality for the budget that such a Country as the Republic of the Philippines can afford. Several features of the Special Action Weapon hovever point out how this weapon has been manufactured by using as much national capabilities as possible, with poor or no use of importing parts. The Special Action Weapon is a medium-sized submachinegun for military and Law Enforcement purposes. It fires the standard 9mm Luger ammunition, feeding from UZI mags, either imported or made locally since their ease of manufacture. It is a gas blow-back operated, selective-fire weapon that uses the M16 working system and commands. The weapon sports an upper MIL-STD rail for the installation of optics of every kind, and has no provision for fixed standard iron sights, although the earlier prototypes had them. The weapon can feature several kinds of stock, being this a sign that the weapon doesn't needs the AR-15 recoil buffer to operate. The flash hider can be quickly detached and replaced with a sound suppressor, which makes the gun slightly longer than the standard, but provides a complete flash suppression and a decently silent shooting, since it makes the barrel "half-integrally silenced". The main feature that points out the Philippinean national origin of the MP9-SAW submachinegun is its magazine well however: US-made M16-based submachineguns (i.e. the Colt RO-633 as used by the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Energy) are made out of a standard M-16 lower receiver, and have internal modifications, thus using the wide magazine well of the M-16 itself, sized for the .5'56mm magazines, way too large for the .9mm-Luger ones. This, I suppose, means that those guns can be re-converted to fire the .5'56mm ammunition after an arsenal work. The Philippinean Special Action Weapon SAW-7/MP9-SAW, instead, has a very thight magazine well, just sized for the UZI magazines the gun feeds from. The SAW-9/MP9-SAW Special Action Weapon is currently in its late prototypes phase, undergoing Trial test & Evaluation phase by the Armed Forces and the National Police of the Republic of the Philippines; plans are being in the meanwhile made by the Government Arsenal and Safariland Firearms Manufacturing Corporation to convedt their capabilities for mass manufacture. There are no expectations for the availability of this weapon outside the national market at the moment, nor there are for the availability of a semiautomatic-only civilian-legal version for export whatsoever. - - - TECHNICAL SPECS: CALIBER: .9x19mm (9mm-Parabellum / 9mm-Luger / 9mm-NATO) CAPACITY: 20 or 32 rounds detacheable magazines OPERATION: Gas Blowback operated - Closed bolt OVERALL LENGHT: From 565 to 655 Millimetres, depending from the models and the attached accessories. LENGHT, STOCK FOLDED OR RETRACTED: From 480 to 575 Millimetres, depending from the model, the type of stock and the attached accessories. BARREL LENGHT: From 145 to 235 Millimetres, depending from the model. RIFLING: 6 grooves, constant RH twist WEIGHT LOADED: From 2,35 to 2,6 Kilograms, depending from the model, the attached accessories and the magazine capacity. WEIGHT UNLOADED: From 2,25 to 2,5 Kilograms, depending from the model and the attached accessories. MODES OF FIRE: Safe/Semi-automatic fire/Full-automatic fire (standard trigger group; 3-rounds burst fire mode optionally available instead of Full-automatic upon request). RATE OF FIRE: 850 Rounds Per Minute MUZZLE ENERGY: 650 Joules MUZZLE VELOCITY: 400 Metres per Second SIGHT LINE RADIUS: 150 Millimetres - - - MANUFACTURER CONTACT INFO The Government Arsenal of the Republic of the Philippines can be contacted, presently through its incumbent Director, Radm Eriberto C. Varona AFP (Ret), or his Assistant, Engr. Pepito A. Bauto, at the following addresses: General URL: http://www.arsenal.mil.ph Manila Office: GOVERNMENT ARSENAL - Metro Manila Liaison Office Camp Gen E. Aguinaldo, Quezon City Telephone: (632) 911-4580 Telefax: (632) 911-6534 E-Mail: gammlo@mozcom.com Plant Office: GOVERNMENT ARSENAL, DND Camp General Antonio Luna Lamao, Limay, Bataan Telefax: (6347) 244-5625 E-mail: garsenal@mozcom.com / arsenal@batn.pworld.net.ph

Submitted by: Pierangelo Tendas