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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Modern Firearm : FN P90 Submachine gun ( Belgium )

FN P90 Specification:

Caliber                                   : 5.7 x 28 mm
Weight (empty)                     : 2.54 kg
Length                                    : 500 mm
Length (with folded stock)   : –
Barrel length                          :263 mm                     
Muzzle velocity                      : 850 m/s                     
Cyclic rate of fire                  : 900 rpm
Practical rate of fire              : 50 - 150 rpm
Magazine capacity               : 50 rounds
Sighting range                       : 150 m
Range of effective fire          : 200 m

The P90 submachine gun was developed in the late 1980s by the Belgian Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal. It was intended as a personal defense weapon for non-frontline troops, vehicle drivers, tank and artillery crews. The FN P90 appeared in the early 1990s. At the time of it's introduction it was considered as a new generation weapon. It was the first personal defense weapon and took intermediate position between SMGs and assault rifles. About 20 000 of these submachine guns were sold for military operators and law enforcement forces worldwide. Currently it is in service with Belgium and about 25 export operators.

The FN P90 SMG is a clean sheet design. It is a blowback operated, selective fire weapon with bullpup layout, which fires from closed bolt. This PDW is chambered for a newly-developed 5.7 x 28 mm low-impulse and high-velocity ammunition with sharp nose bullets. This round has enhanced penetration comparing with 9 x 19 mm pistol round and is effective against body armor at ranges of 100 m and beyond. It resembles a scaled-down standard NATO 5.56 x 45 mm round. This weapon penetrates a standard US Army helmet at a range of 150 m.

It is worth mentioning, that many operators use this weapon for the role, directly opposite to it's original role. The FN P90 personal defense weapon is often used for offensive roles. Sometimes it is used as a primary weapon of assault teams.

The FN P90 has minimal size and weight. It's lightweight stock is made of impact-resistant polymer. This submachine gun is easy to use and maintain. It is claimed that this weapon is accurate at close ranges. It has low recoil and can be easily controlled with one hand. The FN P90 is fully ambidextrous. It has charging handles from both sides and bottom ejection. A safety switch is located below the trigger.

The FN P90 has an unusual magazine, which holds 50 rounds. This high-capacity magazine is made from semi-translucent polymer and holds rounds in two rows. Cartridges are stored in horizontal position. Magazine is located above the barrel. This feature allowed to make weapon as compact as possible. Each cartridge is rotated for 90 degrees, prior to placing it into feed lips. Spent cases are ejected straight down through the ejection port, located behind the pistol grip.

This submachine gun comes with integral non-magnifying red dot type sight. Backup iron sights are provided. The P90 can contain an integral laser aiming module in it's forward handgrip. It sends either visible or infra red laser beam.

   The FN P90 SMG is compatible with silencer, which is used in conjunction with special subsonic ammunition.Later the Fabrique Nationale introduced the Five-seveN pistol, chambered for the same 5.7 x 28 mm ammunition. FN P90 TR fitted with triple Picatinny-type accessory rails. This model comes with no standard sighting equipment, however it is compatible with various sights, flashlights and other accessories. FN PS90 a civilian semi-automatic carbine, fitted with a longer barrel.

FN P90 personal defense weapon / submachine gun in basic configuration, left side

FN P90 personal defense weapon / submachine gun in basic configuration, right side

FN P90 TR ( triple rail version ) personal defense weapon / submachine gun with installed accessories including optical sight on top rail, and silencer on the barrel 
FN PS90 - a civilian semi-automatic only version of P90 with long barrel

Bottom view on the filed FN P90 magazine, showing position of the stored cartridges and cartridge in feed position

FN P90 partially disassembled

Overall, the PS90 is a very good weapons system that offers some unique potential. It is so small and compact that it rivals the best of the small submachine guns, and it offers the range and power of a rifle. While both the weapon itself and especially the ammunition it fires are on the high end of the price point spectrum, both remain at a level where the cost may be offset by the capabilities of the weapon. 

The future for this weapons system is bright. It has only just begun its lifecycle with many improvements and variants sure to come about as a result of operational experiences. Once domestic ammunition is available in quantity and at a price consistent with other common duty or self-defense rounds, all concerns about the price of ongoing training and operations will be resolved, leaving law enforcement and civilians with a very capable weapon.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GPS satellite : Delta II - GPS-IIR-20(M)

The GPS IIR-20 (M) launch is the Space and Missile Systems Center's 60th consecutive launch success, and the third for the Launch and Range Systems Wing in 2009. The GPS satellite was join the constellation of 31 operational satellites on-orbit providing global coverage and increased overall performance of GPS services to users worldwide. The GPS IIR-M satellites offer a variety of enhanced features for GPS users such as two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption, anti-jamming capabilities and a second civil signal to provide dual frequency capability and improve resistance to interference. GPS IIR-20(M) was assumed plane B, slot 2 position replacing space vehicle number (SVN) 30. The Air Force is launching its last GPS IIR-M satellite in March 2009 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at the start of a window running from 08:34 to 08:49 GMT. 

Delta II Launch Vehicle.

The Delta II will fly in the 7925 configuration, with an Extra-Extended Long Tank Thor first stage, nine strap-on GEM 40 solid rocket motors, a Delta-K second stage, and a Star 48B upper stage. The payload fairing is the standard configuration, with a diameter of 2.9 meters, or 9.5 feet.

The first stage is powered by an RS-27A main engine and two verniers, which will ignite about two seconds before launch. At lift-off, six of the nine SRMs will also light. These first SRMs will burn out and separate a little over a minute after launch, seconds before the remaining three ignite for their minute-long burn.

Just under four and a half minutes after launch, the first stage main engine will shut down, followed by the verniers. The first stage will then separate, and the vehicle will coast for five seconds before the AJ-10-118K engine of the second stage ignites for its first burn. Separation of the payload fairing will occur about twenty seconds later.

The first burn will last for six minutes and twelve seconds, before shutting down and initiating a coast phase that will last for a little under fifty two minutes. Following this, it will restart for forty two seconds, and then initiate third stage spin-up.

Subsequently, the second and third stages will separate, and the solid-fuelled third stage will ignite for an eighty-seven second burn. Once the stage has burnt out, there will be another two minutes of coasting, before the spacecraft separates.

From lift-off to payload separation, the launch will last about sixty-eight minutes, and will leave the satellite in a 193 by 20,370 kilometre orbit, with an inclination of 40 degrees. The spacecraft will then use its onboard propulsion system to reach its operational medium Earth orbit.
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