Reusable softpacks for squad level M249 machine guns are being used by soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and UN forces that are deployed at hotspots around the world. The improved packs were designed by Polymer Technologies Inc. of Clifton, N.J., in response to demands by troops in the field for a rugged, reusable, trouble-free and camouflaged container that would hold up to 200 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.
Soldiers also complained of the distinctive sound partially loaded ammo packs made when they moved about. This drumming noise tended to give away their positions — especially in darkness.
To solve this, and other problems associated with the original solid ammo containers, the company worked with technicians from Picatinny Arsenal. The upshot was a more reliable, quieter pack that stands up to the rough and tumble of the battlefield.