by Cpl. Shawn Vincent
Marine Corps News
September 08, 2004
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va -- The order to fix Bayonets was once a common phrase heard by Marines. Today the Marine Corps has a new weapon replacing the Bayonet - the Multi-Purpose Bayonet model number OKC-3S from the Ontario Knife Company.|
The Marine Corps is currently issuing the Multi-Purpose Bayonet, and is scheduled to be finished issuing the knife by June 30, 2005.
The Multi-Purpose Bayonet with scabbard will provide greater durability than the M-7 Bayonet with scabbard and shall function as a fighting knife as well as a bayonet, said Maj. Allen L. Schweizer, team leader, support equipment program manager, infantry combat equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command.
Schweizer said the Multi-Purpose Bayonet attaches firmly to the bayonet lug when mounted on the M16 or M4 rifle.
Additional operating characteristics of the Multi-Purpose Bayonet include: functions without breaking in operating temperatures ranging from -25 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit; corrosive resistant; ergonomic handle that facilitates its use as a fighting knife; and it is compatible with current and planned load bearing equipment.
Its function is to be a bayonet and fighting knife but will perform all the necessary functions that one would expect from a field knife, Schweizer said. The Multi-Purpose Bayonet will not replace the K-Bar.
Schweizer said that the Multi-Purpose Bayonet is the replacement for the M-7 Bayonet. The Marine Corps began fielding the knife in January, 2003. To date, 89,491 Multi-Purpose Bayonets have been fielded.
I Marine Expeditionary Force received 32,690 Multi-Purpose Bayonets, II MEF received 27,271, III MEF received 22,593, Marine Forces Reserves received 10,080, Training and Education Command received 3,425 and other support establishment units have received 2,432.
Every Marine that has a rifle as their weapon will be issued a Multi-Purpose Bayonet, Schweizer said.
After the decision to use the Multi-Purpose Bayonet was made in December, 2002, Schweizer said the source selection committee chose the OKC-3S version knife because it performed superbly in many different testing and evaluation categories.
Out of 33 different knives submitted for evaluation, this OKC-3S performed best, or next to best, in just about every category, he said.
While the Marine Corps modified its handle material and a few other small points, the scabbard was designed by USA Labs Natick MA, Schweizer said.
Schweizer said the Multi-Purpose Bayonet is best used on the enemy, and it causes physiological as well as physical damage.
It is psychologically damaging because of the fear it will bring to the mind of our adversaries, he said. It projects a manly looking, fear-invoking presence - not only is it much larger than the M-7 Bayonet, it is much thicker, wider, heaver and meaner.
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