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Marines are testing out a unit with all weapons that are suppressed.

Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, of the U.S. Marine Corps are the first infantry unit to deploy with suppressors on every individual weapon.

Three months into the exercise the Marine unit doesn't want to go back to not using suppressors. Citing advantages as being able to communicate over a dispersed firing line and not having to equip every Marine with radio equipment to communicate lightens the overall load that they are carrying.

There are of course other benefits to the Bravo Company using suppressors, such as not having to wear hearing protection, which is another item that can lighten the overall load if they don't need to worry about hearing damage. Also the element of surprise has been found to be easier to maintain with suppressors dispersing the noise of their weapons making it more difficult to locate individual Marines.

The disadvantages cited are that the suppressors can get very hot under sustained fire and have burnt clothes and skin. They are another piece of the Marines kit that require proper cleaning and maintenance in order to stay effective. Also the suppressors have added a pound or so of extra weight to the end of the rifle, and current models are occasionally coming loose. These disadvantages could be teething issues that the Marines will learn to mitigate, and suppressors coming loose could be fixed with the correct accessories or a different model, or even if the Marines learn to keep them tight when heading into combat. The advantages cited do outweigh the disadvantages however, and any weight added by the suppressors are outweighed by the equipment that the Marines don't have to carry any longer due to the suppressor.

The ultimate deciding factor however could be cost, with the estimated cost of equipping a battalion to be $700,000. This price tag is one that top decision makers are having to weigh out. Once the cost benefit analysis is weighed out more units may follow Bravo's lead and suppress their weapons as well.

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