Weapons: The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

In 1973 the U.S. Army phased out mandatory bayonet training as obsolete in an age of computerized warfare. But soldiers still needed a cutting tool, and now the bayonet is back, in the form of a multipurpose weapon that will begin to be issued to infantry units next March. The manufacturer, Phrobis III Ltd., is a small (ten employees) research-and-development firm in Oceanside, Calif., that beat out 48 competitors for a $15.6 million contract to produce 315,600 new bayonets. Phrobis' M-9 Multi-Purpose Bayonet System rivals the Swiss Army Knife in versatility: a serrated upper edge saws through rope, wood and ice,...

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