Littlefield said that metal and ceramics composites are being tested to help with excessive overheating in mortar tubes. Composites could also help reduce the weight of mortar tubes, placing less of a burden on the teams that use them. Composites could reduce the entire weapon from 90 pounds down to 50 pounds, he said.
Work is also being done to lighten the M284 bore evacuator, used on the M256 cannon of the Abrams tank. Composites should lighten the M284 from 200 to 78 pounds. The new composites should be ready for use in about five years and will also be used for the 155mm howitzer.