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Infantry weapons create an incredible amount of noise on the battlefield, but adding suppressors helps muffle their audible and visual signature, making it more difficult for the enemy to ascertain their location. Reducing the din of battle also significantly improves the ability of small units to communicate with each other during a gunfight.

After years of planning, infantry Marines are finally getting small arms suppressors aimed at helping combat units avoid detection while firing on enemy positions.

Marine Corps Systems Command began fielding the first 13,700 Knight’s Armament Company suppressors designed for M4 and M4A1 carbines and M27 infantry automatic rifles. The command hopes to field approximately 30,000 of the devices by fiscal year 2023.

In the long run, Marine officials also hope the suppressors will help reduce hearing damage suffered by Marines in combat units.

Marines identified the benefits of equipping combat units with suppressors in 2016, when a battalion from the 2nd Marine Division suppressed its individual and crew-served weapons during a Marine Corps Warfighting Lab experiment.

Special operations units across the services have long used a wide variety of commercial suppressors in combat. Now more and more Marine commanders have requested suppressors, arguing that they will increase the effectiveness of their units on the battlefield, according to military.com.