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M56 combat harness

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M56 combat harness

The M56 combat harness.[1]

The M56 combat harness[1] was the harness worn by the operator of an M56 Smartgun.[2] Made from composite micromesh ballistic armor, the articulation arm attached to Smartgun was attached to a mount on the harness.[2] The harness also contained various systems to allow the Smartgun to function.[2]


Vasquez and Drake with sights

Privates First Class Jenette Vasquez and Mark Drake with their Head Mounted Sights and harnesses.

The M56 combat harness was one of the 4 major components of the M56 Smartgun, the others being the Head Mounted Sight, the stabilized articulation arm and the gun itself.[2] The harness was constructed from composite micromesh ballistic armor and was heavily padded to ease chafing at the shoulders and hips.[2] The armored breastplate held the PRC 489/4 communications receiver/transmitter and the tracking and targeting processor.[2] Opening a backplate in the armor gave access to the processor, a sealed "black box" line replacement unit (LRU), which could be easily unplugged and replaced in the field should it fail.[2] The harness' shoulder pieces were attached to the breastplate via quick release fasteners.[1]

To prepare the M56 Smartgun for combat, operators first had to don the harness. The Smartgun's stabilized articulation arm was attached to the left hip mounting and plugged in via coaxial cable to the processor and power outlets in the breastplate. The operator plugged the Smartgun's Head Mounted Sight into the tracking and comms system in the armor, while the Smartgun's tracker was jacked into the processor by a universal connector.[2]

Hudson and Vasquez (with TNR mounting plate) in HH

Privates First Class William Hudson and Jenette Vasquez investigating Hadley's Hope. Note the way her TNR Shoulder Lamp is mounted.

The M56 combat harness additionally was capable of mounting a TNR Shoulder Lamp on a plate that extended from its left shoulder.[3]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 17 (1995), Boxtree Ltd..
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, p. 18 (1995), Boxtree Ltd..
  3. James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens (1986), 20th Century Fox [DVD].

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