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New USMC Issue Combat Tactical Flashlight

Updated on May 27, 2012

Combat Tactical Flashlight

The Marine Corps has fielded a new combat light to replace the old Government Issue flashlight that has served since before World War Two. The old USMC tactical flashlight has out lived its usefulness and proven to be too big, heavy, bulky and difficult to operate in modern combat environments like Iraq and Afghanistan. The legacy flashlight and batteries are too one- dimensional. The old flash light had limited functionality and basically served just one purpose. The Sidewinder Handheld Flashlight or HHFL is a much smaller and versatile replacement.

Strobe Flashlight: The new USMC issue flashlight is a tactical LED flashlight that can be used by Marines for the same traditional purposes, but is much smaller, lighter and provides much more functionality. The same light can be used for C2 (command and control), traffic control, use in and while repairing vehicles, for Landing Zone (LZ) and Drop Zone (DZ) control. Not only does it allow Marines to operate hands free if necessary, it allows for a very reduced signature with can quickly be red, blue and IR flashlight as needed. The different combinations are controlled by one switch and give the flashlight a 20 lights in 1 capability.

The new USMC combat flashlight has a 185 degree rotating head and clip so Marines can easily secure and position the light on their task in order to work hands free as necessary. It aslo has a helmet mount for use as needed. One of the many advantages is that the flashlight is powered by two smaller and lighter "AA" batteries. The flash light has been successfully drop tested up to three meters. It is also certified waterproof up to one meter for thirty minutes.

The new combat light has an 8 hour operating time and, unlike the old light can change light sources (white, blue, red or infa-red) without having to manually change lenses. The illumination output can be easily adjusted. Another big advantage is the strobing capability for marking positions, LZs, DZs etc.


Weight 5.02 oz

Dimensions: 4.65" x 1.08" x 2.34"

The Sidewinder HHFL is now standard issue for all active and reserve forces and will be issued to Marines at each MEF Consolidated Issue Facilty (CIF).


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    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Interesting and informative Hub. No change since before World War II...hard to believe. The design and features sound great. I know my three adult sons will immediately want one when they see this. Good work. Have a great Christmas!