The U.S. Marine Corps is set to distribute 30,000 suppressors to its infantry, reconnaissance, and special operations forces by 2023.

In 2015, the Marines began a two-year study in an effort to prove the value and benefit that suppressors could have throughout the force. Suppressors, often referred to as silencers, are designed to decrease sound and muzzle flash when a round is fired.

Since suppressors minimize muzzle flash, they are ideal for nighttime operations. One benefit is concealment: with minimal flash, it’s more difficult for the enemy to zero in on one’s position. Another benefit is that Marines can maintain their night vision and not become disoriented.

For operations in general, suppressors allow for better communications between Marines and minimize confusion during a firefight.

In a press release, the Marine Corps Systems Command infantry weapon officer Chief Warrant Officer David Tomlinson said, “I would say the most important thing the suppressor does is allow for better inter-squad, inter-platoon communication. It allows the operators to communicate laterally up and down the line during a [firefight].”

Another obvious plus for the suppressors is that they minimize hearing loss for active-duty and future veterans.

Maj. Mike Brisker, weapons product manager in the Marine Corps Systems Command pointed out, “In the big picture, the VA pays out a lot in hearing loss claims. We’d like Marines to be able to continue to hear for many years even after they leave the service. These suppressors have that benefit as well.”

Part of the two-year study was one experiment in 2016 that convinced the Marines that suppressors were the way of the future for the Corps.