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Military

The Advanced Combat Camera System – 21st century periscope

March 3, 2007 UPDATED IMAGE LIBRARY Innovative military engineering company Macroswiss has often made these pages, firstly for it Guncam which is a weapon-mounted camera that records video in firefights, grants accountability, helps training and avoids risky body exposure of the user. Then the company’s Spybot 4WD with flapper wheels made a huge impression at the European Land Robot Trials (ELROB) last July. Now the company has released the Advanced Combat Camera System (ACCS) which is an evolution of the highly successful Giraffe pole camera system. ACCS incorporates colour zoom, low light, and thermal sensors and can be deployed in a multitude of roles in support of combat units at fire team level, also providing an onboard Digital Video Recorder for intelligence and evidential applications. This “Camera On A Stick” (COAST) solution is basically a 21st century version of the World War 1 trench periscope, but with far wider roles, and significantly greater capability.  Read More

Emergency Escape Windows for up-armored vehicles

February 22, 2007 The U.S. military is exploring ways to help troops in combat rapidly escape from up-armored vehicles in the event of an emergency, such as a rollover, fire or accident. The VEE Window enables crews of HMMWVs and other tactical vehicles to remove windows in less than five seconds to provide another way to rapidly exit the vehicle in the event of an emergency situation. BAE Systems is offering its Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Window to help increase the survivability of soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. BAE Systems’ goal is to work with the Army to have the first unit equipped with this device by summer 2007.  Read More

Artillery Precision Guidance Kit in testing

February 8, 2007 The advent of precision guided munitions has completely changed the battlefield inside a few decades. Once bombs were dropped in vast numbers, as each one had a small probability of hitting its target. Then computers and advanced guidance entered the fray, and bombs became deadly accurate. Now the artillery section is getting in on the act. We reported last July that BAE had received a contract to participate in a competitive technical development program of a Precision Guidance Kit for use with Army cannon artillery ammunition which makes conventional cannon projectiles at least three times more accurate. Now the system is in testing and last month 21 155 mm projectiles were successfully fired equipped with the Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) test modules.  Read More

The mine-resistant, ambush-protected 6x6 SUV

February 8, 2007 For when the alternatives to not getting there just don’t bear thinking about, (or if your neighbour has a Hummer), perhaps give some thought to BAE Systems’ new 6x6 RG33. It’s designed with all the latest next-generation technology to help keep soldiers safe from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), small arms, heavy machine gun fire and mines. The highly survivable RG33 incorporates a monocoque V-shaped hull design leveraging knowledge gained in recent and ongoing conflicts, and offers significant interior volume for crew and mission equipment. The base model exceeds the survivability of all currently-fielded mine protected vehicles and the optional extras include tailorable armor packages, blast-resistant seating, transparent armor and unique reconfigurable interior stations. The power train platforms is designed to handle upgrades and enhancements.  Read More

Silly String used to detect tripwires for explosive devices in Iraq

January 15, 2007 The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) is relatively new to the theatre of war as a mainstream weapon. It was first used en masse by Belarusian guerillas against German supply trains during World War II. Since then, explosive devices have been used to great effect in a number of asymmetrical conflicts. The IED has achieved main weapon status in the current Iraq War, and as usual, some ingenious improvisations have evolved to overcome them. As ludicrous as it may for a soldier in body armour to be carrying a weapon such as the one pictured, that’s just what is happening in beautiful downtown Baghdad at present. The U.S. Army has found that KIDdesigns’ Silly String, which shoots out a very lightweight foam string, is very effective at detecting tripwires without detonating the IED at the end of the wire - the foam is light enough to drape across the wires and thus identify them.  Read More

The One-Shot Sniping System

January 7, 2007 The snipe is a wading bird renowned for being the hardest of all birds to hunt due to being difficult to locate, impossible to approach without flushing, or to hit once in the air due to its erratic flight. In the days of market hunting, those who brought snipes to market were regarded as the best of the best and earned the term snipers. The verb snipe originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India applying similar skills in wartime with a human quarry. A sniper occasionally takes the one, well-aimed shot that, if done properly, will save lives and turn the course of battle. One of the many skills of a modern days sniper is mathematics – to measure or estimate the range, cross winds, and calculate the allowances needed for one shot to hit its target after travelling up to 2000 yards (the longest confirmed sniper kill of the Gulf War was made by a Barrett Model 82A1 sniper rifle at a range of 1,800 meters).  Read More

England’s Taranis to be one of the largest UAVs ever

January 6, 2007 Yet another potent UAV is in the development phase, this one for the UK Ministry of Defence to be constructed by a team headed by BAE Systems, together with Rolls-Royce, Smiths Aerospace and QinetiQ, plus MoD military staff and scientists. The four year project to develop a world-class UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) Technology Demonstrator Programme called Taranis. Ground testing of the UKP124 million Taranis project is expected to take place in early 2009 with the first flight trials taking place in 2010. Named after the Celtic God of Thunder, Taranis will be an unmanned fast jet demonstrator the size of a Hawk trainer - making it one of the world's largest UAVs - that will be stealthy, fast and be able to test deploy a range of munitions over a number of targets and be able to defend itself against manned and other unmanned enemy aircraft.  Read More

StealthOps

January 3, 2007 We’ve written before about Silynx Communications and its product range of miniature, software-defined, tactical communication headsets which are used by nearly all elite Special Ops Forces, so the company’s latest StealthOps system was a natural for these pages. StealthOps was created in response to Special Operations Forces’ need for an MBITR (Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio ) covert system with a smaller form factor than existing systems so it could be easily concealed in covert operations. The new modular system offers complete MBITR radio concealment and a choice of either covert (wireless earpiece) or semi-covert (acoustic tube) operations. Ingeniously, a battery splitter allows the use of a battery remote from the transceiver, further reducing the form factor for easy concealment. There’s also a dual wireless PPT that can be concealed in a pocket, with a second button that can be assigned as a tone/morse generator and an elastic belt allows easy concealment of the MBITR, hand gun, spare magazine and wireless gateway under a shirt. There’s even a room eavesdropping/whisper feature with a microphone sensitivity switch.  Read More

Tiger fires Hellfire II  during French Evaluation

December 15, 2006 Australia’s new military helicopter is currently being checked out by France's Delegation Generale pour l'Armement (DGA) in Australia and part of the process took place last week at the Woomera Testing Range in South Australia. The French brought their own pilot to try out a combination of the Tiger and Lockheed Martin’s combat-proven HELLFIRE II air-to-ground missile. All went well, as the first-time French gunner, using a lock-on-before-launch technique, scored a direct hit with the HELLFIRE II missile on a target six kilometers away. On top of the HELLFIRE's seven-for-seven performance in earlier test flights from the ARH, the combination of the Tiger and HELLFIRE together make a formidable weapon system. A total of 22 new ‘Tiger’ helicopters will be bought by the Australian Defence Force, with the majority being built by Australian Aerospace in Brisbane at a cost of US$1.0 billion.  Read More

Recoilless technology provides killer app for UAVs

December 12, 2006 The technological progress of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has been astonishingly rapid. At the beginning of the current Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, it’s fair to say that UAVs were regarded as a reconnaissance tool for improving situational awareness but from the time the first Hellfire missiles were fired from an RQ-1A Predator UAV during 2002, the enormous advantage of an armed UAV that can help identify and eliminate a target has been recognised. Predators can prowl and strike where conventional military force cannot. In September we wrote about the first purpose-built hunter-killer UAV, and now the rush is on to add armaments to smaller UAVs. UAVs must be relatively large to withstand the recoil of the weapons they shoot, so weapon caliber has been limited. Now a new recoilless technology is set to revolutionize the small UAV’s role in the battlespace - Recoilless Technologies International (RTI) has signed a Joint Commercialization Agreement with UAV manufacturer, Tactical Aerospace Group (TAG). The new technology offers effective elimination and control of recoil and hence enables very small UAVs to pack a massive wallop. That’s just the start though because the technology can be applied to larger caliber weapons systems so everything that flies, floats or moves on land will also be able to pack a similar increase in firepower. Who knows how small a killer UAV can get? We have visions of a swarm of semi-autonomous, networked, killer microbots shooting miniature poison-tipped darts as in Dan Brown's novel, Deception Point.  Read More

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