Science

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U.S. Army weapons engineers are developing a new 40mm grenade that is designed to explode over enemy fighters hiding behind cover.

The Small Arms Grenade Munitions, or SAGM, will be twice as lethal as the current 40mm grenade against targets in defilade, according to Steven Gilbert, project officer with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Gilbert, and a team of about 10 engineers within the Joint Service Small Arms Program, is trying to replace the standard 40mm grenade with an airburst model to be used against enemy in defilade positions.

“Warfighters currently lack the ability to achieve desired accuracy and incapacitating effects against personnel targets in defilade at ranges from 51 to 500 meters,” Gilbert said in a recent Army press release.

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently conducted the first successful live-fire tests demonstrating in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets, program officials maintain.

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, known as EXACTO, is being developed to “revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet,” DARPA officials maintain. “The EXACTO 50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems.”

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The first so-called “smart gun” is causing gun-rights advocacy groups to worry about a future filled with strict new gun regulations, according to news outlets.

KitUp! first wrote about he Smart System iP1, a .22-caliber pistol made by the German gun-maker Armatix GmbH, in February. The James-Bond style pistol only works when it’s used in close proximity with a special wristwatch.

When the RFID-equipped watch is activated by a PIN number and placed near the gun — like when a shooter grips the handle — it sends a signal to unlock the pistol, activating a green light on the back of the grip.

The iP1 could revolutionize gun safety, but the National Rifle Association is concerned that the new technology will lead to a government mandate that all firearms be similarly equipped, according to May 6 New York Daily News story.

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04American Technologies Network Corp., has a new line of night vision weapon sights.

The ARES series “feature fast, infra-red sensitive optics combined with quality image tubes to produce high resolution, clear images for outstanding target acquisition and aiming capabilities,” ATN officials maintain.

The ATN ARES runs on 1 AA battery and mounts to a standard Weaver rail. The one-knob operation allows for precision windage and elevation adjustments, as well as automatic brightness control, according to an ATN press release.

The optics feature ATN’s Proshield lens coating for protection and clarity, as well as a “red on green” reticle system with a 1/6 MOA adjustment. The waterproof sight also has a low battery indicator and a detachable infrared illuminator.

The ATN ARES night vision weapon series is available in a variety of configurations and different magnifications. They aren’t cheap though. They range from $2,099 for the Gen 2 models to $5,800 for the Gen 4 models.

 

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Tracking Point officials sent me this beauty shot of their networked tracking scope mounted on the Army’s newest sniper rifle.
In January, we reported that the Army had purchased six Tracking Point systems for testing.

“While we don’t know the depth to which the system will be tested, we can showcase the platform it is on, including our working in-house version,” Tracking Point officials said. “Our networked tracking scope and guided trigger are integrated with the XM 2010 enhanced sniper rifle for military testing purposes.”

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PEO Soldier recently purchased six Tracking Point systems, the newest smart rifle technology in the precision-shooting industry.

Military.com Associate Editor Brendan McGarry and I got to check out Tracking Point at SHOT Show 2014 in Vegas. And it was hard not to be impressed.

McGarry wrote a Jan. 15 piece on Tracking Point for DefenseTech, but PEO Soldier just recently got back to us.

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General Dynamics Canada and Colt Canada are working together to plug Colt’s Sniper Weapon & Observer Reconnaissance Devices system into the battlefield network.

Colt showed off the SWORD system earlier this year at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting. The Android-based system joins weapon-mounted surveillance and targeting devices with ruggedized smartphone-like technology, Colt officials maintain.

The SWORD system is designed to bring situational-awareness information directly to the solider via his weapon and it will be offered as an alternative to radio-centric individual soldier systems. Based on commercial components, the SWORD system provides power, data and navigation infrastructure within the weapon, including GPS and inertial navigation for GPS-denied situations, Colt officials maintain.

“SWORD makes sense as an integrated soldier system,” Jeff MacLeod, general manager of Colt Canada, said in a recent press release. “By combining modern smartphone technology with weapon-mounted scopes and laser rangefinders, soldiers have all the information they need, literally at their fingertips. SWORD is not about simply delivering a computer or a display to soldiers; it delivers an entirely new capability centered on the rifle.”

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