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The "intelligent Rail" - Ready For Prime Time?


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#1 Dawes

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 1835 PM

Still too early for a reliable product? Or battlefield reliable?

 

https://www.thefirea...-some-thoughts/


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#2 lastdingo

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 0609 AM

Last year I talked to a leading night vision device company and their folks weren't even aware of the NATO powered rail initiative. They had no hardware ready or announced for any such thing.

 

Personally, I think it would be neat to connect IR laser and safety, so the IR laser is only active (and visible with NVG) when needed without the user needing to do anything about it.

A thermal rifle sight could also have its battery in the grip, which would be very good for lowering the centre of gravity. Normal daylight sights with red dot or such hardly ever need a battery change, so they need no powered rail whatsoever. Same for laser duel exercise equipment; to change its batteries is of minimal trouble.


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#3 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 0736 AM

I think what we are looking at, soon, is something analogous to a tank FCS with integrated day, Lltv ccd and night optics fusing to a single picture together with laser rangefinder, marker/designator/aiming device and perhaps marked target seeker, environmental sensors and a piggy backed or offset red dot. Eventually it would be linked to an integrated tactical picture of the battlefield with augmented reality overlay. There are challenges around weight, bulk, robustness, power and price. I would guess such units would also become obsolete at an accelerating rate imposing more cost. I expect someone will pop up and say it's all crap and the equivalent money spent on range time and carrots would be better invested, but this is definitely where we are headed. E5M made the point that good fighters will always be scarce and cash invested in kitting them out is never wasted. I very much agree with that.
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#4 lastdingo

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 1000 AM

The two things that mattered the most in soldier modernisation programs of the last 25 years or so were proliferation of night vision and intra-squad radios.

The other gizmos added very little utility, but some weight.


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#5 Wobbly Head

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 1311 PM

As somebody who has had to repair weapon mounted equipment like sights. There is another major issue apart from the usualy weight and battery life that will doom the system. Power conections its one of the most comman issues as to why battery weapon mounted equipment stops working. Usually the soldier in the feild clears this problem by thinking his battery is flat and by changing it he clears the connection problem by opening the battery compartment and replacing the battery cleaning the connection. Sometimes it doesnt fix it but a quick cleaning of the connections will fix the problem. If the equipment is a sight removing the battery in the pistol grip will not fix the problem if it is the conection on the rail, only removing the equipment and cleanin the rail will fix the problem which will probably afect the zero. Even sight that are supposed to hold a zero when being removed and reinstaled generaly dont hold their zero as advertised.
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#6 rmgill

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 1353 PM

GPS navigation has probably been helpful. Being able to know precisely where you are for a call for supporting fires can't hurt.


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#7 lastdingo

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 1355 PM

As somebody who has had to repair weapon mounted equipment like sights. There is another major issue apart from the usualy weight and battery life that will doom the system. Power conections its one of the most comman issues as to why battery weapon mounted equipment stops working. Usually the soldier in the feild clears this problem by thinking his battery is flat and by changing it he clears the connection problem by opening the battery compartment and replacing the battery cleaning the connection. Sometimes it doesnt fix it but a quick cleaning of the connections will fix the problem. If the equipment is a sight removing the battery in the pistol grip will not fix the problem if it is the conection on the rail, only removing the equipment and cleanin the rail will fix the problem which will probably afect the zero.

 

Such electrical contact issues can be overcome by design - that's merely a question of design and production effort.

 

I'm rather sceptical about having multiple anodes and cathodes with multiple volts exposed on a weapon that will get wet and dirty.


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#8 2805662

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 2037 PM

This is a slightly different way to skin this problem:

http://soldiersystem...-fusion-system/
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