Still too early for a reliable product? Or battlefield reliable?
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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.
Posted 16 February 2019 - 0736 AM
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.
Posted 16 February 2019 - 1311 PM
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.
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.