FN Herstal

Archive for February, 2012

LBT’s New Website Works Even When Mobile

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


PVS14 iPhone Adapter Available Through BHI

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Blackheart International was set up just around the corner from US Night Vision at SHOT Show. Looks like they saw the PVS14 iPhone Adapter we wrote about.

I still think this was one of the best things that came out of SHOT Show this year. The concept is pretty simple and combines the strengths of night vision and digital imagery. The adapter connects the AN/PVS14 to an iPhone. You can use your preferred digital photography app to capture and manipulate stills and full motion video. Then, it’s as simple as transmitting the data via SMS or email.


Custom Dog Tag Battle Mug

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I’m a big fan of Battle Mugs. In fact, I gave one to my oldest son to commemorate his commissioning. The Battle Mug is a big freakin’ beer mug crafted from a solid billet of aluminum. It integrates vertical Picatinny rails at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions that accept the standard removable M4 carry handle as well as aiming devices.

They recently made a custom Battle Mug with a recessed space for a dog tag and now they are considering offering a “dog tag mug” in addition to the standard Battle Mug (*the downside is you lose the ability to add a serial number or engraving on this version). They want to know which you would prefer? Original? Dog Tag version? To let them know your opinion, visit their facebook page.

Caveat Emptor – Knock-off DDR Knives

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

In another case study in unethical behavior and theft, people in China and possibly elsewhere are making cheap, substandard copies of Darrel Ralph Designs Gunhammer. They have been seen on eBay and in some shops in Afghanistan.

A knock-off of DDR's Gunhammer. Be aware they're out there.

DDR says, “We’ve been trying to get these people to stop [but] they don’t care about intellectual property theft and they won’t respond to any communication. We filled out their [eBay’s] ridiculous forms and submitted them, but it was just a waste of time.”

Though the knives look and feel cheap, unless you know what to look for you might be gulled into putting money into one of these thieves’ pockets. First of all, no DDR knife is going to be sold for $10. Second, they look and feel cheaply made (they are typically much lighter than the real thing) and third, there are some cosmetic differences (including the placement of the name and initials). They know some of them are being made in China (having traced the first fakes to one ordered by a customer in Singapore) and possibly also Pakistan.

A beautiful example of a real DDR gunhammer.

DDR went on, “Unfortunately, there is not a thing we can do about it except flip them the bird. The cost of stopping them is extreme [and even then it wouldn’t be a permanent resolution]…there is no protection at all.”

DDR’s genuine work is on his website and Facebook page. Oh, and if you’re interested, DDR now has a knife blog.


No Soldier Systems APBI This Year?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We were getting lots of questions from folks in industry asking us if we had heard anything about this year’s Soldier Systems Advanced Planning Brief for Industry. We hadn’t, and we hadn’t seen any announcements on Fed Biz Opps so we sent an inquiry to PEO Soldier but they never answered back. However, we’ve consulted with enough industry sources that we feel confident telling you that there isn’t going to be an APBI this year. It’s almost like cancelling Christmas for some folks.

The Soldier Systems APBI was a unique gathering. It brought together Acquisition professionals representing all four services, USSOCOM, and DHS with industry reps from the entire supply chain. No other DoD commodity group could boast this kind of interaction. What’s more, it didn’t cost an arm and a leg to participate so you’d see a lot of smaller firms there as well. I’d hazard a guess that more business was conducted over the two days in the lobby of that get together than at any other time throughout the year.

Sure, there are lots of other meetings throughout the year, but they are smaller and parochial in nature. For example, the footwear producers will meet, and maybe the printers or the armor folks. But generally, they are talking amongst themselves and often at an industry day where they are in direct competition. The APBI was the one time a year where everyone was in it together and critical to the health of the industry.

With an abrupt change in leadership at the PM-ICE the week before last and an upcoming change of command at PEO-Soldier this is the perfect time to ‘rally the troops.’ Hopefully, someone will step up and be able to recreate the magic that was the Soldier Systems APBI in a non-parochial venue.

Army Interested in Consolidating iCVC and A2CU

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The Army has released an RFI, looking for information on combining their Improved Combat Vehicle Crewman Coverall (iCVC) and Army Aircrew Combat Uniform (A2CU). These FR (and electrostatic dissipative) garments are worn respectively by mounted crewmen such as tankers and aviators such as pilots.

Specifically they are looking for “capability statements from companies for the purpose of identifying potential sources to assist in the development of an innovative Design and Specification” for a garment that:
Is a single uniform which meets the requirements of both the Aviation and Armor communities.
Constructed of a light weight, breathable and durable fabric (lighter weight than the current iCVC Coverall fabric and more durable than the current A2CU fabric).
Is equal to or is lesser in cost than the current iCVC Coverall.
Can be used in either a one piece or two piece configuration.
Provides a sizing system matching the Army Combat Uniform and Army Combat Uniform-Alternate Sizing spectrum.

They’re also not planning on giving up camouflage printing or Permethrin treatment.

The root designs of both uniforms predate the adoption of both UCP and OCP with the iCVC being a one-piece coverall and the A2CU a two-piece. Interestingly, USAF airlift and rotary wing crews have recently adopted the A2CU as well as a commercially developed two-piece FR garment because the issue CWU-27/P flight coveralls can be so uncomfortable in the hot environments found in Southwest Asia.

One additional aspect of both the iCVC and A2CU is that they are both components of the Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble (Free). By combining the two products into one, and keeping the various other components of FREE in mind vendors can increase the utility and performance of both systems.

Another interesting issue is that a significant number (>20%) Army aviators are female. This may be a factor in combining the two garments.

In addition to design disparities, the two garments are made from different FR fabrics. It seems that during testing for alternative FR fabrics, the two communities preferred the fabrics they are using.

Hopefully, a common sense approach will be reached that can accommodate the needs of both communities.

Win a Set of 8 Intelligent Armour Belts

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Intelligent Armour has developed two new belts, made in the UK. Manufactured in four colors: Tan, Black, Olive Drab and Foliage Green.

The winner of this competition will receive a set of eights belts (1 of each type in each color) valued at £400 in his or her size or in a mixture of sizes to share with friends.

You have to answer the Question: What brand/make of buckles do we use on our Intelligent Armour Belts?

The answer can be found on these two pages:
IA Combat Holster Belt
IA UKSF Riggers Belt

How to enter: Simply email your answer with your name and contact number to: win@intelligent-armour.co.uk

Competition rules: One entry per email address, multiple entries from the same email address will not be counted. The winner will be picked at random on the 31st March 2012. The name of the winner will be posted on www.body-armour-protection.co.uk/ia-competitions.html. The winner will be contacted prior to the posting of any name.

HSP Sporting Wolf Arc’Teryx Kit in a Disruptive Environments “Urban Darkness” Exercise

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012