TYR Tactical

Archive for April, 2014

Thales Selected By The U.S. Army For Its VIPER Mounted Rifleman Radio System

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014


Thales Defense & Security, Inc. has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract by the U.S. Army for its Soldier Radio Waveform Appliqué (SRW-A) radio system—the AN/VRC-121 Vehicle Integrated Power Enhanced Rifleman, or VIPER.

Developed jointly with Ultralife Corporation’s Communications Systems business, VIPER responds to the U.S. Army’s requirement for a single channel, vehicle mounted radio running SRW that can be installed into the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) Combat Net Radio (CNR) vehicular mount or used in a stand?alone configuration. The radio system provides an independent or second channel solution for vehicle communications installations, acting as a conduit for voice and data between the dismounted soldier, mounted platforms, the Unit, and higher headquarters. VIPER provides soldiers with access to the government’s classified networks for Secret and below operations.

VIPER integrates, and interacts seamlessly, with an installed AN/PRC-154A Rifleman Radio. The Rifleman Radio, which was co-developed, and is being co-manufactured, by Thales and General Dynamics C4 Systems under the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit program of record, has been fully tested, certified, and deployed. With more than 19,000 Rifleman Radios manufactured, the VIPER solution ensures that the U.S. Army has immediate interoperability with currently fielded radios, while soldiers gain greater operational flexibility due to its ability to operate in both UHF and Lbands. VIPER provides “Jerk and Run” access to the installed Rifleman Radio, enabling a quick transition between mounted and dismounted operations without losing communications.

“We appreciate the importance of working closely with the U.S. Army in providing our warfighters with mission-critical capabilities,” said Michael Sheehan, in charge of Defense & Security activities for Thales in the U.S. “Our VIPER solution allows for rapid delivery of a low-risk, operationally suitable, highly reliable solution for the Army’s SRW vehicular radio needs.”

The basic IDIQ contract, awarded to four companies, allows the companies to compete on future orders to support fielding requirements. The total potential IDIQ contract value is $988 Million. The initial contract award is for engineering and field service support to evaluate the SRW-A capability during the U.S. Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.2 in May 2014.

Thales’ VIPER and Rifleman Radio products are manufactured at the company’s Clarksburg, Md., facilities.


The Ultimate BCM Teaser

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014


Notice anything in this image from Bravo Company? Call out everything you see.

Warrior Expo – Adams Industries/Norotos Inc RHNO II Helmet Mount

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Adams Industries shared their booth with the guys from Norotos, makers of night vision mounting systems. Based in Southern California, I enjoying seeing them each year at Warrior West. They’re both great companies with great products. You’ve probably seen one of Norotos’ shrouds such as the Universal Shroud. Last year, they won part of the Army helmet mount contract with the RHNO II seen here. Yes, it is being delivered in this Grey metal color.


The single most important thing about this mount is that the patented “Glide-right” mechanism is infinitely adjustable within the limits of its range in both the vertical and horizontal planes. No more notches. You can get the device exactly where you want it.


Above you can see the Dovetail Mounting System in a Universal Shroud. It is available in both Horn (J arm) and Dovetail versions.

Warrior Expo – Phokus Research Group – Shield Trauma Kit

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014


Phokus Research Group showed us their new pocket-sized Shield Trauma Kit. Offered in two models, with SWAT-T tourniquet and with secondary tourniquet, the Shield Trauma Kit contains an improvises occlusive dressing, hemo-static clotting gauze, 2 yards of medical tape and one of the two tourniquet choices.


Here, you can see the difference in size between the SONS Trauma Kit and the new Shield Trauma Kit.


You may notice a few new things about these kits, such as the pull tabs seen on this SONS Trauma Kit.


PRG has introduced an accessory kit that let’s you customize your kits and upgrade kits already in the field. It includes pull tabs, marker and new blood group identifiers for the kits.


They’ve also started preparing their own components including gauze, TCCC casualty cards and prefolded medical tape.




Warrior Expo – Kopis Mobile

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Our friends at Kopis Mobile showed us the latest version of their NTtv which allows users to share imagery from networked cameras.

Network Tactical Television is a portable, scalable and low cost video sharing system that combines Commercially available, Off The Shelf (COTS) digital camera and palmtop, mobile computing, or smart phone equipment with Kopis Mobile’s integration solution to provide users with a unique view of the operational mission. They do this by creating their own WiFi mesh network or connecting to tactical 4G LTE networks or tactical wave relay radios.


Although Kopis can adapt the NTtv technology to most any camera and handheld devices, they’ve created a turnkey solution which you see above. This is great for those organizations who haven’t fielded anything yet and are starting a new capability. It includes cameras, smart phones, video encoder, and battery as well as the pouches to integrate the solution unto armor or other load carrying platforms.


Fear Not, New Recruit – Your American Made New Balance Running Shoes Aren’t Ugly

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

During last week’s Warrior West Expo, I had a chance to check out the Berry compliant running shoes being offered by New Balance in response to DoD’s announcement that new recruits will now use their vouchers for running shoes to buy American made products.

Until now, troops have been buying foreign made kicks. Now, the same money that would have purchased these shoes manufactured oversea will be used to buy ones made here at home.

Running shoes have remained the last frontier of Berry compliance for DoD. New Balance and Saucony have stepped up and invested in the technology to manufacture running shoes right here in America. Hopefully, this is only the first step and others will follow. This opportunity is only open to those manufacturers who offer Berry compliant shoes and are willing to undergo certification.

Fortunately, DoD made this happen on their own, as past attempts in Congress were blocked by the likes of Sen John McCain (R-AZ) and others. One more time. Congress did not direct DoD to take this course of action.


The New Balance 950v2 is a low cut running shoe that incorporates ABZORB cushioning in the heel and forefoot. They’ve been working in this military version for some time.


As you can see these aren’t “ugly”, as they were recently referred to by the seemingly anti-American manufacturing website Gawker. Ignorant rants like theirs fail to comprehend the importance of the Berry Amendment in maintaining the protective edge for our service members.

Socialism, it isn’t. Ask the countries that have outsourced the production of their defense related textile needs how that is working to for them. They’re not exactly pushing the envelope. America remains the world leader in the development and production of protective clothing and individual equipment for the warrior. It’s investment in our industries like this that make such development possible.

Unfortunately, the ignorant comments regarding this development aren’t confined to Gawker. I’ve seen some really ridiculous stuff spewed all over, including Facebook, various blogs and even here on SSD.

Let me address a few of these claims by internet “experts”.

Everyone will have to wear the same shoe
This is restricted to new accessions so serving members will continue to purchase and wear the shoes of their choosing, just like now. New recruits receive a voucher for running shoes during processing for initial entry training. Now, instead of foreign made shoes, they’ll be offered American made trainers.

I’m still trying to figure out how buying American made products from companies that employ American workers is bad. But, I’ve run across several who feel that the Berry Amendment, which dates from WW II, is antiquated and should be repealed. That is, until I have them consider the alternative. I haven’t met anyone who wants their helmet and armor manufactured overseas.

“Follow the money!” aka “they paid off Congress” aka “they’ve hired a retired General to make this happen”
I’m pretty much sick and tired of this meme. I don’t know of anyone who is actually involved in graft or the greasing of palms. This business space just isn’t that lucrative. In truth, New Balance would be better off selling offshore made shoes or selling American made ones at full retail. The numbers here aren’t that big as they are restricted to new accessions. Make no mistake, New Balance is in business and they are going to profit but they’ve done it (invested in the required infrastructure) in part, because it’s the right thing to do.

Writ large, there isn’t that much money in textile items, at least not ones made in America, for DoD. Granted, some companies, particularly armor manufacturers, made some good money during the height of the war, but considering we are a capitalist society, that’s not a bad thing. However, in case you haven’t noticed, that train has left the station and many firms are hurting in the face of Sequestration.

But, but, but…they’re not Brand Y…I wear Brand Y
Don’t fret, unless you are a new entry, this doesn’t affect you and even if you are, you can buy your favorite brand after basic, even if they aren’t part if this program. The same goes with boots.

This move by DoD is a good thing and if, by happenstance, it turns out to not be, I’ll be there to talk about it.

LBX Combatives

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

LBX Tactical – in association with former Navy SEAL Dom Raso of Dynamis Alliance – has created a line of LBX combatives. Boxing gloves, protective gear, and other products have been created for the line, all made in the USA with a lifetime manufactures warranty.

The entire line is currently available on the LBX Tactical website: lbxtactical.com/collections/combatives

Photo of First Magpul M-LOK Equipped Rifle

Monday, April 28th, 2014

So who built the first AR to feature the new Magpul M-LOK accessory attachment mount? Why, Hodge Defense Systems Inc of course!

Hodge Defense M-LOK

This M-LOK equipped AU MOD-1 made its public debut at last week’s NRA Annual Meeting.