SureFire

Rheinmetall Unveils Its New Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance system: Enhanced Situational Awareness and Frontline Fire Support

November 24th, 2020

Rheinmetall’s game-changing Mission Master Autonomous – Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV) family has just gained a new member: the Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance. Equipped with intelligence-gathering technology and a Rheinmetall Fieldranger remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS), the new Armed Reconnaissance module is designed to collect tactical intelligence in the area of operations while providing frontline fire support whenever necessary.

Crewless recon missions maximize troop security

Autonomous robotic vehicles offer countless advantages, including in a reconnaissance context. The Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance is designed to execute high-risk scouting missions and deliver a real-time common operating picture without putting soldiers in danger. Since an enormous volume of data is gathered during missions of this type, Rheinmetall’s new A-UGV is equipped with resilient, highly reliable systems. Its payload consists of long-range EO/IR sensors, a surveillance radar, a 360° full ring camera, a laser rangefinder and a laser designator to identify potential threats. To further enhance the line of sight for the sensors while keeping a concealed posture, the reconnaissance payload is installed on a 3.5-metre expandable mast with a tilting mechanism. This convenient feature allows for increased and safe transportability on any platform, even a CH-53 or CH-47 Chinook.

The Armed Reconnaissance module also features radio-agnostic architecture, which means it can accommodate any type of radio that customers may need. The bidirectional communication system permits clear exchanges with HQ and other A-UGVs, giving commanders greater situational awareness. When engaging enemy forces, the Rheinmetall Fieldranger Light 7.62 mm RCWS will provide much more firepower than the usual man-carried section weapon. Engagement of targets is remote-controlled, never autonomous.

Safe operation at all times

As with the other modules of the Mission Master family, the Armed Reconnaissance owes its autonomous functions to the Rheinmetall PATH autonomous kit (A-kit). Proven, agnostic, trusted and highly autonomous, PATH is designed to enable military vehicles to operate in unmanned mode, freeing up soldiers for other duties and keeping them out of immediate danger. The A-kit provides a wide range of teleoperation options for the Mission Master, including a tablet, smartwatch, soldier system, and single-hand controller. These devices enable full access to advanced PATH features such as follow-me, convoy and autonomous navigation modes. Each control mode incorporates multiple layers of protection to ensure that the vehicle operates safely at all times. Moreover, Rheinmetall is committed to keeping a man in the loop in all kinetic operations, assuring that a human decides when to open fire, never a machine.

A comprehensive Mission Master family

The new Armed Reconnaissance module is the latest addition to the modular Mission Master family, widely acclaimed for its all-terrain manoeuvrability and ability to keep troops safe when deployed in harm’s way. The Cargo module can carry over half a ton of supplies, relieving the burden on troops keeping them fresh. The Fire Support modules boost the combat power of dismounted units, while the Rescue module autonomously evacuates casualties and carries specialized equipment for medical interventions in the field. In addition, every single module is equipped with a Blue Force tracking system that is fully compatible with NATO standards.

Like all members of the Mission Master family, the Armed Reconnaissance version is already networked to the Argus soldier system and Rheinmetall Command and Control Software, which can be installed in any user’s battle management system.

Power of the Wolf Pack

The addition of the Armed Reconnaissance to the Mission Master suite turns Rheinmetall’s groundbreaking Wolf Pack concept into a reality. The Wolf Pack consists of multiple Mission Master vehicles efficiently operating as a team in order to accomplish missions of all types, including zone surveillance, reconnaissance, target position transfer and slew-to-cue. All units communicate with each other and use artificial intelligence to maintain the total situational awareness necessary for carrying out their missions.

A genuine force multiplier, the entire Wolf Pack can be managed by a single operator from anywhere using the LTE network, SATCOM, or military cloud. It is an intuitive concept that enables one operator – rather than multiple uncoordinated operators – to focus on the overall mission rather than managing all the tasks of each A-UGV. As Rheinmetall continues to develop new modules for the Mission Master family, the Wolf Pack’s range of capabilities will only increase, significantly improving the military’s ability to achieve overmatch against increasingly capable enemies.

IWA OutdoorClassics 2021 Cancelled

November 24th, 2020

To allow all participants to plan with certainty, NürnbergMesse has taken the decision to cancel the IWA OutdoorClassics 2021 well ahead of time. Rising infection rates, various quarantine rules and travel restrictions are simply making it impossible for exhibitors and visitors to make any firm plans. The next IWA OutdoorClassics will take place in Nuremberg from 3–6 March 2022.

“Over recent weeks we have received a lot of support and understanding from within the sector. The discussions we have had with our exhibitors have clearly shown that the IWA continues to be an essential part of the B2B community,” says Petra Wolf, from the NürnbergMesse Management Board. “Despite the challenging situation, more than 1,000 exhibitors had registered for the trade fair. It is therefore with even greater regret that we must now postpone this event till 2022. This commitment by exhibitors and their willingness to participate in the fair reinforce our conviction that the IWA still plays a significant role,” Wolf continues.

“Road to IWA 2022” in the pipeline

The IWA team is currently working on an interim programme. The kick-off event for the series of online and physical events and formats called “Road to IWA 2022” will take place on 12 March 2021, the first day of the planned IWA 2021. The selected date corresponds to the IWA Friday. “We want to offer the sector the opportunity to stay in contact during these turbulent times. We are therefore working hard to develop concepts to allow us to bridge the gap until the next face-to-face gathering. We will miss the direct contact, that much is certain. It is therefore even more important to stick together as a sector and support one another,” explains Rebecca Schönfelder, Exhibition Director IWA OutdoorClassics.

Institutional sponsors support decision

Klaus Gotzen, managing director of the JSM (German Firearms and Ammunition Manufacturers Association), says: “It is certainly true that the IWA is one of the most important occasions and industry gatherings in the year. But all of us need to prioritise our health. We very much regret the cancellation of the IWA because meeting our partners and members in person is so important to us. Nevertheless, we completely understand the decision by NürnbergMesse and are looking forward to the event in 2022.” The manufacturers’ association is one of the institutional sponsors of the IWA OutdoorClassics and currently serves 42 companies.

Ingo Meinhard, managing director of the VDB (Association of German Gunsmiths and Gun Traders), has a similar perspective: “As a leading trade fair, the IWA is a source of information for an entire sector, presenting trends and innovations to an appreciative audience. It’s where our members not only gain inspiration but also meet like-minded professionals. The cancellation of the event affects the entire industry, and we hope that this unusual situation will normalise soon.” The professional association, which is also a sponsor of the event, represents the interests of around 1,400 members.

Dates for IWA OutdoorClassics 2022 now finalised

The IWA OutdoorClassics 2022 will take place in Nuremberg from 3–6 March. However, the usual schedule has been brought forward by one day so that it will now run from Thursday to Sunday.

Huckberry x Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Collaboration

November 24th, 2020

Offered in an exclusive Desert and Hunter Orange colorway, this is the Huckberry version of Mystery Ranch’s popular 2-Day Assault.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 2-Day Assault, think of it as a little brother to the 3-Day Assault which has become a staple for military load carriage for the US military as well as many of our allies.

Mystery Ranch created the 27 Liter 2-Day Assault as an EDC pack for their outdoor line. It retains the classic waterproof three zip opening and PALS webbing of its bigger brother, along with the two dual adjustment buckles to keep your load secure. The lid incorporates two zippered pockets and there are external pockets on either side of the pack bag with elastic for water bottles or other items.

Inside the main compartment there is a large padded laptop sleeve as well as side zippered access to a document/tablet sleeve pocket. Additionally, there are two zippered mesh pockets in the main compartment

To support the load, there’s a full-length plastic frame sheet, adjustable padded yoke with sternum strap, and removable webbing waist belt.

This model features a Desert outer and bright Hunter Orange interior as well as zipper pulls and comes with an exclusive patch.

Available exclusively from huckberry.com.

If this model isn’t for you, but you still want an MR 2-Day Assault, just in a different color, check out www.mysteryranch.com or one of their many retailers.

Next-Generation Headset Preps Soldiers for Future Battlefield

November 24th, 2020

FORT PICKETT, Va. – The third Capability Set of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) was tested at Fort Pickett by 82nd Airborne Soldiers and 25th Marines during October 2020.

The project uses Soldier Centered Design (SCD) to evaluate the IVAS military fighting goggle through operational evaluations. Soldier involvement and engagement at every stage of prototype development has allowed the fast-paced rapid prototype effort to ensure that the final product will positively increase the situational awareness, lethality, mobility, and performance of the close combat force.

“When I look through the IVAS I see how we’re going to fight on the battlefield of the future,” said Staff Sgt. Kester, Weapons Squad Leader.

The Army is developing IVAS as a single platform that allows the Warfighter to Fight, Rehearse, and Train. It integrates next generation 24/7 situational awareness tools and high-resolution simulations to deliver a single platform that improves Soldier sensing, decision making, target acquisition, and target engagement. The visibility that it gives to higher command and control is unparalleled.

“With IVAS you now have the ability to paint a picture for higher ups, almost instantaneously,” said Sgt. Black, Combat Medic. “So now you have a Colonel who’s watching the battlefield like never before. That’s phenomenal, and that has the potential to increase our lethality in a way that we’ve never seen.”

IVAS also provides increased situational awareness for the leadership on the ground.

“In the field, a big part of my job is command and control,” said 1st Lt. Christopher, Platoon Leader. “I am basically moving my squads like pieces on a chessboard and maneuvering them into position and making sure that they’re in the right place at the right time. For me not only can I see where they are with IVAS, but I can actually go into the system and put a point here and say ‘Hey, you all need to go here’ or ‘Hey there are enemies over here watch out!’ I can also send messages non-verbally, so it is very, very critical for me for the command and control aspect.”

The first IVAS militarized form factor prototype was put through tactical exercise lanes, advance marksmanship, land navigation and squad reconnaissance, movement to contact with hasty attack, and enter and clear a trench to validate the military utility that the technology brings to the squad both day and night. The Soldiers and Marines spent a week learning the new equipment before using it in the various operational tests.

“It was extremely easy to pick up,” said Christopher. “It’s very simple in its controls, the menus and such are very easy to navigate, and they’re categorized in a way that if I want to do this function, easy over there, bring up the map, one button press away.”

Christopher also noted that the Microsoft data collectors had been receptive to their feedback and had already made progress and developments on the input given throughout the touchpoint event. Cpl. Sweckard, Team Leader, 25th Marines also expressed similar sentiments.

“Anytime we conduct any type of training with the IVAS, we immediately make contact with the [data collectors] from Microsoft and provide them with feedback, things that we’ve identified that could be an issue, things that we liked, and how we fixed the issue if we were faced with one,” he said. “That way they can put together the common things that are happening with the device and identify a resolution.”

Because of the similarities in operational responsibilities and as members of the collective close combat force, Marines were present to test the current IVAS capability set specifically during live fire execution.

“What it does for us mainly is combines a lot of things that we currently utilize, such as global positioning devices, or GPS’s, communication devices, as well as land navigation tools and mission planning tools,” said Sweckard. “Those are things that are commonly individual technologies that are now combined into this one system of IVAS.”

The project was initiated in response to an erosion in close combat capability relative to pacing threats identified in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. These capabilities will provide the increased lethality, mobility, and situational awareness necessary to achieve overmatch against our current and future adversaries in any domain.

“I think if it’s in the right hands it can be an effective tool, like an aid bag. An aid bag without a medic is nothing, but an infantry guy with IVAS is something much more,” said Black.

Though the Army is specifically developing this high priority modernization effort, the Marine Corps may also leverage the technology for their close combat operations.

“It will definitely be a force multiplier on the battlefield,” said Sweckard. “As a team leader I have three Marines that are under my charge and my basic mission is to employ those Marines in combat, make those three Marines look like 30. If I can do that, that’s going to make the Marine Corps more lethal. With the IVAS I can better achieve that mission, without a doubt.”

The integrated system is expected to be fielded to Soldiers next year.

“When Lieutenant Colonel Winn told us we want to field it next year I thought that was crazy. Then I looked and thought through it and I could see it, I can see the possibilities,” said Kester. “Some of my combat experiences made me pause for thought to look at it like Russia and China, they’ve been pushing technology like this for the last decade. And what have we been doing? Not that.”

Kester added that though he did not know about IVAS before coming to the third Soldier Touchpoint, as soon as he did, he was onboard with Team IVAS.

“I would say the only thing that’s going to hurt this program is people not being imaginative enough or trying to push the limits of what they think is possible, or what Soldiers want. I am really excited to see where this will go,” said Kester.

GALLS Helps Agencies Streamline Procurement Process and Save Money

November 23rd, 2020

GALLS® eQuip is a custom, online solution allowing agencies more power and savings when buying uniforms and equipment. In 2019, over 83K users saved over $30 million.

Lexington, Ken. (November 2020) – GALLS, LLC®, the leading distributor of uniforms and equipment to public safety agencies, set out to change how agencies purchased uniforms and equipment in 2016 by launching GALLS eQuip, an online solution that allows agencies to custom order uniforms and equipment and manages the entire process from procurement to accounting. Since then, agencies, small to large, experience average savings of $370 – $500 per officer through the GALLS eQuip program. Now, due to this year’s strain on agency budgets, GALLS eQuip makes even more sense.

GALLS eQuip is an easy-to-use, flexible online system that offers a complete solution to ordering uniforms and equipment, uniform embellishments, product tracking, reporting, and billing, all in a real-time environment. GALLS eQuip helps the agency purchaser select and customize products, manages the entire allotment and allowance process, produces live reports, and streamlines the billing and accounting processes; in other words, it manages the entire agency’s uniform and equipment needs while saving money. 

Besides its cost savings benefit, GALLS eQuip allows individual officers to order accurately and reduces order errors. GALLS eQuip also includes Body Armor Tracking, another solution that logs individual officers’ body armor equipment, serial numbers, and even tracks expiration dates. Body Armor Tracking eliminates the need for alternative spreadsheets and other manual tracking systems, while alerting the agency of users and when equipment needs to be renewed.

GALLS eQuip Asset Management Tool allows officers to load, receive, and issue inventory. An agency’s custom eQuip site features customized inventory categories and reduces unwarranted spending by real-time inventory data.

“Every agency’s requirements are unique and GALLS eQuip is set up to allow every agency their own dashboard to manage their uniform and equipment programs,” Mike Fadden, CEO of GALLS, stated. “GALLS goal is to equip our public safety pros with the best available product in the most efficient and cost-conscious way possible. That is what GALLS eQuip delivers: tremendous product offerings, customization, tracking, asset management, and accounting services, all on one very easy to use online platform.”

To find out how your agency can save time and money with GALLS eQuip custom online solution, visit www.galls.com/equip.

Drone Pilot Academy Ready for Action as Drone Surveying Distributor for Microdrones

November 23rd, 2020

Rome, NY –Drone Pilot Academy, based in the United Kingdom, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) accredited training provider since 2015 and commercial drone retailer since 2017, has partnered with Microdrones as an authorized distributor of drone surveying equipment throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

As a Microdrones distributor, Drone Pilot Academy will offer Microdrones Integrated Systems that come with everything a commercial user needs to get started using drones for surveying and mapping – the UAV, the sensors, and the software and hardware. In addition, the Microdrones as a Service (mdaaS) sales model will allow Drone Pilot Academy to broaden the drone surveying market with convenient hardware and software packages at affordable monthly payment and rental options.

Drone Pilot Academy Managing Director, James Ixer, first took notice of Microdrones during a CAA training course for one of their customers. “We experienced the seamless Microdrones workflow, from the ease of mission planning with mdCockpit to reliable flight performance, and the end results of possessing and visualizing the data,” said Ixer. “At the end of the day, the data, combined with the mdaaS sales model, is what really sold us. Previously, drone LiDAR solutions were prohibitively expensive for most mainstream operators due to the large capital outlay required. We were drawn to Microdrones when we saw the mdaaS Rent-It option that allows customers to maximize their cash flow with manageable monthly payment options.

As their name implies, Drone Pilot Academy offers a variety of pilot, surveying, and mapping training courses to help their customers make the most of their drone surveying equipment. Ben Evans, the Business Development Manager, is ready to conduct demonstrations and show customers how easy it can be to get started with drone surveying. “Having a training academy,” Evans said, “means not only can we supply the drone but we can get them the appropriate qualifications and exemptions to integrate and operate the microdrones fleet into their business model. We’re ready, willing and able to conduct demos throughout the UK at a location of convenience for prospective clients.”

David Pendrill, the Microdrones regional sales manager for Northern Europe, looks forward to the new partnership with Drone Pilot Academy. “These guys are going to be able to offer the best of both worlds,” Pendrill explains. “With their vast experience training drone pilots combined with the ability to offer advanced drone surveying equipment from Microdrones they’ll be able to demonstrate to customers how easy it is to adopt the Microdrones workflow and create new business opportunities.”

The Drone Pilot Academy Limited (DPA) is a commercial drone retailer and a CAA authorized training provider for those who wish to use drones for both commercial or recreational use. They provide courses in PfCO CAA Drone training, surveying, thermal detection, safety, video editing, a drone cinematic masterclass and customized training courses.

Their instructors have an extremely credible background and are all ex-military aviators with a wealth of experience in training and instruction to help guide customers through the commercial course or the practical flight training.

For more information about Drone Pilot Academy visit www.dronepilotacademy.co.uk

Pelican Launching Its 14QT Personal Cooler, the First Cooler to Separate Wet and Dry Storage, on Black Friday 2020

November 23rd, 2020

TORRANCE, CA – November 19, 2020 – The new Pelican™ 14QT Personal Cooler is the first on the market to separate wet and dry storage, and it will be available at www.pelican.com on Black Friday 2020. It features a dry-box section in its lid to separate electronic devices and flat personal items from internal ice and the elements outside. It also boasts an easel slot for smart phones and tablets.  

“Designed for either every day carry or weekend adventure, the Pelican 14QT personal cooler features will enhance your journey,” said Stephan Corti, Pelican’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Its industry leading wet/dry storage separation will keep your meal and drinks at the right temperature for a day and a half.” 

The Pelican 14QT personal cooler fits up to six standard beverage cans, as well as two Pelican™ Ice Packs. The freezer-grade gasket, PRESS & PULL™ latches and 1.5” thick polyurethane foam work together to offer up to 36 hours of ice retention. Additional features include:

• A removable inner tray to keep non-perishables cool and dry
• An integrated bottle opener with a magnet that catches bottle caps
• A snap in flexible lid organizer
• A wide grip handle and a walk-way cut out for easier, ergonomic transport

With an MSRP of $99.95 USD, it is available in White/Gray or Dark Gray/Green and is covered by a three-year limited warranty. 

Pelican Products, Inc. is a portfolio company of Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm based in New York and San Francisco.

SMR Blade from Dynamis Alliance

November 23rd, 2020

Launched on Friday, the SMR Blade from Dynamis Alliance minimalist fixed blade for discreet carry. Makes sense as SMR stands for Summer. Here’s a shot of prototype 2.

Thank to the minimalist ambidextrous sheath design it can be comfortably carried even when wearing appendix IWB holster.

It features a Corrosion Resistant Premium Steel (CPMS110V) blade with built-in Pry/Bottle Opener. The handle is fashioned to facilitate Reserve grip or Hammer grip.

Blade data:

5.75″ Total Length

2″ Front Edge Blade 

1.69″ Serrated Back Edge

There is also a training blade available.

It sold out almost immediately but they are taking backorders.

dynamisalliance.com/equip/smr-blade