Posts Tagged ‘Blackheart International’

BHI Introduces Self-Steering SATCOM Antenna

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The new Trivec AV2094-3 provides true on-the-move communications for long-range or over-the-horizon missions. Securely contained under a rugged radome, the self-steering vehicular UHF SATCOM system features a automatic pointing capability that greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio when compared to omni-directional antennas. Rigorous testing confirms that communication integrity is maintained on-the-move even while using low-angle satellites.

AV2094-3 system features include:
• 5 dBiC gain @ beam max.
• Control unit stores up to 30 satellite profiles and is extremely easy to use
• Control unit stores last-satellite-used information for immediate on-the-go quick-start operations
• Minimum user interaction. Self-steering antenna auto-adjusts to speed and direction of vehicle
• Rugged enclosure—antenna unit is protected by radome


AKARS Now Available from BHI

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

For those of us used to the ample amount of mounting space afforded by the Picatinny rails on our M4 carbines, the AK family of small arms can come off as a bit of a disappointment. What’s more, the short sight radius of the Kalishnikov leaves many of us questioning the utility of the weapon at longer ranges. Various mounting adaptions to the AK have come along, including the Russian scope mount solution but now something new is available that addresses both issues I’ve raised.


The new AKARS (AK Adaptive Rail System), designed and manufactured by Parabellum Armament is now available through Blackheart International. AKARS is a four-point mounting platform consisting of a replacement receiver cover and an integrated rail adapter combined with a one-piece 1913 Picatinny rail/rear sight assembly and attaching hardware.


The AKARS Picatinny rail assembly replaces the OEM rear sight leaf, installing directly onto the rear sight mounting location (mounting point ONE). This gives the AKARS a positive mounting point that eliminates the slop found in many optic mounts that install only onto the receiver cover. That thing moves all over the place. Additionally, the rail assembly includes a built-in Back Up Iron Sight.


The hinged design of the rail mount allows the AKARS/sight assembly to lift up and out of the way for easy access to the interior of the AK receiver. This permits operators to perform routine cleaning, maintenance and address firing/feed malfunctions without removing the optic or losing the rifle’s zero.


The AKARS receiver cover/adapter assembly installs onto the Picatinny rail assembly via two precision locating pins (mounting point TWO) with no tools needed. Once the receiver cover assembly is installed onto the rail assembly, the receiver cover is secured to the receiver via the AK’s standard rear sight base (mounting point THREE) and driving spring (mounting point FOUR).

The AKARS is available now through www.BHIgear.com

BHI “Wrote The Book” On Popular Soviet Bloc and NATO Weapons

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Blackheart International Training is recognized as a leader in advanced weapons training for special operations groups around the world, particularly when it comes to foreign (former Soviet Bloc) light and heavy weapons. But, did you know that Blackheart International literally “wrote the book” on non-standard foreign weapons ranging from the Makarov pistol to the DShK heavy machine gun and the RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher? It’s true.

The Blackheart International Training Operator’s Guide Series manuals are the same publications used by BHI Training students in the classroom and on the range. These are also the same books used by BHI Training instructors to “train the trainers.” I used these very manuals during my recent Foreign Weapons Course and have relied on many of them over the past few years as an invaluable reference.

You won’t find more current, up-to-date, full color manuals anywhere in the world on the most common Soviet Bloc and NATO weapons currently in use around the globe. The Operator’s Guide series of manuals are authored and published in a joint effort by former U.S. Army Special Forces personnel from Blackheart International, utilizing their practical in-the-field experience with these weapons, and verified source data (unlike the poor and often incorrect translations seen in other publications).

Each manual gives the reader:

– background/specifications of the weapons
– instructions on their operation
– disassembly and assembly procedures
– proper firing procedures
– malfunction/misfire procedures

Operator-level maintenance is also detailed to allow the reader to understand and become competent in the use and maintenance of all weapon systems.

Soviet Bloc weapons manuals include: AK-47/AKM & AK74, DShk & DShKM, Makarov Pistol, PK/PKM, PPSh-41, RPG-7 and SVD Dragunov.

NATO weapons manuals include: HK-69A1, M2 .50 Caliber, M203, M240B/MAG-58, MK19/MOD 3 and M79.

In addition, BHI will soon be releasing six new publications of Soviet Bloc (TT-33 Tokarev, PPS-43 and PA-63) and NATO (Remington 870, Glock and Beretta 92) weapons.

All current Operator’s Guide Series manuals are available to the public and ready to ship. For more information go to www.bhigear.com.

243K Mini SATCOM Antenna from BHI

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

The BHI Mini-SATCOM Antenna Kit is a very versatile mini UHF SATCOM antenna system. It’s compact, lightweight, offered with several deployment options like the pistol grip mode shown below. Essentially, you fold the elements which are shock corded to the antenna and store the antenna. When needed, it can be pulled out and intuitively pointed toward the bird to make the shot. It’s been done for years with other antennas including umbrella styles (showing my age here), but no one put a pistol grip on them to make it easier. The grip is a hollow design and stores an adjustment wrench.

Weighing only 1.1 pounds, the dual quad radials collapse and fold alongside the collapsible boom to fit into a water-resistant MOLLE-compliant carrying pouch. The antenna is treated to a dull black anodized finish to reduce glare and protect the metal against weatherization. The kit includes the 243 antenna, tripod, pistol grip, magnetic mount and ground spike, MOLLE-compliant carrying case and a waterproof mini hard case to secure all components.

Key Features – Benefits
• Ultra light weight
• Compact for individual troop carry
• Rapid deployment
• Four deployment options
• Easy-carry MOLLE-compliant pouch
• Dull, black anodized finish

BHI has also incorporated a couple of other features. For example, there’s a one-step elevation adjustment via friction joint (no locking knob or lever required). Additionally, they’ve addressed common issues that arrive during operations in the field. The connector is slightly recessed to protect from damaging drops or unintentional misuse. The extension mechanism is designed to prevent possible jamming due to sand or dust contamination and the interface mount mechanism keyed to prevent improper connection. Finally, additional mounting options include a stainless steel spike providing sturdy, durable staking in all soil conditions and a rare earth magnetic mount.


BHI Limited Visibility & Concealable Antenna

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Blackheart International’s Limited Visibility & Concealable Antenna (LVCA) is a tactical antenna that is smaller, lighter and less obtrusive than conventional external combat radio antennas. And now, it’s offered in kit form, which adds a PALS-compliant, water-resistant pouch that holds the antenna and allows it to be secured conveniently and unobtrusively to the operator’s gear.

The LVCA’s patch-panel antenna configuration works in the 30-512 MHz frequency range. Additionally, it is self-tuning and requires no operator intervention and transmits via circular polarization to eliminate “dead zones” or the need for any directional alignments. This means you can mount it virtually anywhere from a placing it in a pocket to Velcroing it into place on equipment. It can even be used for clandestine emplacements.

Blackheart does a great job here of explaining the technology behind the LVCA’s patch panel antenna design: “The LVCA is comprised of an array of monopole antenna elements coupled in a dual-offset array that allows the antenna to receive and transmit on multiple frequency ranges. The cumulative effect of the individual antenna elements coupled together enable transceiver operations on multiple frequency ranges that monopole or dipole antennas cannot operate on because they are tuned to a single frequency range. Furthermore, traditional antennas are typically metal tubing or wire, whereas the LVCA is embedded in a Printed Circuit Board in a pattern that is impossible to create in free-standing metal or wire.”

The LVCA is 3.5″ x 2″ and comes with a 18-inch length RG58A/U cable. It is offered in Black (standard) or in Tan as an optional color. The cable delivers 10 Watts peak, 5 Watts continuous with no amp from the radio to antenna. TNC connectors fit Thales, Harris and SINCGARS units; SMA connectors fit Motorola units.

Granted, it won’t match the performance of a tuned antenna built specifically for a radio, but it’s very agile and can be used with a variety of radios. That specialty antenna becomes useless when you drastically change freqs or try to use with a new radio.

Throughout my military career, I spent quite a bit of time in the commo business and I am a big fan of this antenna. Low profile, broadband, and self-tuning. What’s not to love? Plus, it’s a low cost solution. In fact, the price is low enough that an individual could afford one.


BHI Introduces Weapon Handbook Series as eBooks

Friday, May 25th, 2012

We’ve literally mentioned every one of these invaluable handbooks in the past and are glad to say that the Blackheart International weapon handbooks, part of the Blackheart International Training family of Operator’s Guide Series weapon manuals covering NATO and non-Standard (former Soviet-Bloc) weapons, are now available in digital format for all conventional digital reader devices.

The Operational Guide Handbooks are written by former US special operations personnel and current subject matter experts. These publications are not filled with “nice-to-know” but only “need-to-know” information, and can be used as a guide for classes prior to range operations, or as a quick reference when on the range.

These handbooks give the “what” and “how” as well as the “why” necessary to teach the proper operation and employment of the weapons. Currently available books cover the AR-15, M16/M4, AK47/AKM/AK74, Glock pistol and HK 416 rifle. Areas covered include ballistics, malfunctions, maintenance, sight adjustment of commonly used optics, zeroing, battlefield recovery and more. Topics include:
• background/specifications of the weapon
• instruction on operation
• disassembly and assembly procedures
• proper firing procedures
• malfunction/misfire procedures
• body mechanics
• training tips and more

The digital versions of the Operation Guide Handbooks are available for instant download through Amazon.com. The spiral-bound print versions can also be purchased through Amazon.com, or directly from Blackheart International at www.bhigear.com.

Blackheart International Foreign Weapons Course – The Complete Series

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

We’ve aggregated the serialized course review from SSD’s attendance at the Blackheart International Foreign Weapons Course. It makes reading easier and a few things have been updated.


BHI Foreign Weapons Course – Day 5

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Day 5 of the Blackheart International Foreign Weapons Course is test and graduation day. There are no photos of this final phase of instruction simply because it is an evaluation. However, here is what happens on a macro level. Day 5 is the culmination of everything we have learned. Ammunition ID is critical. All of those pile tests we accomplished at the end of each day come in very handy, and maintenance and manual of arms for each weapon is crucial to success. If you attend this course, your skills will be tested. Some would say that the training staff “fire hoses” the students over the course of the week, but there is enough practical application and hands-on reinforcement over the course of the week to make sure the material sinks in.

We reported to the range at 0730 and went right to work. Prior to testing (and after), all of the weapons were available for practice (take down and reassembly) as well as live fire on the main KD range. There was also a dueling tree set which led to some interesting competitions. How about a Sten gun versus a GLOCK?

One at a time, the students face the final evaluation on a separate range which cannot be observed by the other students. I am told by the instructors that no two students ever negotiate the course the same way and that strengths and weaknesses become glaringly apparent as the evaluation progresses.

In my case, it was most certainly true. I reduced all of the threats but fixated on placing a weapon into action that had been challenging to me during the week. Instead of using other resources to progress through the course of fire, I decided that it wasn’t going to “beat” me and I was going to make it work. I wasted time doing so and in a real-world situation could have exposed myself to danger. I already had plenty of resources for success but allowed myself to become myopic and really ramped up the stress in doing so. Once I felt my mouth go dry, I noticed the fine motor skills start to erode. I was placing a lot of stress on myself to succeed. Ultimately, I stopped what I was doing and used the other tools at my disposal to finish the evaluation. I learned a valuable lesson during that evaluation, and in speaking with my fellow students about their experience, I would say that they did too.

The facilities are great. I’ve talked about Sugar Creek Lodge with its weight room, wi-fi service and large eat-in kitchen and Wednesday night home cooked meal. When the course director told me via email, “Just bring your clothes and tooth brush,” he wasn’t far off. Over the week’s coverage, I’ve also mentioned in passing Blackheart’s 300 acre range facility with KD and unknown distance ranges. Lastly, the Headquarters and Training building houses the class room as well as a well stocked retail store. Everything is clean and well maintained.

The access to working weapons that you can actually fire is unparalleled. These includes the everything from the Makarov on the small end up to and including the DShKM in the heavy category. While in the service, several of my units had foreign weapons in the arms room but we never had any ammunition. At a minimum each student fires:
12.7 x 108 10 rds
7.62 x 54R 150 rds linked
7.62 x 54R 20 rds
7.62 x 51 50 rds
7.62 x 25 144 rds
7.62 x 39 440 rds
5.45 x 39 300 rds
9 x 18 50 rds
9 x 19 250 rds

I have a newfound respect for Soviet-era weapons after this experience, particularly the Makarov due to its implicitly and the PKM due to its reliability. Additionally, I found that the AK family of weapons can be effectively employed if you understand them and apply the fundamentals of marksmanship. The unknown distance range really helped me understand how to use the AK sighting system. I wish I would have taken this course 25 years ago.

This was a great course and I highly recommend it to anyone who requires knowledge of the identification, employment, and maintenance of foreign small arms. Blackheart often tailors this course to the specific requirements of users so don’t hesitate to ask if they can support your requirement.

Thank you to Blackheart International and their entire staff for inviting me to this course and your support throughout the week.