Beretta ARX Carbine with T Worx Intelligent Rail For Army AUSA Expo

beretta

I have been watching the intelligent rail for some time now.  Having the ability for all your accessories to run off of a single source and also use communication tools such as live video is also a major perk.  There is a lot of positive that can come out of the system, and it’s implementation both on the battle field and at home.  A prototype ARX carbine with intelligent rail was also displayed at Eurostatory this year, and now Beretta is preparing to begin producing the carbine’s in 2015.

What I am interested in is how long the technology will make it into the civilian market and if it does if there will be those that adopt the system and use it.  Having all of your powered tech on your weapon could be a draw to those tired of carrying up to four different types of batteries just for all the electronics on their rifle.

I know my rifle has electronics that use a CR2, CR123 and 1/3N batteries.  Having all that run on a single, centrally located battery that is rechargeable would be nice to have.

Here is a press release from Beretta:

Accokeek, MD. (Oct 8, 2014) – Following a successful global launch of the Intelligent Rail™ equipped Beretta ARX Carbine this summer at the 2014 Eurosatory Defense Expo and at the recent 2014 Modern Day Marine Expo, Beretta Defense Technologies (BDT) and T.Worx Ventures have been busy responding to customer inquiries and preparing for production starting in 2015. The team also announced the integrated ARX carbine/Intelligent Rail™ will be displayed at the upcoming Army AUSA expo October 13-15, 2014.

Through a rugged and reliable implementation within the Picatinny mounting rails, The Intelligent Rail™ technology provides power and data contact points within each Picatinny rail slot. On an integrated carbine such as the ARX100 and ARX160, the technology provides power to all attached electronic accessories while also providing bidirectional communications capability between the accessories, and even communication on/off the weapon.
“The intelligent ARX integration from Beretta Defense Technologies represents the next step in small arms evolution for armies and users around the world. This technology saves weight, provides better power access, increases accessory efficiency and it provides inter-accessory communications capability. We believe Beretta Defense Technologies will derive a tremendous competitive benefit from this technology” stated Don McLaughlin, CEO of T Worx Ventures. Mr. McLaughlin added, “We have seen a significant amount of customer and user interest in the integrated ARX platform and its accessories at Eurosatory and other meetings and expos over the summer. We’re coordinating with the BDT team to meet the customer requests for evaluation systems.”

Beretta USA selected T.Worx in August 2013 as the result of a multi-year assessment and review of competing powered rail technologies worldwide. The T.Worx powered rail technology, developed through U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding and patented as the Intelligent Rail™, is currently the NATO standard for powered rails. T.Worx is also working with the BDT alliance companies (Steiner, Laser Devices) to integrate accessories (tactical lights, aiming lasers and optics) for complete weapon and accessory packages direct from BDT. The carbines and accessories will be on display at AUSA.

Gabriele de Plano, Vice President of Military Marketing & Sales stated, “Beretta USA is excited about the opportunity to be part of the first fully integrated, power and data rail weapon system, and we’re pleased with the support from the T.Worx team to make this happen.” He continued by adding, “The ability to provide power to aiming devices and sighting systems along with the capability to transfer data with the Intelligent Rail™ places Beretta and our sister companies, most notably Steiner and Laser Devices, in a unique position to be the first to market with a fully integrated weapon system.”

BDT first displayed the integrated ARX mock-up in Washington, DC, during the 2013 AUSA Conference, and later at both SHOT Show 2014 and the Special Operations Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, FL. For Eurosatory, the team displayed for the first time the fully-integrated prototype system with BDT accessories (picture below), and now one year after introduction, the integrated ARX returns to AUSA with considerable interest and momentum. Mr. de Plano added, “Following prototype testing and evaluation this fall, the BDT and T.Worx team will begin preparing for production and order fulfillment in 2015.” Further details regarding specific product mix and pricing will be released in the 4th Quarter of this year.

About Beretta Defense Technologies:
Beretta Defense Technologies (BDT) is the strategic alliance of five Beretta Holding defense companies (including Beretta, Benelli, Laser Devices, Sako and Steiner) that provide products and services to enable superior performance in the Defense and Law Enforcement communities. State-of-the-art machinery, extensive research and development capabilities, and long-standing worldwide experiences allow BDT products to respond to the ever-changing needs of defense and security personnel. These Beretta companies employ nearly 600 individuals within the United States with locations in California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Texas, and Virginia. For additional information visit www.berettadefensetechnologies.com

About Beretta
Beretta, established in 1526, is the oldest industrial dynasty in the world tracing its roots through 16 generations of continuous family ownership. Firearms bearing the Beretta name have been sold for almost 500 years. Beretta USA Corp. was founded in 1977 and supplies the standard sidearm to the U.S. Armed Forces. Today, Beretta manufactures, distributes and markets a complete line of firearms, accessories and apparel. Beretta also owns and operates six retail Beretta Gallery stores worldwide. For additional information visit www.Beretta.com.

About T Worx Ventures
T Worx Ventures is the commercialization arm of Prototype Productions, Inc. (PPI), an Ashburn—Virginia based product development and manufacturing firm. Since 1991, PPI has developed over 200 operational, market-ready products for its clients in a diverse range of technology sectors. An award-winning company, PPI is a leader in design, engineering, and manufacturing unique products for the Federal government as well as commercial sectors. PPI is dedicated to ensuring a knowledgeable base of future engineers and technology experts and works through an active education outreach program to educate and inspire students. In 2010 PPI formed T Worx Ventures, charged with the commercialization of technologies created by PPI. For more information on PPI visit www.protoprod.com.




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  • suchumski

    i like Baretta, they are building arms for a half millenia and
    italians are inovativ and great designers with
    a feeling for bauty, but this
    thing loocks like
    glued together from 3 guns, have they no designers left
    in BELLA ITALIA?

    • echelon

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If it runs and can take hard punishment with a high probability of not failing, and it is simple in design then I would say the designers made a work of art. The AK and Glock are always berated for being ugly, but at the same time they are elegantly simple and utterly usable. That makes them beautiful to me.

      Is this a $5000 O/U trap gun with polished walnut and engravings and gold filigree? No. And I wouldn’t want one for battle use either.

      Some people say Ferraris and Victoria’s Secret models are beautiful too, but all I see is high maintenance and high cost of ownership!

      So, you know, YMMV… 🙂

      • Zachary marrs

        Well, its already a pretty “meh” gun. Really doesn’t do anything better than a cheaper rifle

        • echelon

          Except that it can be completely taken apart with no tools, made to switch ejection from left to right, swap charging handle side without removing any parts, is completely ambi, etc. And that’s not to mention that it’s more than combat accurate, mostly made of plastic so it’s very corrosion resistant and fairly light weight without sacrificing performance.

          Nope, nothing to see here, move along. 50+ year old designs are “good enough” so let’s just continue with the status quo…

          • Joshua

            Except it did not perform better than the M4A1 in the IC trials, only one rifle outperformed the M4 and it was not the Beretta.

          • echelon

            So says the military top brass. We all know they are truly infallible. They wouldn’t trade out the current M4 for anything short of a rail gun with smart tracking projectiles that could be procured for $300 apiece…

            I won’t even begin to get into the facts regarding how the IC criteria was constantly changed or outright not told to the designers or how certain things were withheld from the competitors, things such as the guns needing to be compatible with certain grenade launcher systems but then not being allowed to procure any sort of said system, even inert, to gain the specs, etc from for design purposes.

            In short, the IC was designed for everyone to fail and to declare, once again, that the M4 is “good enough”.

            Has no bearing on the fact that the ARX is a good step forward, technology wise.

          • Joshua

            Huh? Everyone knew what the requirements for the competition was, everyone knew it had to be compatible with all ancillary items the M4 is. Actually Phase I was checking for those things and the Beretta passes Phase I, which means it worked just fine with all ancillary items the M4 uses. Also everyone knew M855A1 would be the testing ammunition and everyone was given 10,000 rounds with the ability to procure more if they wanted to ahead of time, and had the ability to fine tune their weapons. It’s not like the M4A1 has received any changes to work better with M855A1, in that regard everyone else had a leg up over the M4A1 which just had to work as is with the ammunition. The M4A1 actually has received no changes since 2007 when it got a heavier buffer and a new extractor assembly.

            The only changes the M4A1 has received since 2007 is the RIS II which is a SOCOM only item, and soon the FRAK(new rail system that will be on the Army side).

            The fact is the IC was a blind competition, each rifle was given a letter and decision makers only saw letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H. The only known letter was A which was the M4A1, and only letter C performed better than A, and letter C was not the Beretta.

          • echelon

            All of the competitions are mired in controversy and corruption. It’s that simple. The government and military just need excuses to spend our money for us…

          • Zachary marrs

            6.8 pounds is light weight? A m16a4 is just a tiny bit heavier, and it has a 20 inch barrel and rails.
            There are rifles dating back to ww2 that have tool less takedown.
            There are designs that can change the charging handle side with the tip of a bullet.
            The only thing this can do is swap ejection sides quickly, but when you try the trigger and look through the irons, and see that masterpiece of a proprietary rail, the arx is a disappointment.

          • echelon

            I said relatively light weight. I personally think the weight thing is kind of a canard. Once you get something super light then you are going to get more recoil, muzzle flip, etc. so sometimes a little weight can be a benefit.

            I agree that there are tool-less designs, but again, I’m comparing mostly to other “modern” staples like the AR and AK. Those can be field stripped fairly easily without tools but you can’t remove the entire barrel assembly and gas block, etc. So it does take the modularity and takedown a step further.

            I acknowledged other designs that you can change the CH, but on an ACR for example you rightly point out that you have to take the point of a bullet or something and pull the handle out and then swap it to the other side. It is also a cool feature…the ARX just does it one better is all I’m pointing out.

            As far as for it’s other potential shortcomings, lest we be reminded what a steaming pile the original M16 was at first. That thing got soldiers killed in Vietnam. I know vets to this day who won’t touch anything AR related. They will not trust their lives or the lives of others to one, no matter what kind of marketing or anecdotes people give.

            But yes, over time the AR has turned into a very good platform. There’s no reason not to applaud Beretta’s efforts, give them constructive criticism and trust that they’ll continue to refine the design.

            I don’t see how any new gun can be a true disappointment in any case unless it just doesn’t flat work a la the R51…all technology at this point is still very old. Until we move onto some radical new ammunition technology or get phased plasma rifles, what can one expect except outside the box thinking and good solid design principles?

          • Zachary marrs

            The only problem with the original m16’s was the fact we used powder meant for the .308

            It is a disappointment, you have this huge buildup for, well, not much. Most of the things wrong with the arx should not exist, beretta is not h&k, no one who buys this is going to mount a gl, and while most people will run optics, is it too much to ask for a $1600 have irons that aren’t junk? Same with the trigger.

            I think they started out ok, but they fell asleep when it mattered

          • echelon

            No, it wasn’t just the powder. If one does any serious reading on the subject you will find that there were many, many corners cut at the time, political meddling, negligence, etc. And it got people killed. Period. There are many good books on the subject, one of my favorites is “The Gun” by CJ Chivers. It’s actually about the AK, but it has a nice little section, with sources, on the development of the M16 and subsequent catastrophes in the war.

            Based on what you’re saying you’re disappointed in, why does anyone buy anything “new”? What does a modern automobile have, really, that one 50 years old doesn’t? Sure you can get GPS, and power electric stuff, but that’s just creature comfort stuff, right?

            Time will tell if the ARX becomes the new benchmark or not, but at any rate it will hopefully move the goalposts for any future efforts.

            If it doesn’t I don’t want to hear anyone complain that there’s yet another AR15 or 1911 or plastic wunder 9 on the market…

            You either move forward or you stagnate and the arms industry is definitely stagnant.

          • Zachary marrs

            The only developmental problem the m16 had was the lack of a chrome lined bore/chamber

            As it sits, this rifle is not worth the 1600 bucks you have to pay for it, whether you like it or not, no excuse for a horrible trigger on any gun that runs over a grand, nor is there any excuse to have horrible iron sights, especially since they’ve been in use since the 1500’s

            Hell, while the ejection is neat, it only really is useful if you plan to fight a war like the ussr in ww2, with every other man getting a rifle. But hell, INERVERTION

          • echelon

            To each his own, for sure, but all I’ll say is missing the forest for the trees is what seems to be going on here.

            The trigger is a “battle trigger”. You know a lot of times silly governments and agencies have this thing about ADs and so they intentionally make the trigger pulls long. They can easily make DMR rifles with better triggers but leave the long ones for the grunt infantry guys…and aftermarket support, etc will no doubt cure the issue. The Tavor has a “terrible” trigger out of the box and it’s high dollar. Again, the only reason a lot of ARs have better triggers is because of the huge aftermarket support behind a 50+ year old platform.

            At least it ships with sights. There’s plenty of high dollar guns that don’t ship with any. And since they can probably produce their version in house far cheaper than supplying 3rd party BUIS that people may or may not like anyway, it seems like an ok move to me. If you don’t like ’em replace ’em. Simple. I hate the Magpul BUIS and a lot of ARs come with those standard and I always replace ’em. My preferred BUIS don’t come standard on any gun that I know of, so what, that’s my problem not the gun manufacturers.

            I’ll assume, although I could be wrong, that you are a right handed person. Ejection probably isn’t a huge deal. But for a lefty it certainly could be. I would feel comfortable saying that most lefties just deal with brass flying past their face and in most cases it’s not an issue, but I would also say that I would bet money that lefties still get more brass down the collar than righties.

            In addition to that, having the swappable ejection also gives the end user basically dual extractors so that if one breaks they can easily, in the heat of battle with no tools, quickly change over and get back in the fight. I don’t think that’s a small thing. And furthermore, can you imagine if a bullpup such as the pitiful Tavor were to include such a feature? That would be a huge leap forward in bullpup design.

          • Zachary marrs

            Its a $1600 gun, it shouldn’t have these problems. Just because other guns have this problem as well doesn’t excuse them either

          • echelon

            One man’s trash is another man’s treasure I guess. None of the issues you state are issues to me. 🙂

            I know many people who drive very expensive German automobiles. By my count those same vehicles spend more time in the shop than on the actual road…but the owners of those cars swear by them. What can you do?

          • Joshua

            Yes, the original M16 was not issued cleaning kits, nor lubrication, and had ammunition that pushed cyclic rate beyond 1,100RPM and was procured without a chrome lined chamber or bore, and in conjunction with a jungle environments and no cleaning or lube led to rusted chambers, blah, blah, blah.

            We all know and it was all fixed in the M16A1 in 1967.

            Then again we should ignore the huge success the AR-15 had with the ARVN and Navy SEALs early in the war, and who were issued cleaning kits, had a chrome lined chamber/bore, and used ammunition with IMR powder, yeah they had no problems and this was before anyone else had been issued the AR-15 or it ever got the XM16 or M16 name.

          • echelon

            Wow, I’m sure there are a lot of vets that really appreciate the glibness of your sentiments, all of your “blah, blah, blah” got real people killed.

            Be that as it may, I’m not trying to get into a pissing match about the AR vs. ARX. I’m merely disagreeing with the sentiment that it is a “meh” rifle. I believe, if nothing else, that it represents a crucial step forward in firearms design.

            You either emulate the standard bearer – ad nauseam – like we see with every tom, dick and harry company making ARs, 1911s and Glock clones or you try to become the new standard bearer, move the goal posts.

            I believe any judgement on the ARX in that regards is too early at this point and only time will tell, but overall, I am pleased with the design. Hopefully going forward, since the system is so modular, they can make incremental changes that help iron out some of the supposed issues. That and 3rd party companies will help.

          • Joshua

            Yes and it was all tied to lack of a chrome chamber/bore, no cleaning kits or lubrication in a jungle environment(with a bare steel bore/chamber) and ammunition that made the rifle run past 1,100 RPM.

            2/3 of those were fixed in the XM16E1 that begin testing in 1964, just one year after the issues of the M16 came to light.

          • echelon

            Be that as it may it took longer to get those new and improved guns out into the war. And one year is a long time for people to have to die due to gross negligence.

            The issue is that many of these things happened knowingly or were rushed through with little to no oversight. It’s actually quite disgusting.

            But then again one must remember that soldiers are called “G.I.” for a reason. Government Issue. You are merely a product to them. They don’t really care for the soldier’s well being so it’s all just a big “whoopsie” and let’s move on.

  • John

    The flip side is if you lose your central battery, all your devices go down at the same time.

    • mechamaster

      Maybe in the production version there are option for wired external power source and data cable via smart QD-sling connected to external battery / power source.

    • junyo

      This.

      It would be better to have battery standardization then a centralized battery (i.e. a single point of failure). Yes, I’m carrying multiple discrete batteries, but I can carry fewer spares, and if one goes down and if I’m out of spares I can pull one from something I’m not using at the moment.

    • Seburo

      So it’s like a computer running Windows 8 when you stop a process? Yeah couldn’t resist.

  • Zachary marrs

    How bout no

  • Indrid_Cold

    “…a lot of positive ________ …”
    “its”
    “Eurosatory”
    “…carbines…”

    I hate to be that guy, but come on…

  • DetroitMan

    Interesting idea, but too vulnerable to Murphy’s Law. If the circuits in the rail get damaged by rough handling, you’re down to your backup iron sights with no electronics at all.

    All of my accessories use AA batteries. They aren’t the lightest or the sexiest, but they are everywhere and cheap to replace. If any device needs new batteries, my spares are universal. In the worst case scenario, I can rob Peter to pay Paul. A universal battery – of whatever type – seems like a better solution.

  • Joshua

    There is a reason why the Tworx rail system submitted to the M4 PiP did not make the final down select, while ADCOR and KAC did.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Too funny this turd of a product* is attached to such a turd of a rifle.

    * Not the idea itself, but this specific implementation from a technical and practical perspective. Last year it was using SPI bus… That’s SPI Bus, one of the communication busses inside the Atari 2600, absolutely not designed for rugged enviorments even a little bit. They’ve since switched to LIN or something similar, but good luck getting EOTech and Aimpoint and Trijicon and Surefire and BE Meyer and etc etc to all agree on a specific protocol anytime soon. If I was seeing USB level of commitment and organization I’d say may there is something here, I’m seeing one company tool up a prototype of how a better system could work.

  • JP

    These articles are so poorly written every day. Does this bother anyone else?

    “What I am interested in is how long the technology will make it into the civilian market and if it does if there will be those that adopt the system and use it.”

  • valorius

    Its a great idea in concept.