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
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.