Introduced in March of this year, we were able to get our hands on Rheinmetall Air Defense AG’s ILEE® TwinBeam Mk2 visible/IR laser designator. The TwinBeam Mk2 is actually just one such designator out of a large product line of similar designators that fill different capabilities and needs. Many of the small arms laser designators are capable of being mounted on an M1913 Picatinny rail and are very similar in controls and materials used in construction.
Technical specifications from Rheinmetall Tech Data Sheet–
The TwinBeam Mk2 which was on display at the Rheinmetall booth appears to be Rheinmetall Air Defense’s push into the law enforcement market, especially seeing that it was mounted on a dummy H&K UMP45 submachine gun. Although it might be resistant to environmental factors and extreme abuse, I would find it hard for the TwinBeam Mk2 to best something like the AN/PEQ16 or even the latest Squad Aiming Laser from L3 Technology. But in a Law Enforcement capacity, the laser designator would probably excel quite well due to it being very simple and probably lower cost than the designators designed with the military in mind. The fact that it has the option of mounting a Picatinny rail on top of it is somewhat perplexing (but certainly not a new concept) in that it is a practice not usually done in modular small arms accessories for a variety of reasons. But from a European perspective of using LE small arms with riot gear and height accommodating stocks, it makes a little more sense. In addition, mounting an optic above a laser designator does have tactical merit when co-witnessing with night vision goggles.
The ILLE stands for Industrial Laser Electronics and Engineering AG and is the original Swiss company that Rheinmetall incorporated into the larger company’s portfolio, now renamed as Rheinmetall Air Defense AG. We actually covered one of their earlier lasers in 2015, which was actually a laser designator and rangefinder.