US Army Seeks Next Generation Squad Weapon for the Digital Age
The United States Army is on track to select a defense contractor in 2020 for its Next Generation Squad Weapon. Defense contractors General Dynamics, SIG Sauer, and the Conglomerate Textron have been narrowed down as the three finalists for next year’s contract award. The United States Army is making the requirement for a “smart rail” system to be equipped on the weapon. This technology is a communication and power interface between digital technology and the physical gun.
Bringing big gun technology to small arms
The primary goal of the Next Generation Squad Weapon is to bring more technology to the boots on the ground. The Army is looking for its selected contractor to build a fire control system that will link the soldier’s weapon to other systems. Systems that will help them maintain target acquisition and greater situational awareness. Two current prototypes – a Machine Gun and a Carbine are due by November 4th and will contain these technologies.
At least it’s not windows
The Atlanta, Georgia based company Dimensional Weapons Systems (DWS) plans to compete for the contracts. DWS is planning on combining its Camelot operating system with blockchain technology. Blockchain is a decentralized ledger of information that is used to protect cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and BitCoin. This will hopefully make the Operating System hackproof.
So far DWS is the only company that has publically identified itself in the running for this add-on technology contract. Others have closely guarded both their intentions and scale of dedication to the potential project.
Smart guns – hot gats or tech crap?
Smart guns have been in the public eye since the early 2000s. Each time companies have attempted to apply technology to the firearms world, it has been met with skepticism and backlash. Many detractors will note that previous attempts to make smart guns mainstream have failed due to exploits in either the operating mechanism or the security of the electronics.
Smart gun systems like the Armatis iP1 Pistol and Watch are famously known for being not only easily hacked but also being completely circumvented by some strong magnets. One of the main goals of the competing companies is to eliminate these types of exploits. They also plan to record and store firing information. Information like the movement of the gun and the angle it is being pointed at when fired.
Other planned functions of this smart technology include the system being able to detect when a gun is malfunctioning. Others plan on having a system that detects when service is needed or the gun needs to be retired.
Let us know down in the comments your thoughts on this potential new technology. Will smart gun technology finally make a breakthrough in the Military and Law Enforcement fields?