Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ISDEF 2010 - Part II

Doubletapper with the M60 machine gun.

Guns, guns, and more guns.

And so begins Part II of our trip to the ISDEF 2010, the Israel Defense Show that Doubletapper so kindly invited me to. It begins with guns.

We'll start with the big guns. The ones pictured above and below were made by US Ordnance who make some very high quality products. We were most impressed with them importing in to Israel 6 fully functional automatic rifles through customs. Besides that feat, the uppers of the 5.56 were a single piece machining. Even the rails were all made from the same piece of steel. They also made floating barrels which were quick-change, that is with only a few turns of a torx-wrench, you can swap out different length barrels.

The floating barrel

Note the torx screws in front of the magazine well for the quick change barrel.

A real single piece machined upper.

Is that an M60 in your pocket...?

For those select times when your party attire does not complement an M60, go with the more demure, yet quite lethal, fully automatic 5.56 Gilboa rifle. The recipe is: you take an M-16, take out all the stuff in the back end (the main spring becomes a "puller" instead of a "pusher" somehow), give it a 7" barrel (or if your party dress is really short, you can give it a 4.5" barrel), and presto! you have the new Gilboa rifle made by Silver Shadow.

I can carry more ammo, I guess...

I didn't break it; it's a removable folding stock.

Admit it, you were about to call it "cute".

Reach out and touch someone

We spent some time admiring the .50 caliber sniper rifle made by McMillan . We weren't the only ones; many active IDF soldiers and snipers came to the booth and fawned over the guns and talked with the Navy SEAL sales rep. It was sorta like teenagers in a Ferrari shop, though, as they knew they'd never see them deployed (at least officially ;)

Oh, and the official range of the .50 is over 2km. Now that's a long distance relationship.

You talkin to me?

McMillan also makes a .338 which really impressed Doubletapper.

I can see my house from here.

No caption needed for the nice .338 bolt action.

A McMillan folding stock adjustable in three places.


Now let's force-protect.

There was a nice vehicle armoring company, HPC, which makes full B6 level protection for vehicles, which is really light (and expensive). Made out of compressed plastic fibers, it is only about a half-inch thick, and it can stop an AK round. Holy lead pancakes, Batman!

From a different company, here is a bullet resistant door, with a nice 'peephole', that can be opened, to shoot back. The peephole swivels like a gimbal, to allow for better aiming.

View from the outside. The bad-guy side.

View from the inside.

There were a surprisingly small number of body armor companies. Ken Johnsen from GlobalMotion will be offering a new, light, crazy-good body armor - once he can get the damn export license. For now he has a really nifty gel cooling pack to go under your body armor, and it can cool you for six hours. He even makes a mini cooling pack to put under your helmet.

Ken Johnsen of GlobalMotion - having a bad day. Half of his show display got taken overnight, he was missing his fridge for his cooling packs, and his A/V computer cables got snagged by customs. But he was still positive!

Remote control mania!

What do you get when you cross a bobcat digger with a expandable steel wall and then make it an R/C? That's right! Some rich guy's toy who should have played with more Lego as a child. That rich guy (who is from Slovakia) is marketing his toy as a riot control tool. I guess it might slow down a riot, but only because of the shock value (and also the bright blue color).

The video below shows the big blue bobcat in 'action' and also an R/C car with a paintball gun.

About that R/C paintball shooter - it uses a Playstation controller. Really. And the paintballs are not filled with paint. They're super hard and filled with CS liquid.

Vampire lights

Figuring vampire stuff sells well, Surefire developed a new and awesome family of flashlights called Vampire lights. They are both super-bright flashlights and, with a flick of the wrist, become super 'bright' IR lights. All in the same package you know and love from Surefire.

Surefire came all the way to Israel and saw that the IDF issued flashlights were their competitor's - Streamlights. Doh!

Here is a video of the Vampire Light in action. The purple glow of the IR was totally invisible to the naked eye.

All the rest...

New NBC detectors from Proengin. Hope nobody ever needs them. Ever.

Also, there was an encrypted cell phone app by Cellcrypt. You download the app on your Blackberry (iPhone is coming soon), and voila! your call is encrypted and secure. You need to pay Cellcrypt monthly for the service. (no picture taken)

Nice boots.

This lady sold body-worn thermal reflectors (note the poor sap in the background). We didn't care, we just listened because she gave us Snickers.

No water for you!

All the show had available to drink was free wine or beer. So what are the SWAT demo guys supposed to do after a hard day of pretending to storm stuff? That's right! Chug some beer!

Monday, October 18, 2010

ISDEF 2010 - Part I

With thanks to Doubletapper, I was invited to the Israeli Defense show this year (ISDEF 2010). It was an amazing show with a lot of heavyweight companies and technologies showing up to vie for a piece of the multi-billion dollar Israeli (and worldwide) defense industry. Below are a bunch of new and impressive products now available to keep our armed forces safer and more effective.

Super sight

Vision-enhancing products this year ranged from super-high-def night vision to amazing thermal scopes, to seeing through walls.

No, Doubletapper did not forget to remove the lens cap...

There is a new monocle night vision scope from Nivisys (one of many such companies at the show) which provides an extremely high resolution image using amplified light. Because of the amount of ambient light in the showroom, it worked with a pinhole in the lens cap, so you look kinda silly trying it out (see above), but it still works great with the cap on:

The same company also makes a thermal imaging scope which can (of course) be weapon-mounted. It was one of many thermal imaging products at the show. This scope runs over $10,000.

A snapshot through the Nivisys thermal vision scope. The real-life image was much sharper.

We did not get to play with, but only got a brochure of, a new cheaper hand-held thermal imaging scope by Digital Ally. It is only (!) $4300.

Low-profile night vision goggles (NVG):

Sure I may look silly, but at least I can see in the dark.

These new NVGs from the O'Gara Group has low-profile, periscope style optics, and project the amplified light images onto translucent screens in front of your eyes. This results in less disorientation and the ability to see the actual world and whatever ambient light there is - with both eyes - all while being served a delicious entree of night vision.

An attempted photo of O'Gara's latest NVG offering - HUD style.

Oooh, but there's more... One of these goggle's "eyes" can be replaced with a mini projector which looks just like the NVG component, and can project whatever you'd like in front of your eye - maybe you'd like some realtime intel, overhead imagery, or even friendlies' positions - and still have the other eye use night vision.

Project whatever you like in front of your eyes - even the latest playoff scores...

But can it see through walls?

Enough talk of these cool but outmoded ways of seeing things. How about seeing people through walls? While the Camero system is not quite new, it will never cease to amaze me. Their large (and quite unwieldy) 3D version is simply amazing. You set up the Xaver 800 up near a wall, and it shows on the screen a 3D model of the room with its occupants, that can be spun around and analyzed. Awesome.

Stock photo. Sorry!

Camero's smaller version of Superman envy, the Xaver 400, is their more famous model which can see and track man-sized objects through walls, and show the people and their movements in 2D on the screen.

Doubletapper playing with Camero's sick see-though-walls toy.

In what may be a world-wide exclusive (I have seen no mention of this product anywhere else), below is a video of a Camero representative showing us their newest model, the Xaver 100, in action. This model is still in beta testing, which means that only a few lucky special forces units worldwide get to play with it while Camero works out any bugs. The Xaver 100 is small enough to fit in a double mag pouch, and it can detect the presence of a person through a wall (yet not plot and track in 2D).

I want one.

Sensing shots

Battlefield shot sensing - on a stick. (See that silver pencil thingy mounted next to the guy's barrel?)

Here is a company (Microflown Technologies) that is developing a 3D acoustic sensor that is rifle-mounted and can detect the location of shots fired at you. It feeds information to the rifle sight and can point you (with a constantly updated red arrow) towards those fiends who dared shoot at you!

It is amazing technology which uses sensitive sensors mounted on three different axes to pinpoint the location of the shot to within a 1 degree accuracy. Check out this demo video below. There were simulated shots coming from two computer speakers, and I was testing the sensor out with snaps.

But where are the guns, for dang's sake?!

Sorry to keep you hanging, but tune in to Part II, coming soon, to see new guns, accessories, and more awesome new technologies displayed at the ISDEF 2010.