At Milipol, I was walking around FN Herstal’s booth, playing with futuristic-looking P90s, Five-Sevens and F2000s when I noticed a camera-toting tourist pretend-blasting with something very very cool: The Armatronics “Black Box” suite with Moving Red Dot Fire Control.
They’d taken a SCAR assault rifle and put a “black box” inside the handgrip, networking it with the soldier (“with a kind of Bluetooth” according to the PR guy), and also to home base. The grip is a sealed, 10-year unit that logs the number of bullets fired and remaining ammo à la Aliens. They’re also working on pairing to specific soldiers, perhaps using biometrics. Deactivating it if the Taliban get it, for instance? “In the near future,” said PR man enigmatically.
Apoorva Prasad is a freelance writer and photographer based in Paris, France, who covered the Milipol 2009 military-police expo for us. He has a thing for holo-scoped assault rifles, and sounds disappointed when admitting he’s never been Tased.