General Dynamics Canada and Colt Canada are working together to plug Colt’s Sniper Weapon & Observer Reconnaissance Devices system into the battlefield network.
Colt showed off the SWORD system earlier this year at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting. The Android-based system joins weapon-mounted surveillance and targeting devices with ruggedized smartphone-like technology, Colt officials maintain.
The SWORD system is designed to bring situational-awareness information directly to the solider via his weapon and it will be offered as an alternative to radio-centric individual soldier systems. Based on commercial components, the SWORD system provides power, data and navigation infrastructure within the weapon, including GPS and inertial navigation for GPS-denied situations, Colt officials maintain.
“SWORD makes sense as an integrated soldier system,” Jeff MacLeod, general manager of Colt Canada, said in a recent press release. "By combining modern smartphone technology with weapon-mounted scopes and laser rangefinders, soldiers have all the information they need, literally at their fingertips. SWORD is not about simply delivering a computer or a display to soldiers; it delivers an entirely new capability centered on the rifle.”
The U.S. Army made several attempts to connect similar, weapon-mounted technology to its Land Warrior ensemble, but soldiers never accepted it – too many cables made it too cumbersome for combat.
Maybe GD and Colt will have more luck.
“Cooperation between Colt and General Dynamics Canada builds on the strengths of both companies,” says David Ibbetson, vice president, General Dynamics C4 Systems International. “Colt has worldwide expertise in developing and delivering rifles, while General Dynamics has the networking experience needed to connect individual soldiers. The combined solution gives soldiers the smartphone capability they have been asking for in the form of an Android-networked rifle.”