This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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The round counter that reports via "encrypted cell phone" raised an eyebrow for me. I'm not sure how this is implemented, but the last thing I want is a rifle that phones home from the battlefield in real-time. It's not that hard to geolocate a cell phone signal, encrypted or not.
I am quite certain that the round counter is for maintenance purposes an HF RFID that you can read at hands length no more.
You would think so, but it specifically says "ties back through the encrypted cell phone with Blueforce BTAC System." That seems a little more active than the FN SmartCore, for example.
"The warfighter is able to connect the weapon via BTAC plugin to the network, providing awareness of the weapon’s operational health while in the field as well as an armorer’s interface..."
I sometimes wonder if system designers haven't spent too much time watching Aliens. They seem to imagine an officer sitting in a TOC somewhere watching the round count on his soldier's rifles go up as they shoot it out with the bad guys.
These days even rag-tag fighters can have cheap cellphone locators, EMCON is a must.
There is an English version as well,: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwNZd194Hf4&ab_channel=STEYRARMS. INterestingly, this shows a slightly different modification, with a different top rail and a new integrated frontend (the Wilcox Fusion system, which integrates laser, flashlight, and optics, described here: https://www.wilcoxind.com/news/news_wilcox_steyr_g36.php )
The Steyr Upgrade looks good and logical:
The STEYR ARMS G36 Upgrade Kit, with its metal receiver, an improved steel barrel and the STANAG compatible magazine well provides improved precision and longer service life of the G36 assault rifle under increased thermal stress.
The metal receiver by itself increases thermal stability several times over. With this receiver, the rifle achieves a previously unattainable precision and accuracy. In addition, a special coating increases the service life of the weapon.
The exchangeable barrel is also characterized by its improved thermal properties and is made of a material that has also been used in military technology for many years and has been extensively tested.
The magazine well can also be exchanged, thus ensuring the use of commonly used STANAG pattern magazines.
The components of this upgrade kit (receiver, barrel and magazine well) can be mounted independently on an existing G36 without any modifications.
Accuracy looks good; the Red Outer Circle is 12cm / 4.73"; it looks like 90% of the 60 shot group is within a circle ~1/2 the diameter, so ~2.3moa after 60rds.
The Wilcox Power Rail looks problematic. It locks in the customer to a narrow suite of proprietary optics and accessories. And then gives them all a pretty anemic power source to boot. Red dot sight + flashlight (White and IR) + IR laser powered by 1x CR123. All with a paltry 1m water resistance rating.
Now if it used 1x 18650 or 2x 18650's, and paired with a family of smart optics and thermal scopes, it might make more sense.
Steyr should just develop their own slim M-LOK aluminum handguard with low mounted top rail, which would allow it to use any and all accessories now and into the future.
I wonder why HK designers interfaced directly the polimer receiver with the metallic trunnion instead of using more metallic mass in an internal cage or rails like AUG or Tavor
Because the requirements were for a featherweight rifle, and doing that would add weight.
Recall that, at the time, Germany wouldn't fight outside of Europe, so the requirements didn't envision high temperatures.
The very core of ELINT is to detect emissions at much, much larger ranges than the opposite side believes possible. Add to that the many surprises in the history of "passive" devices that could be remotely activated at astonishing ranges. I still remember the image of Henry Cabot Lodge presenting a cutaway wooden U.S. Seal to the United Nations, that was in reality a Soviet, absolutely passive listening device.
Not to mention the growing omnipresence of active(!) Bluetooth devices.
Like you, I am also quite certain that the intention of the round counter is just for maintenance. That makes it really awful. For a "nice to have" maintenance gimmick, the very real risk is taken that the enemy can use it for detecting the presence of our soldiers.