The Brisbane-based munitions company has trialled sensor technology designed to link soldiers on the battlefield to decision makers via a small arms data node.
NIOA has facilitated testing of global technology company T-Worx’s smart rail system — Intelligent-Rail (I-Rail).
The technology is designed to integrate rifles with real-time data nodes, which link soldiers on the battlefield with tactical leaders and commanders.
T-Worx first developed the I-Rail after securing funding from the US Army, with the technology selected by NATO as the basis for the NATO-powered Rail STANAG 4740/AEP-90.
The I-Rail leverages fully integrated sensor technology with a single source of power and connectivity between weapon ancillaries including sensors.
The technology is built to capture information from sensors on the weapon to create a data package that can include video, radio communication, ammunition usage and location logistics.
The system is fully integrated within the Colt M4 family of weapons, of which the Colt M4 is the primary weapons system for Australian SOCOMD units.
The I-Rail technology is tipped to support the LAND 159, LAND 125-4, LAND 53 and LAND 200 projects.
“T-Worx are a truly innovative partner to NIOA,” NIOA general manager for engineering Rudi Bekker said.
“They understand the need for Australian sovereignty and are proactively progressing technology transfer and upskilling of the T-Worx technology suite to NIOA’s weapons design team.”
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NIOA CEO Robert Nioa welcomed the opportunity to work with T-Worx to develop next-generation capability for the ADF.
“The battlespace is becoming more and more data-driven,” he said.
“These systems allow faster decision making for our men and women on the frontline which boosts situational awareness and ultimately their safety.”
Don McLaughlin, president of T-Worx, added, “We are thrilled to work together with NIOA to ensure our allied and partner nation war fighters have the capability edge to accomplish their missions and get home safely.”
This project is expected to support NIOA’s bid for the next tranche of the LAND 159 Lethality Systems Program, which includes the delivery of a close combatant family of weapons, machine guns, direct fire support weapons and a contemporary family of grenades.
NIOA recently wrapped up Stage 1 of Tranche 1 of the Commonwealth government program, which involved test, evaluation, data analysis and source evaluation recommendations for sniper and close combat weapon systems.