Top 10 New Tactical Technologies

Heckler & Koch G28 Rifle

Heckler & Koch is a world-class, small-arms systems company, and a major supplier to global military, law enforcement agencies, and civilian shooters. Its well-known range of products include the MP5 submachine gun, USP series pistols, the MP7 Personal Defense Weapon, the G36 weapon system, the HK416, and HK45 and P30 series pistols. The company also provides logistical support, training and specialized services to its customer base.

H&K’s new G28 is the designated marksman rifle for the German Army. Based on the MR308 civilian competition rifle (the European variant of the new MR762A1), the G28 uses the HK417 “envelope” as the foundation for its design, but with several significant differences.

The G28 employs a steel upper receiver, is semi-automatic only, and has new STANAG 4694 NATO accessory rails (compatible with MIL-STD-1913 “Picatinny” rails). Its two-stage gas regulator is designed for both suppressed and unsuppressed use, and the rifle is equipped with a free-floating, chromed-lined barrel, manufactured using HK’s legendary cold-hammer forging technology.

Available in Standard Configuration and a slightly lighter weight Patrol Configuration, both G28 variants come with retractable buttstocks. They also come with a choice of premium Schmidt & Bender scopes (depending on configuration), as well as a selection of critical-use accessories. Both G28 variants have a special low IR observable green/brown (RAL8000) color finish.

The G28 is currently in operational use in Afghanistan, and is being evaluated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to determine whether the variants are suitable for importation as law enforcement and military firearms. Because of this, there isn’t anything concrete on pricing and availability yet. Due to the design of their internal parts, neither G28 variant will be available as a commercial / civilian product, even though they are semi-automatics.


Multi-purpose vehicle design is without a doubt the current trend in not only SWAT vehicles, but also emergency response vehicles in general. Recent technology trends include having single or multiple workstations in the layout, the use of Intel-I-Touch™ for quick and easy vehicle deployment, and multi-purpose vehicle design, which encourages more frequent deployment (frequent deployment reduces the risk of on-scene mechanical failures, increases user familiarity, and minimizes the risk of vehicle damage which is often a result of training deficiencies).

The Collier County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office SWAT equipment truck was mission-designed and manufactured by LDV (). It was custom built to fit the agency’s garage requirements, and is highly specialized to meet that SWAT team’s operational needs. Collier County’s truck includes one exterior and two interior workstations, which give users’ command post capabilities. Flat screen monitors, DVD recorders, satellite television, and microwave video downlink provide for on-scene command and communication capabilities.

The design also features exterior access to most of the SWAT team’s critical equipment. This includes slide-out trays for entry tools, a day box, ice chest, SCBA backpacks, and unique robot access and storage in the rear. There is also an exterior weapons cabinet with ammo storage drawers, an exterior cord reel, and exterior viewable TV. The rear ladder provides access to the observation area on the roof. It was built on a re-mountable body, so if the agency ever requires it, the body can be easily re-mounted on another chassis.

LDV has extensive experience designing and manufacturing SWAT vehicles along with their complete line of special service vehicles. They offer a variety of vehicle platforms from which to choose, including walk-in vans, commercial cab-chassis, custom coaches, fire apparatus chassis, commercial cargo vans, and trailers of all sizes. The company works closely with customers to select the best platform based on their needs and budget.

EOTech XPS2 Sight

The EOTech XPS2 is the shortest model sight yet. It is smaller and lighter than other Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS) and runs on a single 123 battery. With the new single battery configuration, the XPS allows for more rail space, leaving more room for rear iron sights, magnifiers, or NV mount.

Features include a single transverse 123 battery to reduce sight length, better sealing, and a shortened base that only requires, at most, 2-3/4 inch of rail space. The battery cap and latch have been eliminated and replaced with a simple O-ring and tethered cap. The average battery life at brightness level 12 is roughly 600 hours.

Originally the new more compact EXPS body style was only released with night vision compatibility. It is now available in a non-night vision format that offers all the bells and whistles, but without the added expense of the night vision option. It was found that most people didn’t need night vision compatibility, but wanted the compact body style with the quick release base and side buttons. (The side button feature is ideal for use with their 3X magnifier.) For night vision compatibility, see the XPS3 sight.

Throwbot® XT from ReconRobotics

With more than 3,500 Recon Scout® robots deployed by military and law enforcement customers around the globe, ReconRobotics is a leader in tactical micro-robots. The company has introduced the new Throwbot® XT—something the company feels is the ultimate tactical team asset.

The Throwbot XT protects the lives of SWAT operators and speeds the resolution of high-risk operations by providing immediate situational awareness and greater standoff distance. It is small and durable, and features sophisticated video and audio reconnaissance technology. And because it is just 8 inches long, it can easily be carried in a small tactical pack on every callout.

The Throwbot XT weighs just 1.2 pounds, is 4.5 inches high and 7.6 inches wide, and can be thrown up to 120 feet. Controlled with a single joystick, its small size allows the robot to move under furniture and through narrow openings as it operates quietly at 22 decibels at 20 feet.

It is equipped with an automatic, infrared optical system that allows the operator to see in complete darkness, and transmits video at low frequencies to penetrate walls, windows, and doors up to 1,000 feet to a mobile command post equipped with the Recon Scout XT command monitoring station. It can also be specified in any of three frequencies, enabling operators to use up to three robots in the same environment at the same time.

When paired with the new audio-ready Recon Scout OCU, the operator is able to use the robot to listen in on quiet conversations from up to 30 feet away. When paired with the Recon Scout SearchStick, the Throwbot XT can also be used in pole camera fashion to safely search attics, crawl spaces and rooftops.

More than 400 federal, state, and local tactical and counter-terrorism teams, including the FBI, DEA and U.S. Marshals rely on Recon Scout robots to resolve dangerous situations. In addition, the U.S. military has deployed more than 2,000 of the company’s robots for use in Afghanistan and other active-combat regions.

Point Blank’s Dragon Fire Tactical Body Armor

According to Point Blank, the company’s new Dragon Fire Gen 2 tactical armor system delivers maximum protective coverage, exceptional functionality, and optimal load bearing capabilities, pushing the limits beyond what was thought was possible in a tactical vest. It has been tested to exceed DEA, FBI and NIJ 0101.06 standards. The Dragon Fire is offered with the most advanced tri-compliant Level IIIA ballistic systems, and its innovative design allows the officer to adapt to any tactical mission with split-second precision.

Its rapid release, break-away design and internal suspension system were adapted from the military. Performance-driven features include multiple adjustability points and ergonomic comfort. The vest is side opening.

Some of the agencies taking advantage of Dragon Fire’s high-performance and protection capabilities include Miami, Albany and Buffalo SWAT. Boston MTA SRT is currently leveraging the “sister” tactical system, Four Star, from PACA.


Officer safety has always been a major issue for police departments. Being a SWAT or uniform patrol officer means playing the hand you are dealt, but too often the bad guy is the one who deals that hand. This means he often has a chance to run and hide, and in the worst case scenario, set up an ambush.

With the FLIR BHS-X, law enforcement is given the power to see in the dark, through fog or smoke, and to discern a criminal from the bushes or tree where he is hiding. It also allows an officer to see a footprint trail on carpet or floor left by the person he is after, or to tell which vehicles have been recently driven by the heat given off by their engines.

The FLIR BHS-X is a new bi-ocular (both eyes are used) model of FLIR thermal imagining cameras made especially for law enforcement.

In the world of thermal imaging, the term “camera” does not mean it takes photographs, but simply that it is handheld. A thermal imaging “scope” implies it is mounted on a gun. The difference between the made-for-law enforcement BHS-X and consumer cameras is video output, the lens varieties, and the fact that lenses are interchangeable.

Law enforcement units should be 30Hz or 60Hz (this refers to how quickly the screen refreshes). Civilian models run at 7Hz or 9Hz which makes for a choppy, slowed image. With a 30Hz camera such as the BHS-X, viewing is more like watching television, where images unfold fluidly.

Like all FLIR thermal cameras, the BHS-X creates images from heat, not light, giving the operator a tactical advantage. Thanks to its uncooled vanadium oxide detector, it has excellent long-range viewing with sharp 320 x 240 native resolution in the viewfinder and a 2x digital e-zoom step to 160x 120 resolution. At 320 x 240, the thermal sensor can identify a man-sized target at 500 yards, although the actual range may vary depending on camera setup, environmental conditions, user experience, and display method.

Colt’s LE6920MP-R

Colt Defense LLC is one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of small-arms weapons systems. The company has supplied rifles and carbines to military, law enforcement and individual customers throughout the world for 175 years. Its subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation, is the Canadian government’s Center of Excellence for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine.

Colt recently introduced the LE6920MP-R, based on Colt’s popular 6920 Law Enforcement Carbine, which has proven to be effectively mobile during tactical deployment and traditional patrol.

Like its predecessor, this M4 carbine comes with eight of Magpul’s most popular firearm accessories as standard equipment, but with the added benefit of a Troy Industries rail system. This combination gives the operator one of the most versatile and mission-configurable rifle systems available, allowing users the freedom to add accessories of their choice for a more personalized gun.

Troy Industries’ rail systems provide a solid mounting platform for optics, forward grip, flashlights and other accessories, as well as providing improved heat dissipation and improved ergonomics.

The features include a 16.1-inch long, 1-in-7-inch twist chrome-lined barrel chambered for 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington); 32.25 inches with the all-black MOE buttstock fully retracted; weighs 6.8 pounds. These rifles are available with a bullet button for California compliance.

Standard Magpul accessories include the Generation 2 rear backup sight (MBUS), MOE vertical grip (MVG), two 30-round Magpul polymer magazines (PMAGS), MOE hand guard, MOE-K hand grip, MOE trigger guard and MOE carbine stock. Also standard are an RVG fore-end grip and Colt Flash Suppressor.

PROTECH® Tactical FAV™ MKII QR Tactical Vest

Safariland recently introduced the PROTECH® FAV™ MKII QR (Quick Release) tactical vest to its FAV MKII Enhanced family of vests. The FAV MKII QR features a simplistic, quad buckle, quick release system that is ideal for maritime operations or for agencies requiring quick doffing capabilities.

The quick release mechanism uses a unique quad-release buckle system, which is situated on the bottom front portion and the shoulder areas of the vest. The front and rear of the vest can be quickly released through a single pull on a deployment handle located in the center upper torso of the front carrier. This gives the user the ability to remove the carrier quickly and effectively when the need arises. And as there are no cables that need to be rethreaded after the deployment of the vest, reassembly can be done quickly and easily by clicking the buckles back into place.

The FAV MKII QR carrier comes with front, back, shoulder and 6-inch x 10-inch side ballistic panels and is equipped with a 360-degree modular attachment system to accommodate PROTECH Tactical TP pouches and accessories; six integrated, long arm magazine pouches; an outer cummerbund with adjustable sides to provide a custom fit for a wide range of waist circumferences; an adjustable, dual weapon retention system in the shoulder area for specific weapon retention and individual shooting positions; and combo, external top-loading plate pockets on the front and back to hold 8-inch x 10-inch or 10-inch x 12-inch Type III or Type IV hard armor plates. The carrier also features adjustable shoulder and side closure systems to create an optimum fit for each individual officer.

Smith & Wesson New M&P Shield Pistol

Smith & Wesson has a new polymer pistol, the M&P ShieldTM. Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the new M&P Shield has the features found in the M&P Pistol Series, but in a slim profile. The M&P Shield utilizes an extremely thin, lightweight, high-strength polymer frame with a black, Melonite®-coated, stainless steel slide and barrel. Pistol accuracy has been refined with a white-dot stainless-steel front sight, and a white, two-dot stainless-steel rear sight. It still has familiar operating features including a simple takedown lever, flat profile slide stop, magazine release, and thumb safety.

For improved firearm control, the M&P Shield is standard with a fixed textured backstrap and additional texturing at the forward portion of the grip. An extended trigger guard allows for operation with or without gloves.

Internal features of the new M&P Shield mirror the standard M&P Series. Its stainless-steel internal chassis reduces flex while providing a stable shooting platform, and its low-bore axis helps maintain ease-of-use and a comfortable feel. A passive trigger safety prevents the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm. A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the slide.

Both the 9mm and .40 S&W models are standard with a 3.1-inch barrel, which contributes to an overall length of 6.1 inches and an unloaded weight of 19 ounces. They are shipped with an extended as well as a flat magazine so the operator can customize the length of the grip.

The 9mm Shield offers an 8+1 or 7+1 magazine capacity, while the .40 S&W Shield is standard with either a 7+1 or 6+1 magazine capacity. There will also be a California-compliant model. Both of the M&P Shield models are available to both law enforcement professionals and consumers, and have an MSRP of $449.

Phoebus Tactical Lunetta 3

Phoebus introduced the new Lunetta 3 rechargeable duty light. It uses the CREE XPG R5 LED in a highly polished reflector producing 250+ lumens in high mode for up to three hours on a single charge. Designed specifically for use by law enforcement officers, it has a machined aircraft-grade aluminum body and matte-black anodized finish.

The rear-mounted tactical button switch toggles high or low brightness modes or, by holding switch down, strobe on demand.

This flashlight always defaults to “high mode next” when switched off, so it comes on at 100 percent output when switched back on. The rear cap assembly has been enlarged for better balance, grip and use as a striking surface. The flashlight comes complete with one 3.7v 18650 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, a battery charger with both AC and DC adapters, and a belt pouch.  

Accessories for the Lunetta 3 include 18650 rechargeable batteries, RCR123A rechargeable batteries and CR123A batteries, fast holsters, and gun mounts.

The new light has an effective throw of 175 meters, an output of 250 lumens, fixed beam type, and a lamp life of more than 10,000 hours. It uses one 3.7v 18650 Lithium Ion, or two CR123A or RCR123A batteries for a run time of three hours, two hours and 40 minutes, respectively.

Jim Weiss is a retired lieutenant from the Brook Park, Ohio, Police Department and a frequent contributor to LAW and ORDER. Mickey Davis is a California-based writer and author.

Published in Tactical Response, Jul/Aug 2012

Rating : 10.0

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