01 November 2011

ISDEF 2011

What may become an annual pilgrimage to the Israel Defense Exhibition (ISDEF), DoubleTapper and I visited the Tel Aviv fairgrounds and took a gander at the latest in defense technology to hit the streets.

This year's event was very similar to last year's, with a few notable differences. The first was an impressive yet alarming array of rescue vehicles and mass-casualty technologies. To see an ambulance command and control center for mass-trauma (with an impressive 15 meter telescoping camera/communications tower) is both reassuring and yet frightening - reassuring in that Israel is thinking about 'what-ifs' and preparing for them, and frightening in that we have a prepared-for scenario for such high casualty counts.

There was an interesting rappel evacuation concept which DoupleTapper tried out.

The second notable difference was an increase in camera/radar/thermal tower companies which automatically scan the countryside and hone in on a man or vehicle and alert security of the situation. The prices range from a non-milspec $15,000 version to higher-end, $100k and up.

There was Armatix showing off some nonstandard stuff. They make various gun securing technology, including a notable wristwatch activated "smart" gun. This "smart" gun is actually pretty stupid, and really does not accomplish what a smart-gun customer would want - i.e., not allowing another guy (bad- guy, or kid) to fire your gun, and allowing you to fire it quickly and with little effort. Armatix must be pretty well funded, because all their products suck.

Imagine a gun lock with steel parts that gets inserted into your pistol barrel.  If yanked on it with both hands in an attempt to remove the locks shaft from the barrel, the barrel can be completely destroyed.  Yeh, thats the kind of gun lock that will sell!

Moving on the the big guns.

Ryan McMillan was back again this year with some of the highest quality sniper rifles we've ever seen.  Next time we are in Phoenix we need to stop by their shop and do some long range shooting!

The M60D from US Ordnance

While DoubleTapper can shoot this one offhand! 
The rest of us will have to shoot from the hip!
Israeli Surplus Weapons from (Kalia) Ltd.
Guenther from Surefire was there, too, again this year. He's always entertaining, and blinds us the latest in light technology.

Rafael, (which is a Hebrew acronym for "We get to make tons of awesome toys that can really #uck some $hit up"), had a new toy on display, an UGV eight wheel rover, made by AMSTAFF with a kick-butt .50 cal machine gun on top. It even had a rear-view camera for those sticky parallel parking situations.


Tough-looking guys

It turns out those squares strapped to their chests fold out into a high-tech TV tray on which thay can can balance MREs while eating on the run, watch Achmed the (soon-to-be) dead terrorist from the closest UAV, and SMS their wives back home. There have been some complaints from the grunts in the field, though, because they can't play Battlefield 3 on it yet. But the VP insisted it and other exciting titles will be available March 2012.

DoubleTapper's friends at Silver Shadow have were showing the Gilboa AR Pistol which is now in production, but that deserves a post of it's own, as does the Cornershot, which now comes in 3 calibers.

Other than that, not a lot of new technologies were on display.  All told, it was an interesting trip, and I'm glad I made the journey.

Dual Role Combat Sight by ECLAN

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