The latest integrated assault rifle prototype for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is loaded with smart weapons technology. According to Gizmag.com, along the ability to fire new lightweight telescoped ammunition, and a secondary effects module that adds either a three-round 40 mm grenade launcher or a 12-guage shotgun, is also sports a NATO-standard power and data bus to allow the attachment of smart accessories, such as electro-optical sights and position sensors that connect to command and control networks.
The Soldier Integrated Precision Effects Systems (SIPES) project has been developing the rifle since 2009 specifically for the CAF by Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and Colt Canada. The goal is to provide a high-powered, lightweight standard military rifle for the CAF for the next several decades. The fully-integrated prototype is expected to weigh less than a CAF standard issue Colt C7 equipped with an M203 grenade launcher.
The weapon has been equipped with the technology that allows it to automatically produce and engage targets, along with developing sensors required to accurately locate targets spatially and share that target data with surrounding units and back to base. Researchers are working on the next step, incorporating TrackingPoint-style projectile guidance technology. The TrackingPoint system claims to be so effective even an untrained 12-year old girl can hit targets at 1000 yards; this can be seen in the video below.
“In the medium term, this weapon concept represents a lethal, flexible general-purpose platform,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Serge Lapointe, from the Soldier Systems group in Director Land Requirements – Soldier Systems (DLR 5) of the Canadian Army. “It will be able to operate in all theaters of operations in the most complex terrain including urban areas, mountains, jungles, deserts and the Arctic.”
The main weapon comprises a NATO standard “bullpup” style 5.56 mm NATO-standard caliber, semi-automatic rifle with selectable fire rate and the secondary – additional – weaponry includes a 12-guage shotgun, and a 40-mm, three round capacity grenade launcher.
The new rifle prototype promises to provide a much more informed and tactically adept experience for future soldiers with the integration of electronic devices that will provide soldiers with the ability to transmit and receive data to and from a command and control network.
It has not been announced when the weapon’s full release to the CAF or other armed forces will be.