Canberra-based defence technology company, Kord Defence, has signed a contract with the US Marine Corps for the testing and evaluation of a wireless control system, worth US$500,000 (A$676,000).
First developed in 2016, the Kord Defence wireless control system is currently in use with the Australian Defence Force and allows soldiers to operate all their electronic equipment without taking their eyes off the target or hands off their weapons through the use of bluetooth low energy technology.
The contract with the US Marine Corps will extend the current testing and evaluation of Kord Defence’s Rifle Input Control Technology to a wireless control system for use on the US Marine Corps’ new rifle.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the contract demonstrated the potential of Australian defence industry as well as the benefits of government initiatives in supporting defence innovation.
“With the support of government initiatives such as the Defence Innovation Hub, Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), and the Australian Defence Export Office, small to medium enterprises are now accessing the United States and other key markets to generate new business opportunities, drive exports and grow employment,” Minister Pyne said.
“The success of Kord Defence’s wireless control system demonstrates the incredible potential of the Australian defence industry to support improved capability of not only the ADF, but also for allies,” he added.
Kord Defence has developed a simple way of controlling legacy and future electronic equipment soldiers carry. This device, called the SmartGrip Rifle Input Control (RIC), is a weapon mounted programmable control which provides the soldier with a fast, simple and safe way of remotely controlling weapon mounted and body worn electronic devices without taking eyes off task or hands off the weapon, even on the move.
The five- button control attaches to the weapon rail system and is operated by pressing single or multiple buttons (chords), similar to a computer game. It does not replace the standard device controls.
The RIC has been interfaced to control electronic devices such as thermal weapon sights, infra-red sensors, night aiming devices, laser range finders, radios, illuminators and computers. It has been fitted to M4, SA80A2, Steyr AUG and Beretta ARX 160 but can be mounted on any weapon with a Picatinny or NATO rail beneath the barrel. This low cost option turns legacy equipment into a more efficient system now with a growth path to future weapons and electronic devices.