Electronic Weapons: August 2, 2003


Combat troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have some complaints about the increasing inventory of electronic gear they have to carry. A growing gripe is with batteries. For example, the standard issue team and squad radios are seen as inferior and unreliable, and many units have bought MBITR (a commercial product first used by Special Forces). But even here there are problems. The batteries are heavy and range isn't great (about one kilometer) when using FM (and about eight kilometers when using VHF). Another problem is that units buying the MBITR themselves is that they often don't get the correct military accessories. While it's good to allow units to buy stuff off the shelf, the vendors have to be more on the ball in servicing these customers. Thales, the manufacturer of MBITR, eventually woke up to the problem and assigned people to contact military purchasers of MBITR to make sure they were getting the training and accessories they needed.


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