IVAS Helmet Integrated Visual Augmentation System
Courtesy US Army
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Before I got into journalism, writing, and photography, I worked on computers. Building and repairing computers was a great way to get through school compared to slinging fast food, and in the beginning I was thinking I’d get a degree that had something to do with IT. Most of the problems were challenging, but they were a fun kind of challenge. Plus, putting together a high-end graphics or gaming machine for a customer and making it look cool inside was a lot of fun.

Malware Ruins Everything

But then came the malware. The Blaster worm was downright awful, but that came and went pretty quickly. Later, the Sasser worm (ca. 2004) made things a huge pain, and it seemed that after that, work went from something fun and challenging to 90% of our time being consumed by malware removal. Sometimes we’d remove it, but often we couldn’t. That meant we’d have to format and reinstall the operating system.

Around the same time, computer companies dropped their prices and it was only rarely economical for us to build a computer. It got to the point where repair was often not a good option. By 2006, I was completely burnt out and had moved on to other things.

I also know from my time in that industry that even the best systems can become a total mess once you have people actually start using them. Some people just aren’t very good at doing things visually, and most computer systems are designed to do exactly that. No matter how hard you try to explain doing new things to some people, some just aren’t going to pick it up.

Perhaps worse, sometimes an expensive purchase means that people are very hesitant to move on to something newer when the old one becomes obsolete. I had to learn to tell elderly business owners ‘No’ when they started asking about keeping some software they were still running from the early 1990s. Some wanted to take radical steps like building an old computer from surplus parts or trying to install their old crap in a virtual machine on a new computer. By the time it was all said and done, they always wished they had just paid to upgrade instead of stubbornly trying to keep living in the past.

Now, Soldiers Will Carry and Wear Computer Networks

I know from talking to people who do military IT work that all of these problems exist on military installations just as they do here in the outside world, but we’ve never had the problem of sending much complex information technology past the front line and directly onto close combat forces. Frighteningly, that’s exactly what the military is doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a neo-luddite who thinks that we shouldn’t do new things with the technological tools we have.

As I’ve expressed in other articles, the capabilities that come with the XM157 will be game-changing. Being able to quickly adjust for windage and bullet drop without having to do any thinking will greatly enhance lethality. Seeing what other people have tagged, knowing where targets and enemy forces are, and even receiving information from commanding officers, aircraft, and satellites in your optic will greatly help with situational awareness. Being able to tag an enemy position with your optic and then tell a pilot exactly where to strike will be priceless.

We’re making science fiction and video games reality here in many ways.

What makes all of this possible is connectivity. The XM157 will wirelessly connect to IVAS helmets like the one this guy is wearing . . .

IVAS Helmet Integrated Visual Augmentation System
Courtesy US Army

The IVAS system and the XM157 optic will use this on-body computing system to connect to other nearby soldiers, with headquarters, and with other military assets. If you look closely, you can see that there’s a lot of cabling involved, and there’s probably a lot of data moving not only wirelessly, but on the wearer’s body itself.

With those enhanced capabilities will come problems. Microsoft (the company making the IVAS system) is already having issues, and the military recently delayed the contract to address more of them. Given the problems Windows computers often have that Apple and Linux-based systems don’t, we really should be asking whether we want the latest version of Windows to be something people at the front gamble their lives on.

Bugs Are A Smaller Problem

New systems, including the much more expensive F-35, are having similar issues, and they’ll be worked out. But that only means that these new information fusion systems will then have to face the gauntlet of security. With some of what soldiers will be wearing being powered by Microsoft, you can bet there will be some security holes that come from zero-day exploits, as explained in the following video . . .

Enemies like the People’s Liberation Army will do anything to get their hands on these systems and start picking them apart. Hackers will be working long and hard to see if they can penetrate them and find ways to not only spy on U.S. forces, but to inject bad information into soldiers’ units that gets them to do the worst things at the worst times. Or, they might just find ways to distract and confuse soldiers.

I know that there are people working to keep these systems secured, but it’s only a matter of time before someone finds their way in and something like this happens . . .

“You know the rules and so do I,” the soldier’s optic displays. “A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of. You wouldn’t get this from any other guy. I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling. Gotta make you understand. Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down…”

Just then, his radio started playing this song while his IVAS helmet plays the following video in glorious 3D . . .

The military had better start working now to make sure soldiers know and how to react what to do when they’re Rickrolled. Or worse.

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104 COMMENTS

  1. The greatest threat to our nations military will be the ever elusive Nigerian prince. Or porn. Probably be porn.

    • Shire-man,

      I will argue that the greatest threat to our nation’s military is the U.S. government. Whether or not that means the Democrat Party, Republican Party, both Parties, or just the Executive Branch of the U.S. is anyone’s guess.

    • If I’m looking at these pictures right, I can’t get passed the two massive cords hanging off the helmet and attached to the optic. That would piss off the ever living shit out of me when I was in the infantry. Those cords are going to caught on all kinds of bullshit.

  2. So per the author’s article, she identifies a potential problem with the optic’s software. Uet tje title of tje article claims a problem with the RIFLE and the optic. Yet nonwhere does the article mention the rifle. Uh….click bait bullshit.

      • No sir. Technically it is not. The rifle can be shot and employed with any optic or even no optic. And even if you were right, there is ZERO mention of the rifle.

  3. The electronic sight is 100% overkill. Better to just buy ACOG’s with ACSS Aurora reticles, which use no batteries and are pretty much literally bomb proof. regarding the 6.8×51 round and the companion rifle/machine gun, I have seen ZERO evidence for a use case for this weapon. The long range infantry engagement has never been a “Thing”. When you actually face reality and throw that outdated notion out the window, why do we need this??? In a multi-million dollar platform, like a F35, I understand there might be a use case for the $400,000 helmet that replaced the traditional HUD, but not for an infantrymen at this point. Money is better spent on training and lots of run and gun shooting, not on stuff.

  4. The military does a fairly decent job of encrypting their proprietary software and networks. So well, we often have difficulty connecting to other “friendly” elements. There will be bugs and growing pains, but they will eventually work them out.

    What concerns me the most is; dependency. There is a tendency for dependency. These technical developments are “force multipliers” but become crutches. I had to deal with this with the integration of GPS. Soldiers became completely dependent on GPS, they forgot how to read a map or use a compass. I often trained my guys by taking away their GPS gear and forcing them to quickly complete the mission without any additional technology.

    Hoping that future leaders safeguard against this potential dependency hazard. Like Jennifer stated; when you need it most is when you are likely to lose it.

    • Good points. How ‘hardened’ is this stuff against EMP?
      If I were Vlad and I were facing strategic collapse, I’d consider detonating a high-altitude EMP over my own territory.
      The ‘enemy’ would be degraded much more than the home forces.

    • Outside of the military, I know plenty of people who can’t navigate without GPS. They ahve no idea how to use a map. Even the one on the screen. If the lady says “Turn left here” before they are actually right at the turn then the people on the sidewalk better watch out.

      • One of my LASD uniformed buddies told me they’re still required to have the latest Thomas Guide map books with them in their vehicles (yes, those books many of us older folks grew up with are still a thing). The reasoning is that LASD is never to rely solely on cell phone reception/service, or GPS mapping, or anything connected to the Interwebs. SoCal is a very mountainous region outside the famous L.A. Basin, and the peaks & ravines are steep enough that there are “dead spots” everywhere. Heck, my home is located in one and I rely on WiFi (when the WiFi is down on occasion, I must either drive down the canyon to open area or hike up the mountain behind my house to get standard network signal). LASD uniformed must be able to have an analog/printbook method of determining *two* separate paths of ingress/egress of a location.

        I would never trust a weapon/optics system hooked up to the Hive.

    • I can see several problems. First, the system is transmitting which means the sources can be detected and either jammed, spoofed, or intercepted. Also provides good targetting data for artillery as the Ukrainians are doing to Russian command posts.

      Then the issue not so much as information awareness but information overload. There is so much that our brains can concentrate on.

      How is the system powered? Lots of AA & AAA lithium batteries?

      And finally don’t underestimate the potential for private Snuffy to find and exploit loopholes or even break the unbreakable.

      I’ve been working in IT for 30 years and have seen great promises undone by small system and process flaws.

      • Comsec I am not as worried about but you bring up an excellent point of em emissions which can absolutely be triangulated and shelled if detected. The rest well we have issues with any tech we are issued and it usually tends to suck for the nerds in the platoon that can figure it out when the team leader and above cannot.

        • I wouldn’t be entirely confident about their capacity for keeping comms secure.

          Just look at how numerous groups figured out exactly where USSF guys were operating in Iraq and Syria by using publicly available cellphone data to track the devices running ATAK and even other non-cellular capable devices on the same network.

          That was done from half a world away by numerous groups including the GU, GUSP and FSB.

        • From the little I recall they were able to get location of emissions but not the content. Then again it was a cursory read that I forgot to follow up on. Either way between using actual encryption and frequency hopping (when you can make it work) if they can figure out what you are saying it’s pretty much your unlucky day.

  5. I know that technology has saved U.S. Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen. And delivered misery to our enemies. But, on a visceral level I shy away from this. I was in the infantry for a few years. Murphy was born in the infantry. In the end I just want to be able to rely on my own eyes. I still have 20/20. I also want a good pair of iron sights. If for nothing else than backup. No batteries required. Least number of things to break.

  6. There are some pretty big concerns for sure but most of it can be overcome by doing a few simple and basic things.

    Changing attitude would go a very long way. It is not necessary to make EVERYTHING IP addressable. It is also not very needed to allow access to Facebook/Twitter through said equipment. I find it interesting that we are using technology from countries that hate us in the production of our military equipment just like we are submitting ourselves by using foreign oil.

    You can filter out the bad actors and usually do it very easily. Especially when it’s military equipment like this, ALL outside connections should be filtered out and ONLY a preselected few IP’s be allowed.

    People need to keep in mind that computers are usually already infected right out of the box. BEFORE any connection to the internet. Particularly Windows. This is one of the biggest reasons to build your own. Building a computer should never be done with the frame of mind to spend less money. Building an AR15 shouldn’t be done that way either. But as soone as you plug in a computer, it should be formatted. Split the drive into two seperate virtual drives and then reinstall the operating system to C drive and but everything else on D drive where D drive comprises the lions share of space. If you have C drive contain NOTHING but the OS then you have saved yourself MANY frustrating moments.

    As with so many things in life, the way you do something is often more important than what you do.

  7. I am intrigued by the misconceptions between “younger” and “older” folks when it comes to “IT”. Here’s a prime example: “trying to install their old crap” and “stubbornly trying to keep living in the past”. My question is- do you actually grasp their perspective and simply discount it, or is it completely lost on you?

    Maybe no one has explained it in a way that makes sense to you. You know how to drive a car, right? You’ve also witnessed how the analog controls have been replaced by digital ones (you’ve probably cheered it on, too). But what has remained the same is that when you turn the steering wheel to the left, the car goes left. And turning the wheel right makes the car go right. The gas pedal is on the right and the brake is in the middle (there used to be a clutch pedal on the left). The digitizing of the controls did not alter how the driver interfaces with the automobile. But that’s not what happens when they “upgrade” software.

    I have asked “IT” pros about this for a few decades now- why can’t they just leave stuff alone? This has always engendered a dismissive response from them… “Just figure out how to use the new system- what’s the big deal?”

    The big deal is: why did they feel it was necessary to alter the most basic fundamental controls? What is gained by doing this? It is literally like getting into your car after it has been “upgraded” at the dealership, and now turning the steering wheel to the left makes the car go right! The gas pedal is now on the left, and the brake is the radio volume control. Why do this? WHY?!

    To equate this senselessness to the subject at hand- imaging after an “upgrade” your rifle’s safety is now the mag release. The charging handle has become the windage elevation knob. Yes, this is an overdramatization- but it accurately represents what “older” folks are faced with when in the blink of an eye the most basic functions of their computer are arbitrarily rearraigned without warning, explanation, or necessity. It simply makes no sense.

    And don’t get me started on the idiocy of connecting absolutely every damn thing to an “Innerweb” that intrinsically (by design?) CANNOT ever be made secure or private.

    It must be an age thing.

    • Hey I’m 68 this month. I miss old tech but I have no desire to go backwards. This military gobbledygook seems like something that could easily be hacked or destroyed by a wily enemy. Or a demented presiDON’T…how ya’ like all the military hardware n software Taliban?

    • Some good points.

      My personal experience is that back in the day, Windows98se never worked right until we had processors and hardware that came out around the transition from Win2k to WinXP. But by that time, most people stopped using Win98se so it was a non-issue. However, much of that was due to thoughts of 98 being useless and buggy when in reality it had more to do with hardware.

      There is this idea that we need to replace everything every year. So we get a new smart phone every time a new one comes out regardless of wether or not what we have works just fine for our needs. I find this to be idiotic and a waste of money. THIS is what keeps the poor man poor (among other things). It doesn’t surprise me that our military is going this way too.

      All it usually takes is doing things smartly.

      • prndll:
        “There is this idea that we need to replace everything every year. ”
        It’s called “planned obsolescence.” They do it all the time in the auto industry to get people to buy new, even though the existing product is still good and has lots of life in it. On the other hand, some tampering with existing designs is nothing more than a make-work stratagem designed to provide job security for/by the people involved.

        • Yep.
          It’s interesting how a chip shortage, high new car prices, and inflation can change things.

          Things that could have been much less severe for the auto industry if they were more inclined to build them here instead of there.

    • Peter Gunn,
      You not only had the exact same observation I was about to post, but used the exact same analogy I’ve always used! Car and other hardware manufacturers recognize that familiar and obvious user interfaces are an inherent good unto themselves; software makers act like they’re indicative of obsolescence, and can’t resist gratuitous change-for-change’s sake BS. I’m still finding new and creative ways I’d like to torment the guy who made the right scrollbar cursor go away.

    • And for the “hacking” weaknesses…

      Imagine an adversary who wants to “hack” your analog automobile to randomly immobilize you (by reversing your steering inputs, switching the brake with the radio volume control, and make the window button the seatback adjustment lever). Well, it’s basically impossible to do these things in an analog auto- and if one could make it work it would take weeks for customization professionals to fabricate all of it in a dedicated garage with specialized tools.

      Now let’s consider doing the same things to an internet-connected automobile made with integrated digital electronic controls. Guess what- it wouldn’t be hard to do at all! In fact, making such debilitating “upgrades” to a modern “smart” car could be accomplished right in your driveway… via its autonomic internet connection… in a matter of minutes… without your permission or knowledge.

      And THAT is the true malicious nature of and fatal flaw in all autonomous integrated digital electronic systems.

      We have to be smarter.

      • One completely obvious, essentially foolproof, (and oft overlooked) defense mechanism is hardware firebreaks or switches in the connections. I got on this soapbox a lot in the Navy, but I’m not sure if it was ever implemented.

      • You are so spot on.
        I will honor you in the future by playing your theme song in my head when i read your posts. Not a bad ear worm at all.
        (That’ll really screw with the kids!)
        LoL

        (“Who’s Henry Mancini ?!”)

    • The answer is deceptively simple, as TTAG Shadow alludes to.

      Part of this is due to a model based on an assumption of infinite growth seeming possible along certain parts of an S curve. When you’re in the slow parts of the curve there’s a financial incentive to create the illusion of of being in a fast part of it. This has to do with economics, finance and investment.

      The result is the “make work” thing Shadow talks about. Because it’s easier than explaining to investors (and other people) that progress along front-X can’t be made into a simple compounding interest formula with reliable annualized gains that can be monetized.

      Sometimes you hit walls that take an insane amount of time to overcome because you don’t yet understand the other things you need. Flight’s a good example. People 2500 years ago were designing flying machines but it wasn’t until the 1900’s that something like that could actually be made. Then you needed engines with good enough power to weight ratios to make aircraft viable. But from 1903 to 1950, holy shit look at that progress. That required a lot of metallurgy, notably along the fronts involving aluminum (and a few other things). It also required the creation of jet fuel, which is the product of hundreds of years of investigation into what we now call chemistry. Then by the 1970’s you’re starting to slow down enormously.

      Many aircraft were made as perfect as a profit driven model can make them (given current constraints) in the 1970’s. Can they be made better? Sure, but the cost is insane due to diminishing returns.

      When you’re on the right part of an S-curve you can get 1000x improvements for little expenditure and the sky seems to be the limit. Eventually you hit a point where the next 10% increase costs billions and billions to get to. It’s no longer worth it. Another revolution, possibly in what seems to be an unrelated field, is necessary. This has enormous tie-ins to something else we suck at, education, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

      A company exists to do something. It’s not going to just backburner what it does for anywhere from a few years to a couple millennia so that someone else can revolutionize something that takes the product to the next level.

      So, make-work has to sell something, hence the planned obsolescence to force you to buy a new widget. Now the make-work is profitable.

      Government is no different in this regard. It just has the power in a number of regards, which means that it has no real need to justify what it’s doing. It just does those things for its own reasons with no outside constraints.

      Combine that with the overarching bureaucratic nature of government and you have a mess. The bureaucracy creates new departments to “study” something, which are then used as a justification to do it. Wouldn’t want to waste all the money on that study without getting something, right? Ah, the fallacy of sunken costs arises.

      And it arises quickly because many GS positions are paid based on how many people you have under you. You have every incentive to get more people to work on the project and sub-project but no incentive to cancel useless projects. And around for another cycle of sunken-costs we go.

      Combine that with make-work in the private sector and you’ve got one of the major drivers of the MIC. Government creates a self-licking ice cream cone and the private sector supplies the ingredients for the ice cream and the cone. Everyone’s happy except that this is based on an infinite growth model which means that it takes up more and more resources as it grows and rapidly becomes a very serious, and parasitic, problem for the country.

  8. Peter, very well said. New ain’t necessarily better. You deserve a good steak and a better bourbon for that comment.

    • Technology like this always takes me back to the days of the Gemini and Apollo space missions. NASA spent millions of $$$ trying to develop an ink pen that would write in zero G outer space. After numerous failed attempts. They came across a novel solution to the problem after discovering what the Soviet Union was using. Any Guesses…. That’s right a #2 lead pencil.

      • They knew the answer to the problem from the beginning, but that tax payer money isn’t going to spend itself.

      • This is nonsense, and people should stop repeating it. The Soviets developed a space pen too. Fisher used his own money to develop his pen, then marketed it to the government. Graphite particles from a pencil in a capsule is just asking for a fire, completely unsafe.

      • But graphite fragments from the pencil caused electrical shorts and the Russians bought a batch of the pens.

        Also the space pen was not developed by NASA. It was developed privately by the company but NASA did buy batches of the pens.

  9. This is really WOKE STUPID. Train the military to shoot as has always been done and good reliable weapons to work with. This bullshit has come about because of corruption that allows somebody’s buddy to get paid with govt. funds.

  10. Here’s a little off-topic military news to brighten your day.

    Putin is getting cancer surgery and has to hand over the ‘reigns of power’ for a few days :

    “New York (Knewz) — Vladimir Putin’s cancer surgery will force him to hand over power in the Ukraine war “for days,” a “Kremlin insider” told the Daily Mail.

    Putin will reportedly put hardline Security Council head and ex-FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev in power while he is dealing with surgery.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-s-putin-to-hand-over-keys-to-war-while-he-has-cancer-surgery-report/ar-AAWN94M?cvid=74ff2f4ecb7c4476b3ac0739634b3642

    Good. Abdominal cancer. It will likely kill him, hopefully sooner, than later.

    Die, you POS… 🙂

    • EDIT –

      The news just gets better and better –

      “Putin was frequently visited by a vast team of doctors, Russian investigative news outlet Proekt said.”

      “Putin bathes in blood extracts from severed deer antlers as a form of alternative medicine, the report says.”

      “Russian investigative news outlet Proekt revealed that a team of doctors frequently visited the 69-year-old Russian president at his residences or accompanied him on trips amid growing questions about his health.

      “Yevgeny Selivanov, an oncology surgeon, specializing in thyroid cancer, flew to visit Putin at his Black Sea residence 35 times and spent 166 days in his presence, the report said.”

      “Two otolaryngologists, or ear, nose, and throat specialists, Igor Esakov and Alexei Shcheglov, visited the Russian president even more frequently.”

      “Russian President Vladimir Putin was visited by a thyroid cancer doctor 35 times, new investigation claims.”

      https://www.businessinsider.com/putin-health-cancer-fears-and-baths-in-deer-antler-blood-says-report-2022-4

      Good, thyroid cancer is about as lethal as it gets for cancer… 🙂

        • “WTF did Putin ever do to you?”

          Being just fine with rape and murder…

      • Well that’s bad news. I hope Putin recovers.
        As the old saying goes, ” Its better to live with the tiger we know then the wolf we dont.”
        Remember ,Orange Man Bad, now look what we’ve got.

        • And orange man bad has now largely been replaced by putin man bad. It’s what they do. This even to the point of being eagerly gobbled up by many of the very same individuals that recently (and still) decried every word uttered by the msm an outright lie. As the Great Seer SocialistMiner49er is wont to say; “fascinating”. If it was the King of Lichtenstein invading the Ukraine he would likely be hailed as a hero. Spin doctors all.

        • And yup. My comment went straight into the awaiting re-education camp. Fuck your free speech moderating algorithm ttag.

  11. No mention of the Elephant in the room.
    All of this fantastic new tech will require batteries to power it, will this force soldiers to choose between extra ammo or the weight and bulk of this hardware and it’s power supply?

    • There’s already technology to ‘harvest’ energy from a soldier’s motions, to power electronics.

      Also, there’s a large amount of broad banded RF energy in the combat environment that can be rectified and used to power other things…

      • Geoff PR,

        General dispersed radio energy in a combat environment is too weak to power electronics with microprocessors and visual displays.

        And the above simple sentence is awaiting moderation review.

        Come on TTaG–you really have to fix that.

  12. As a retired IT professional, Jennifer says some amusing things which are pure garbage.

    For example, “Some wanted to take radical steps like building an old computer from surplus parts or trying to install their old crap in a virtual machine on a new computer.”

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Some of that “old crap” worked far better at much lower cost than new crap. That’s why I set up a stand-alone computer (not connected to the internet) running old DOS programs (some written in the 1980s) that work properly every day and every time. Without an Internet connection, it can’t be hacked and will never get a virus. As an added bonus, the programs and data can be easily transported and run on any similar computer – anywhere.

    Newer is not always better.

    • It can be very problematic if the legacy hardware needs to communicate over obsolete communication protocols like “broken-ring” (AKA, ‘Token Ring’, IEEE 802.5)…

      • Agreed – that’s why you need a good IT person to analyze the system to ensure it can operate stand-alone isolated from all communications with other computers.

        Another reason the “old crap” can be better is that you OWN the software. You don’t have to rent it from an uncaring company. If you fail to pay the rent, or not buy the upgrade, they can (and will) leave you with a system that no longer works – or quietly degrade performance like old Smartphones. They know the tricks to separate you from your money.

        • The military had to emulate old DEC PDP-10 systems in a virtual environment because they couldn’t keep the original hardware working.

        • Subscriptions are where the real money’s at. You probably don’t own the software, but I know what you mean. I prefer the old way of buying a software license (that doesn’t have to connect to the internet) and forgetting about it.

        • @Dude

          …and that’s why I’m still running an elderly version (2010) of M.S. Office Pro. It runs fine for what I need and I don’t have to pay a #$#@! subscription every month / year.

  13. Computers are great, right up until their not.
    I have thought and often said our military is to dependent on technology. GPS, “secure” comms, satellites, tracking and aiming systems etc. are all great force multipliers. Right up until they quit working.
    How many of the boots on the ground in todays military can use a compass, read a map?
    How about calling in coordinates for arty or air support?
    Very similar to new cars. Spending tons of money on all the new technology that doesn’t work right but neglecting the basics of building a solid vehicle.

    • GPS nav is convenient, but it does make you kinda dumb. Remember the days of memorizing phone numbers?

    • We were still training and expected to know basic land nav as of 2014 but haven’t kept up to know if they still do.

  14. The main problem I see with all this, is that it’s all radio based. Radio signal is notoriously unreliable. E2E encryption will keep communications secure. But it doesn’t matter if you can’t communicate at all, or if interference (even the naturally occurring kind) garbles the message.

    • Jammers of the right frequency can make the communications unreliable. Every adversary of ours has electronics people who can do anything we can. The military should quit bragging about all their new hardware. Let the opposition find out when the shooting starts. Otherwise, we might be dead in the water when our super-bling suddenly fails the first time we use it, for no reason we know of.

  15. They can keep their new so called “rifle.” One of the fastest ways to turn a reliable and useful item into something worthless is to attach it to the internet.

  16. @Just Sayin (OG)
    “May 1, 2022 At 16:12
    The same thing he’s doing to all of us.

    Ain’t karma a bitch?!”

    He ain’t done a damn thing to me or mine nor I suspect you either.

    • It’s what he’s doing to neighboring countries and to the rest of world.

      Putin also needs a proctologist, a pry bar, and a winch to pull his head out of his rectum.

    • The fact that he is threatening global thermonuclear war and the end of the human race doesn’t interest you? I knew some people were desperate to become good communists, but that is going a bit far.

      • Dude, bluff. Besides, we do the same BS. Bottom line, aggressive NATO and globalist/communist/one world godvernment has pushed him into this corner. You down with that commie?

  17. Take a good look at that soldier in the first two pictures of the article, what bunch of crap; put him in a super hot muggy sweltering thick jungle environment, he’d be ripping that shit off and take only his rifle and as needed equipment asking for more ammo and magazines and get on with the real business……

  18. What is scary is that people would believe Microsoft capable of designing this system for combat.

  19. The whole concept is riddled with problems.

    Even the guys at Activision and EA knew this over a decade ago. Both the Battlefield and Modern Warfare franchises had the multiplayer ability to hack enemy IoT networks.

    When your side was hacked you’d get a warning, with “HQ” stating “Network’s down, we’re blind” or another basic “radio message” to the same effect.

    It didn’t really matter since most people at that time didn’t really rely on the “network” in the game but the concept of hacking a enemy IoT wasn’t new in 2009-2011.

    When it happens in real life actual people are likely going to die and if people, especially officers, are heavily reliant on the tech that’s gonna be a bad day.

  20. Make the emu lighter, make the gunm lighter, make everything lighter so you can pack 72lbs of electronics.
    What about some kinda machine that creates an EMP, that’d probably fck things up for all that gadgetry.
    Sniff sniff,what’s that smell, bomb a bag of cow sht.

  21. Reminds me of my time in the Army.

    Why are chem lights perfect for the infantry? No moving parts and you have to break it to make it work.

  22. @Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit” PR
    May 2, 2022 At 00:18
    “WTF did Putin ever do to you?”

    Being just fine with rape and murder…”

    But of course, you are just fine with rape and murder of ethnic Russians by the Nazi Azov Ukrainians. Got it.

    • Task Force Rusich is Nazi. Then there is the Somali Battalion. What they have done is acceptable to you? No one mentions these neo nazi units.

      I have respect for the Ukrainian people. No respect for Putin. No respect for Nazis either. If the Nazi units took to the field alone against each other I would arm them both so could fight to the last man and then call in artillery on him.

      • I have respect for the Ukrainian people too. The same even for Russian people. I despise nazis of any stripe.

        Chastising Putin for his actions in Ukraine is a bit like doing the same for our Puddin Head if Mexico was raising hell along the border in Texas, NM, and AZ with weapons supplied by the Russians and the Chinese. We wouldn’t put up with military operations along our border either. (Of course, if it was a soft invasion and narco-terrorism, we would put up with it and even celebrate it in some circles, right Uncle Joe?.) BLUF: We have no business fucking around in Ukraine. We have no business expanding NATO like we have done since the early 90s. Putin wants to slug it out with his crappy neighbor? Whatever.

        • Do you consider some Countries that left the Soviet block fear becoming part of Russia again and want protection by being a part of NATO?

          I know Ukraine has corruption, as every Country does. It didn’t make sense for Russia to invade. NATO can barely put a defense together much less an offense.

  23. @Southern Cross
    May 2, 2022 At 05:53
    “No one is. It’s shades of grey with Russia being a very dark…”

    And the nazi loving Ukrainians are certainly no better. Good people are killed all the time by shitty governments.

    • The actual vote for “Nazi” parties in the last election was TWO PERCENT. And the current president is Jewish.

      Hardly a fascist state.

      Putin on the other hand openly consorts with extreme nationalist groups such as the Night Wolves motorcycle club.

      • I didn’t say it was a fascist state. Zelensky has himself cavorted with nazis in Azov Brigade. That’s out there, open sources. You don’t even have to look that hard. Regardless, I don’t care if one or both parties are fascist. Not our problem.

  24. @Rider/Shooter
    “May 1, 2022 At 22:28
    And orange man bad has now largely been replaced by putin man bad. It’s what they do. This even to the point of being eagerly gobbled up by many of the very same individuals that recently (and still) decried every word uttered by the msm an outright lie. As the Great Seer SocialistMiner49er is wont to say; “fascinating”. If it was the King of Lichtenstein invading the Ukraine he would likely be hailed as a hero. Spin doctors all.”

    AMEN BROTHER!

  25. As a Grunt and a current DoD guy I can say first hand that stuff like this will likely never get wasted on us in the first place as people are just cheaper. It will sit in some store room for the POGs or tower guard folks to putz with as we infantry types will break it or lose it all in 6 seconds and never get to see it again.

    We can’t have nice things

  26. Why was ENCRYPTION not mentioned? Wireless does not automatically translate to vulnerable. Yes, another link in the chain that could break. But, opsec mandates encryption to prevent the very issues lamented against in the article. The sky is not falling and the ability to hack the mil tech is not the same as your Windows/Android/other device for personal use.

    • Encryption wont mean anything at all if the idea is simply to ‘disrupt’. I strong enough WiFi signal sent from enough transmitters will cut connection. That’s the problem with ALL things WiFi, including cellphones.

  27. An adversary could use this to destroy the US armed forces.
    All the enemy has to do, if they’re able to hack the system, is reverse the electronic displays on our soldiers’ headgear to label friendly forces as enemy. Then our own US soldiers will use their new XM5 rifles to target and kill other Americans, using our own high-tech weapons to kill our own troops. As the saying goes, “friendly fire isn’t!”

    An example of how this could work was shown in the sci-fi movie “The Fifth Wave” about an invasion by aliens who look human but aren’t. In this movie, the US soldiers have a high-tech visor which displays the enemy (aliens) show up as having glowing green heads. Spoiler alert: the aliens reverse the electronic visor so that humans show up as aliens, so the US Army ends up wiping out other humans instead of aliens.

    Another problem, as others have mentioned, is the electronic emissions would let the enemy track US forces. This has already been demonstrated, as some civilian tech nerds proved (to the surprise of the US Army) that they were able to easily track US infantry units as small as squads, just by the electronic emissions of their new high-tech gear. So much for the element of surprise sneaking up on the enemy at night — if the enemy can monitor our emissions, the element of surprise is gone. Worse yet, the enemy can reverse the surprise, set up an ambush against the US troops who think they are sneaking up on the enemy at night, when in reality their electronic emissions light them up like a Christmas tree!

  28. “…we really should be asking whether we want the latest version of Windows to be something people at the front gamble their lives on.”
    A more apropriate question is “whether we want the latest version of Windows – or ANY operating system – to be used for something it was never designed for. But yeah, Micro$oft is worse about that than other organizations.

    • She might just be interested in protecting “democracy.” I’m told that not policing free speech would be a threat to “democracy.” Just imagine. If we had such a ministry, we would have never fallen for the lies about the Russia Hoax, the Kavanaugh confirmation, the Biden laptop, the COVID-19 origin coverup, Biden not being advised about the Afghanistan withdrawal consequences, no inflation, then transitory inflation, the Putin price hike, well you get the idea. I don’t have all day.

      Wait a second! The Disinformation Governance Board won’t be the same people that pushed those lies on us, will it?? And why is it part of the agency that was formed to fight terrorism?

      • I don’t think you’re hearing the word correctly. Biden’s folks are wringing their hands about the troubles DEMOCRATcy will have if they cannot control all speech, they do not even know the meaning of democracy.

  29. @FormerParatrooper
    “May 2, 2022 At 11:17
    Do you consider some Countries that left the Soviet block fear becoming part of Russia again and want protection by being a part of NATO?

    I know Ukraine has corruption, as every Country does. It didn’t make sense for Russia to invade. NATO can barely put a defense together much less an offense.”

    By NATO what you really mean is the US. And while I feel for those countries that may want someone protecting them, Im done with shedding American blood for someone else. Done. And Im done paying 10s of thousands of dollars a year (personally) to perpetuate this kind of shit. Done.

    I would suggest to those countries to work their own protection pact. Work with their fellow Europeans. Dont depend in the US…who has proven to be a shitty ally anyway.

    But there is nothing in Ukraine worth shedding one more American life or dollar over. Sorry.

  30. The system is built on top of basic weapons with basic optics that should the advanced electronics fail the rifleman still has a functioning weapon and one that hopefully has BUIS.

    The probability of hacking and injection of false information by penetration of the data links certainly exists but is very low in my opinion.

    All existing US systems using data links and software in the loop have the same potential for penetration and exploitation by enemy forces so this is no different. And jamming of satellite links is difficult as they are line of sight. But any system can be defeated given enough time and money.

    The system is layered so that as the advanced data links are shut down, the soldier can use the next layer, say satellite radio. When satellite radios fail then HF radio is used.

    There is always the probability the enemy will capture and reverse engineer the weapon. Thats built into the equation when systems are deployed. Its risk vs reward. Besides Americas enemies are already working on their own versions

    Im not worried. The same fearmongering was spread about the F35 and the M16. While the US is not beyond deploying duds and bad weapons they are rapidly fixed or trashed. The story of the M16 is one good one. The ACU combat uniform is a ban one.

    The biggest threat to the individual soldier is being located by their electromagnetic emissions. Ukraine has exploited that to great effect against Russia as has the US against terrorists.

    • Actually, I think we pretty much did! In 1991 my KC-135 crew included a trained navigator, capable of determining our position by reference to the stars and directing our flight to our destination by reference to a map. At one point on an overseas flight, a 2-striper grunt wandered up from the back and the nav explained her job to him, whereupon he whipped out a GPS (none of my crew had ever seen one, few had heard of them), he pushed a couple buttons and told the nav, “and you’re pretty close, too!” The airplane is still out there (I retired), but the nav crew position no longer exists, the bird has a 3-man crew instead of 4.

  31. You sound like the people who say you shouldn’t carry a red dot optic because it will go out on you.

    They will find a way to make things reliable, they will create analog backup systems, and the performance advantage will outweigh any reliability tradeoff.

  32. @LarryinTX
    “May 4, 2022 At 13:51
    Russia is not too shiny in that regard, either.”

    Never said it was. But then again, we could give Russia lessons.

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