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    Spiderman Suit

    Spiderman will have more kindred spirits if the tests done by the U.S. Army with genetically engineered spider silk prove that it is an effective material for solider protection and they want body armor made of it. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories announced 6 days ago, that it has been awarded a US$100,000 contract to deliver ballistic shoot packs made from their proprietary “Dragon Silk” material for performance tests. If the U.S. Army goes for the option phase, the contract can then have a maximum value of US$1,000,000 and increasing the involvement of the company in research work with the U.S. Army.

    In a report from Defense One, the Ann Arbor, Michigan Company has genetically altered silkworks that they produce a fiber that they call “Dragon Silk” and they say is similar to pure spider silk. It has the strength like Kevlar but is lighter and flexible.

    “Dragon Silk scores very highly in tensile strength and elasticity, which makes it one of the toughest fibers known to man and the ideal material for many applications,” stated Jon Rice, COO of Kraig Biocraft said in a press release from the company.  “Providing material for this ballistic shoot pack initiative is an important next step for Kraig and spider silk. This contract reinforces the many significant potential applications for recombinant spider silk. Today is a great day for spider silk.”

    Photo: Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Spider Silk

    While spider silk is tough, it has been hard to produce in commercial quantities given that spiders are cannibalistic that they cannot be raised in colonies to product the silk. With the promise of spider silk having the potential life-saving ballistic material, and much stronger than steel at the same time is thinner and lighter, researches have been looking for ways to harvest spider silk, or material to similar to it.

    What the scientists at Kraig labs was to insert spider DNA into silkworms, which can then be raised to produce material similar to spider silk. Silkworms are of course can be raised in colonies that they can produce in commercial quantities to meet the demands of the market.
    “Dragon Silk” has a number of applications, such as in the medical field where they can be used as thinner threads for sutures especially in sensitive surgical procedures such as eye and brain surgery.

    If the U.S. Army are satisfied with the test and want body armor made of Dragon Silk material, then the troops can expect even lighter and flexible protection. Now, if only they can be provided with a technology that allows them climb walks, then we can talk about the spider soldiers as the future warfighters.

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    French Army FAMAS (Wikipedia)

    The FAMAS rifle, the iconic French bullpup rifle, will soon be replaced and the replacement will not be a French-made one nor will it be a bullpup rifle. For a country that takes great pride in its defense industry boasting of homegrown tanks, ships, and fighter planes, will now have to look to either the Belgians or the German to replace the FAMAS.

    The FAMAS rifle has been in use in the French army since 1977, the first army in the world to adopt a bullpup rifle as the mainstay rifle. According to Sputnik News, FAMAS production stopped in the 1990s when it had fully met the requirements of the Army, with plants closed down since there were no regular orders and were expensive to maintain. Since then, there was no local alternative to replace the rifle.

    The French decided not to invest in new machines to work on developing a new rifle for the French Army and instead looked for outside suppliers who are already capable of doing mass production of the rifle that will be picked as the replacement. In this case, the French procurement office, the DGA, issued a tender for a rifle that is chambered in 5.56 mm x 45 NATO ammunition, given then France is also a NATO member. The first tender will award an order of 100,000 units.

    Five companies answered the call and offered their following:

    • Heckler & Koch (Germany): HK416
    • FN Herstal (Belgium): FN SCAR-L
    • Beretta (Italy): ARX-160
    • Swiss Arms (Switzerland): SG-550
    • HS Produkt (Croation): VHS-2

    Photo:FN Herstal FN SCAR-L

    We are actually surprised that the HS Produckt VHS-2 was not selected to be one of two finalists given that it is a bullpup rifle and when it was first revealed, has an uncanny resemblance to the FAMAS. The selected finalists were the HK416 and the FN SCAR-L.

    Photo: Heckler & Koch HK416

    The finalists are actual good choices as they are now in wide use, mainly by a good number of special operations forces in the world. The Norwegian Army has the HK416 as their standard rifle whilst Belgium has the SCAR-L as the main assault rifle. Both are much sought after rifles as they have already proven themselves in combat and are highly reliable weapons.

    As to whatever rifle the French Army will decide on, we shall now as the decision will be made over the course of the month.

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    Mine Kafon Drone

    The mine is always an inexpensive way to destroy the enemy. So inexpensive, that they dot many battlefields around the world. But after wars have ended, treaties signed, and armies returned to their bases, the mines are always left behind, and they remain threats not to armies, but to civilians who return to the fields to make a living. Over the years, land that could be brought to productive use lay dormant due to mines lurking beneath the surface, and people who lose their productive years as their limbs get blown by these mines.

    The menace of the mines has been so grave the 162 state parties signed the Ottawa Treaty or the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (also known as the Mine Ban Treaty). A smaller number countries, including the major powers, USA, Russia, and China, have not signed the treaty.

    Throughout the years, sappers or mine clearers either supported by governments, the United Nations, or Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), work through great danger clearing minefileds in various locations around the world, which is of last count, 60 countries still have mines in the fields. From sophisticated to crude tools to demine the fields, the campaign to clear the world of landmines moves at a snail’s pace.

    Now an Afghan immigrant who moved to the Netherlands in 1998 in search of a better life has created technologies to help in mine clearing operations. Massoud Hassani, who is based in Einhoven, has created two mine clearing technologies he calls the Mine Kafon and the Mine Kafon Drone (MKD).  His first hand experience with landmines when he was a child led him to design these projects.

    The Mine Kafon was launched on Kickstarter in 2013 and was able to achieve its funding goals and is now brought to Afghanistan for testing.

    The MKD, which is now on Kickstarter, promises to be 20 times faster than other existing technologies. At its present pace, according to the Mine Kafon, it would take 1,100 years just to clear the world of landmines.

    To put it simply, the MKD flies over areas said to be dotted with mines wherein it detects, and detonates mines safely, with the operator of the drone in a relative safe distance. Calling it “Airborne Demining” the Mine Kafon Drone is equipped with three tools to do its task: 1) a 3D Mapping System to determine via GPS the waypoints to identify the danger areas; 2) a robotic metal detecting arm which is lowered to about 4 centimeters for mine detection; and 3) a robotic arm places a small a detonator on the mine detected and the mine gets detonated safely with a timer.

    The MKD promises to be a cheaper and faster way to clear mines around the world and its technology can provide a wealth of information that can be used for decision making in mine clearing operations, and for analysis for future operations.

    The Kickstarter fundraising campaign targets €70,000 before a MKD can be rolled out for use around the world. The minimum for an individual or organization to get one fully-functioning MKD will be €3,000, which for its intended purpose is relative cheap and can be easily replaced as compared to a demining vehicle or a sapper.

    I just wonder if other agencies can also provide funding grants to get this project get going faster as it does help save lives. This is one of the note-worthy projects that we have seen on Kickstater and it does deserve the funding support so it can be put to use as soon as possible.

    Drones are now turning into essential tools in the our everyday lives, from taking photos and videos to potentially fast delivery tools. With the Mine Kafon Drone, they can also save lives.

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    BAE Systems Broadsword Spine

    It has been said and written many times over. Soldiers are getting more dependent on electronic devices to be more effective on the field. With all the “Future Soldier” programs being implemented or developed by different countries’ militaries, they all encounter the same problem --- how to power-up and connect all these devices without adding to the weight for the already burgeoning load of the 21st Century soldier.

    Power source and network solutions go hand-in-hand so they will need a single solution to answer the problem of weight and portability. For BAE Systems, in its exclusive partnership with Intelligent Textiles Limited (ITL), the answer lies not in creating another layer for the soldiers to use. The answer is to utilize textiles to help power up and connect these tactical devices.

    The partnership between BAE Systems and ITL (an e-Textiles developer), is to “deliver the ground-breaking wearable product in high volumes at low cost.” In this case, they have developed the Broadsword Spine, an e-textile based layer that, when added to clothing, creates an invisible “electronic network and power supply, by using conductive fabrics instead of wires and cables.”

    With Broadsword Spine, soldiers can readily connect their devices to their combat vests, belts, and jackets and these are immediately powered and connected via the USB ports integrated in the clothing (sorry Apple, no Firewire).

    According to BAE Systems and ITL, this solution can result into a 40% weight saving as compared to alternative solutions. 40% is a big number and such weight savings can allow soldiers to carry other essential items to the field (such as more ammo and more food). One added benefit is less worry about carrying different types of batteries that can get lost in the pockets and pouches that dot a soldier’s combat uniform.

    Concretely, Broadsword Spine includes a battery pack that rests in the small of the back and fabrics of cables that connect to 8 USB ports that can deliver data links and 180 watts of power. While Broadsword Spine’s battery can be charged from vehicle charging points, there is no indication if it can be recharged via power harvesting technologies being developed for militaries that harness the energy generated by movements of soldiers. But if can be done, then what you get is a complete system that can deliver continuous power to the tactical devices.

    Paul Burke, BAE Systems Defence Information and Technology Director within Military Air and Information claims that it is a better and more effective alternative to present systems, "It is the first product of our partnership with ITL and uses its revolutionary e-textile allowing power and data to move through fabric. It will be more flexible, robust and lighter than the heavy, unwieldy harnesses which are currently used. Broadsword Spine offers an open architecture, meaning it could be used to power communications used by anyone from a soldier on the battlefield to a first responder called to an emergency.”

    Broadsword Spine is set to begin production with military and emergency services being the target markets.

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    Nett Warrior By PEO Soldier

    The U.S. Army is not happy with the way their Android devices are performing that they are now ditching them and upgrading to the iPhone 6S. In a report in DOD Buzz of last July 15, 2016, the iPhone 6S will be the device platform of choice for the Tactical Assault Kit, citing unnamed sources from the U.S. Army.

    In the news report, the iPhone 6S is smoother and faster as compared to the Android device they are using which tends to freeze and has to be restarted often. There is no mention of what specific Android smartphone they are using for the Android Tactical Assault Kit (or ATAK) as there are powerful and fast Android smartphones though the photo used in this story shows a soldier using a Samsung Galaxy Note II for the Nett Warrior System, which in itself was a powerful device when it was released almost 4 years ago.

    Screenshot of the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) (Source: Wikipedia)

    The Tactical Assault Kit is the Special Forces version of the Army’s Nett Warrior Battlefield Awareness Tool. The problem is said to be more obvious when they use the Instant Eye the mini UAV that was developed by PSI Tactical Robotics which sends a live aerial view feed to the smartphone. The Android smartphone is said to freeze and the fail to refresh properly. With the iPhone, they say it is seamless.

    U.S. Army iPhone 6/6S Case (Source: Sazzle)

    With the use of the iPhone 6S, the ATAK will be renamed to iTAK or the iPhone Tactical Assault Kit.  The Special Operations Forces will be using the iTAK connected to a Harris AN/PRC 152A radio which allows the operator to talk to various units in other service branches of the U.S. military by crossing various waveforms as compared to the AN/PRC-154A Rifleman Radio which is limited to army units.

    At least during downtime the troops using the iPhone 6S can still check in their Facebook accounts, Tinder, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, or perhaps play with Pokemon Go making it such a useful tool for the soldiers on and off the battlefield.

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    Pikachu At The Firing Range

    The Pokémon Go invasion is just merciless and by the looks of it, every person who has downloaded and installed the mobile game app has been taken prisoner. No seems to be immune to it and we see people going to great lengths to capture Pokémons that sometimes they put their lives in danger.

    Even the U.S. Military bases have been invaded by Pikachu and other cute Pokémon characters that they are starting to worry officials. Even soldiers in the field (in actual battlefields) are finding time to play with the app such as this soldier, Louis Park posting this screenshot of trying to catch Squirtle somewhere near Mosul in Iraq:

    For military authorities, they fear that soldiers and civilians will go into areas that they are not allowed to go to, or stumble to areas that they become dangers to themselves and to others such as going to flight lines, or they go to restricted areas that they might just be shot by base security.

    Bases have been issuing warnings to service men and women as well as viistors to bases and such as this post by U.S. Army Fort Carson on Facebook:

    Since Pokémon GO hit last week there have been reports of serious injuries and accidents of people driving or walking while looking at the app and chasing after the virtual Pokémon.

    While the sudden surge in children and adults suddenly getting more exercise due to participation with the app is commendable and encouraged, here are some tips for budding Pokemon Trainers using Pokemon Go on Fort Carson:

    1. DO NOT chase Pokémon into controlled or restricted areas like the flight line, office buildings, or homes on post.
    2. Please BE CAREFUL in parking lots, crossing roads, etc. It’s a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing streets.

    That Pokémon isn’t going anywhere fast.

    Be Safe.

    Even the U.S. Marines got into the act by posting on their official Twitter account:

    This also goes to airsoft players who will be playing in active military bases for milsim events as there will be areas that will be restricted to them and at the same time not try to catching Pokémons in firing ranges.

    Overall, Pokémon Go is such great mobile game, where it motivates people to walk outside and explore their surroundings and start appreciating the outdoors. But playing the game will require common sense, in this case it’s not worth catching Pokémons if you put yourself at risk, no matter how rare that Pokémon.

    So, enjoy the week. I am going out to catch some Pokémons as well during this summer season.

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    Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare 04

    We go for more space age warfare as more and more meat about upcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is thrown our way. Though the reveal trailer of the game may go down as one of the most hated on YouTube, this 12-minute intro gameplay of the game may just want us to bite and part with our hard earned money when it gets released late this year.

    Shown at the San Diego Comic Con 2016, the 12-minute gameplay called “Black Sky” opens with an opening surprise attack of the Settlement Defense Front on the UNSA headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland during Fleet Week. For Lt. Reyes and his squad, they have to fight back and survive and bring the campaign against the enemy. Apart from the firefights on earth, he gets on a Jackal space fighter to combat the enemy fleet in high earth orbit leading to the destruction of one massive Settlement Defense Front ship.

    For weapons designers looking for futuristic weapons concepts, there are some ideas in Infinite Warfare that they can build. Interesting is the weapons sight on what looks like a shotgun that has some smart shots  that they hit the enemy on most parts of the body when marked by the optics (though I need a better explanation than this).

    In another scene in the opening gameplay shows the use of mini crawler drones that look like to be suicide drones that explode when they crawl towards the enemy. Very helpful in room clearing when there are no innocent civilians around. Lt. Reyes is also able to call air support with his wrist device, painting the entrenched enemy that need to be cleared.

    There are lots of new weapons and gadgets for players to use in this game and of course space debris to avoid after destroying space ships. If you are not into classic warfare FPS (read: 20th Century warfare), then you might want all these space battles that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be offering come November 4, 2016.

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    Just imagine that you are in the middle of a really intense airsoft gameplay and the action really is something that you will remember for a long, long time. Then there is that moment where you get to make your airsoft shot that is so unique that you want to freeze it for posterity. The problem is that you cannot let any of your hand off your airsoft gun just to push the button of your helmet camera to get a still photo or else you’ll miss the shot or your target turns the tables on you.

    With the Blincam, you get to keep your hands on your rifle, just blink or wink, and you get to capture that airsoft moment.

    Propestorous or silly you might say. But then Blincam is a real world camera. Similar to Google glass as you just clip it to your glasses or airsoft eye protection, albeit it is just there to take photos not retrieve information from the internet for you. Blincam has an eye motion sensor and it will be able to differentiate between a deliberate blink (or a wink) rather than the regular instinctive blink of the eye. Just look into the direction of the subject your want to take a photo of, blink and instantly it takes the shot.

    Having successfully raised funding via the Mikuake crowdfunding website in Japan, Blincam is projected to be delivered by December 2016.  It features a small speaker to mimic a shutter sound, it has 32GB internal storage, a microUSB, Bluetooth connectivity, a CMOS camera sensor, and an LED indicator light. With the Bluetooth connectivity you can transmit the photos to a smartphone and you can readily it share the photos online. As for pricing, it’ll costs an initial JPY19,800 or roughly around US$185.00.

    Honestly, it’s a bit creepy since people might feel uneasy why you are winking at them, and you might just send a wrong message. Maybe it can be a good conversation piece with people curious on why you’re winking in the first place. But if you don’t want them pestering you, just tell them that there is something in your eye that’s why you’re winking.

    Unfortunately, Blincam only takes photos and does not handle video. If only it can also be an action camera then it might have a market for extreme sports such as airsoft, no need pressing the button of camera in the middle of an airsoft firefight --- just wink and fire away.

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    U.S. Army Soldier Firing An M4 Rifle

    The reliability of the M4/M16 goes a few notches higher when the new magazine that the U.S. Army TACOM is introducing gets to the field. The new magazine will be tan body with a blue follower and is called the Enhanced Performance Magazine (EPM) with the designation NSN 1005-01-630-9508  and is engineered to fix the feeding issues of the M855A1 ammunition according to Soldier Systems.  It will be replacing older magazines with tan, green, and black followers.

    With the new color scheme, it makes it easier for the EPM to be identified from the other magazines and is not interchangeable with the older ones. In a presentation by PEO Soldier, the magazine is developed by the ARL and the ARDEC. The EPM (please make sure you do not mistake this for the Enhanced Polymer Magazine) has an increased angle on the feed lip and extended front wall height. It is said to be more reliable with a decrease in wear. ATC tests have shown an increase of 300% of the mean rate between stoppages.

    Source: PM Individual Weapons by LTC Shawn Lucas (PEO Soldier)

    The U.S. Army initiated improvements on the M4 magazine in 2008 when there were feeding issues that were reported with the follower of the original magazine causing weapons malfunction. By 2009, they were able to produce improvements, releasing a magazine with a tan follower that will be replacing the magazines with the green and black followers.  There is no indication if the production of the magazines with tan and green followers will be stopped, phasing these magazines and allowing for the full fielding of the EPM.

    Photo: EPM (far left) shown with M4 magazines with the tan, green and black followers.
    (Source: PM Individual Weapons by LTC Terry (TR) Russell,

    The EPM will be manufactured by the Center Industries, based in Wichita, Kansas with production that will commence this year and 7 magazines will be allocated per rifle/carbine according to a presentation by LTC Russell last year.

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    Spring Loaded Bionic Knee Canadian Army

    There will be some soldiers in the Canadian Army who are trying their new bionic knees. Thanks to a contract awarded by the Canadian Military to Spring Loaded, a Halifax-based company, the CA$1 million contract will be a total of 190 bionic knee braces with the first 60 already delivered early this month.

    Awarded under the Canadian Innovation Program, Spring Loaded will be delivering the UpShot, a military-grade brace the weighs 0.9kg which soldiers utilise its liquid spring for shock absorption, and mitigate the impact to their knees. This is based on Spring Loaded’s Levitation knee brace that was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo in 2016 and designed to meet the military specifications.

    The UpShot, which can be pre-ordered from Spring Loaded’s store costs US$3,800 and will be available to civilians by the 1st of November 2016. According to the company, the UpShot has added ultra-high strength reinforced carbon shells, integrated knee pad protection, full force customization, and maximum force output.

    Apart from protecting the knees from injury, the UpShot can enhance performance and lessen muscle fatigue. For soldiers who always carry heavy loads or recuperating from knee injuries, the UpShot is a blessing if it performs as claimed by the company.

    The Canadian Army are testing the UpShot with soldiers putting it through the paces of sitting, walking and running on a treadmill. Then further on, according to CBC News, it will be subjected to even more rigorous testing with soldiers using it whilst carrying backpacks and using military vehicles.

    If the UpShot’s pricing is too much for you, there is still the original Levitation which can be used for those in sports and those who needed a device to help them with their heavy loads  and it will also be available on November first for a price of US$1,750.00.

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    Empty Shell XM556

    We love the M134 Minigun for the firepower it brings for a small unit, even in airsoft. But the problem is that unless you have a body of Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s hard to carry the Minigun for longer periods. Thus, many would rather stick with an M249 or an LMG to use as a support weapon, and prefer the Minigun mounted on vehicles.

    Now those worries are over if Empty Shell, the company that manufactures the world’s first handheld microgun, called the XM556, gets orders from potential clients, such as military organizations. The XM556 is a very compact minigun that it is easy to equip a squad with it.

    According to Empty Shell, the XM556 was built from the ground-up, rather than being a compact version of the M134. It brings the same firepower of the M134 albeit with a smaller footprint. It is even smaller than existing belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapons or assault rifles in use in small units. It is such a compact weapon that it looks like it can be used for close quarter battles.

    Even in such a small package, the XM556 packs 4 times more firepower than SAWs. With its bolt design that is aimed to reduce wear and tear of the weapon, it can last longer even if after prolonged use of spitting out 5.56mm NATO rounds.

    It would be interesting to have an airsoft version of the XM556. But I will be curious if the BO Manufacture MTO can actually used for this. Since the MTO is an Electro Magnetic System, it is said to be much faster in pushing out BBs than conventional AEGs. With its one-million round BB guarantee, it can be the technology that can be used for an airsoft XM556.

    But now, at least with the XM556, you don’t need to build big biceps to carry a minigun around.

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    Halo Neuroscience

    What is being used now to eke out more performance for athletes will soon be tested by the UK Special Forces.  According to, the news organisation that is focused on all things related to the British Armed Forces, the SAS and the SBS will be trying on the headsets made by Halo Neuroscience to enhance their performance whilst training.

    A relatively young company, Halo Neuroscience was established in 2013 by doctors and scientists who developed technology to treat epilepsy. That product that is now in use by athletes, called the Halo Sport Headset, does neuropriming by sending out energy pulses to the brain, increasing the responsiveness of the motor neurons that during workout there will be gains in performance.

    Some of the known users of the Halo Sports are the  Invictus CrossFit , the United States Ski & Snowboard Association, and Michael Johnson Performance. Even the Pentagon’s new innovation unit will also be testing out the headset for special forces troops to see if the technology will make them become better fights in a news report by

    Halo Neuroscience claims that a neurotechnology developed by the U.S. military that is similar to the Halo Sports, was tested and there was 50% training acceleration among pilots and snipers. That looks like a compelling reason for military organisations to look into neuropriming with the Halo Sport Headset to enhance the combat skills of their soldiers.

    The Halo Sport Headset is not a mind enhancing contraption made by evil scientists seen in movies, but it looks like more a Beats Headset, which will make it look trendier rather than something that mere mortals cannot access. One can pre-order the headset from their website for US$649 in a limited public release.

    The objective of the SAS and SBS when they will test out the Halo Sport Headset is to find out they can stay alert and strong during long missions in a hostile environment. Even a small increase in performance is actually significant enough, just like in sports wherein athletes will invest in a technology that will given them advantages measured in microseconds.

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    Battlefield 1 Gas Mask

    If a way can be found, video games publisher Electronic Arts (EA) will be having the soon to be released Battlefield 1, and two more Battlefield titles --- Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline with a single User Interface (UI) which will it easier for them to enjoy these games as it makes it seamless to move from one game to another.

    This UI allows gamers and their friends can create “squads” and join in games of these three game titles, provided that they own these three game titles. They can jump from one game title to another and there will be a recommendation engine that will suggest other maps and modes.

    The new UI is now in beta and being tested amongst a small audience of Battlefield 4 players but for those interested in trying it out, there will be chances for you to do in the next months. If things go according to plan, the UI will then be fully rolled out to Battlefied 1 in October 21, 2016 and then will also have Battlefield Hardline after.

    For those using the UI, it is mandatory for them to install the updates and fixes that will be released in order for them to play with the UI properly functioning. It is safe to assume that every member of the squad should be on the latest patch release or upgrade so they can keep up with the rest of the squad when playing the Battlefield titles.

    It is an interesting concept, tying up these three Battlefield titles under a single UI. Somehow each Battlefield title will have a different playing concept such as plot, maps, characters, and weaponry. Thus, the easier for a player to be familiar with all these, the easier for him/her and the rest of the squad to master the multiplayer maps.

    Battlefield 1 will be available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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    Tantalum Contract 6 South Africa

    With the Private Military Contractors (PMCs) gearing up to do battle over scarce resources again in Tantalum Contract 6 25 days for now at the EMR Paintball, Pennsylvania, a new develop has happened and Moondog Industries, the brains  behind this long running event, is excited to share this to everyone.

    For this year, the Tantalum Contract will be actually played on the African continent itself. This does not mean that players in the U.S.A. are required to travel all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to play, though they are welcome to do so if they want another airsoft experience. The Tantalum Contract 6 will be played in North America and Africa concurrently.

    I’ll let Tom Del Mundo of Moondog Industries, explain this development:

    This August 27, Tantalum Contract will be the first airsoft game to be played concurrently on 2 continents: EMR in Pennsylvania and at Scarlet Tactical in South Africa. Tell your friends that tickets are still available to take part in this history making game.

    Intel obtained by players in South Africa during their game will be uploaded via SMS and posted to Facebook in real time, to help their teammates in North America starting their missions.

    Scarlet Tactical is involved in organising airsoft games and training services for law enforcement and military organisations. Another worthy cause it is involved in is in the protection of South Africa’s endangered Rhinoceros species. Four years ago, Scarlett Tactical started training KZN Wildlife Anti-Poaching Teams and Rangers using airsoft as a non-lethal training tool. This way, it is also a cost-effective training tool which the Rangers were able to improve their tactics.

    Interested in being part of airsoft history and at the same time helping South Africa a brighter dot in the airsoft radar and map? Join in Tantalum Contract 6, the game where everything has a price. Click on the links below to go to select your group and you will be directed to the events tickets page.

    Ango-Sino Security (A.S.S.)

    G.R.D. Enterprises (G.R.D.e)


    To keep updated on The Tantalum Contract 6 news and rules, you can join them the organizers and players at the Tantalum Contract 6 Facebook Event Page.

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    Hacksaw Ridge

    Mel Gibson is back with his latest movie to direct and the last time he directed one was with “Apocalypto” in 2006. He returns to the director’s chair to oversee the production of what many have rarely heard of, the story of the first conscientious objector who is a Medal of Honor Awardee.

    A conscientious who? A conscientious objector is someone who claims to have the right to refuse military service on the grounds of conscious, religion, disability, or freedom of thought. This is usually the case in countries with military conscription unlike in countries with volunteer professional armies as its members are all willing to serve.

    “Hacksaw Ridge”is about Desmond Doss, the first of three conscientious objectors who have received the Medal of Honor (two served in the Vietnam War), for his actions in the Pacific Theatre of World War II during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, having single-handedly saved 75 soldiers while under enemy fire. Desmond Doss enlisted himself in the U.S. Army in 1942 but refused to carry a weapon into combat as this is against his beliefs as a member of the Seventh Day Adventist. He eventually took on the role of a combat medic for the 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.

    Having been wounded three times while tending to wounded soldiers, he nevertheless lived a full life, having died in March 23, 2006 at the good old age of 87. The role of medic in war is one of the riskiest as medics have to expose themselves to enemy fire to tend to soldiers who are wounded in action. Thus, all three conscientious objectors who served in the military and were recipients of the Medal of Honor all performed the medic role, with Joseph G. LaPointe Jr.  and Thomas W. Bennett receiving theirs posthumously.

    Medal of Honor Citation:


    Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.

    Place and date: Near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 29 April-21 May 1945.

    Entered service at: Lynchburg, Va. Birth: Lynchburg, Va. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945.

    Citation: He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of enemy forces in a cave's mouth, where he dressed his comrades' wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On 5 May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On 21 May, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers' return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of 1 arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.

    “Hacksaw Ridge” is set to be released on November 4, 2016 with Andrew Garfield ("The Amazing Spiderman") playing the lead role of Desmond Doss.

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    Afghan National Police (ANP) Ford Ranger (Wikipedia)

    Sports Utility Vehicles and Pick-Up Trucks are getting the attention of the U.S. Army this year. With the photo above showing a Ford Ranger in use by the Afghan National Police (ANP) as an example,  in other countries these have become staples for militaries and LEOs (and terrorists and rebels as well), not much attention has been given to these vehicles which are much on the roads of the U.S.A., as the military usually orders vehicles specifically designed for military use.

    But now, the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) want to try these Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) vehicles for their use and they have awarded Battelle, a Columbus, Ohio-based defense contractor to do turn Toyota Land Cruisers, Toyota Hiluxes, and Ford Rangers fit for use by special operations units.

    Armed Toyota Hilux (Photo Source Uknown)

    In a report  by, Battelle will install “military-grade vetronics, communications, night vision, ballistic protection, mobility, and tires designed to survive enemy small-arms fire” in this 5-year plan and a potential US$170 million contract. With all of these upgrades, these can do more than the technicals though there is no mention of what armaments these vehicles will carry into their missions.

    These modified vehicles will go through a design review process and after approval of the upgrades that meet their requirements and will be integrated into the vehicle lot. They are not exactly the big lumbering IED-resistant MRAPs that we see nowadays, but these are vehicles fast and nimble enough to be used in areas where they will look more inconspicuous as compared to vehicles that are obviously made for the military.

    Battelle’s contract may reach a total of 556 vehicles with 396 armored and 160 unarmored though the USSOCOM may order fewer than projected. These will be mainly the Toyota Model 76 and 79 Land Cruisers, which are part of the 70 series that started in the 1980s and Toyota is re-releasing with a newer V6 engine and more improvements such as a more rigid frame.

    The Toyota 70s series are no strangers to the U.S. military as they were used by the U.S Marines since the first Gulf War. These boxy vehicles are, even the old ones, are still very much in use in many countries around the world, being workhorses in the tropics and in the desert.

    As for the Toyota Hilux, here is a 3-part video from BBC’s Top Gear to see for yourself how they are built to last:

    So if thinking of building a fast vehicle to use for airsoft games, you might want to look into any second hand Hilux, Land Cruiser, or a Ranger and given them a good a paint job such as a matte green or desert colors. You’ll be in good company choosing any of these vehicles.

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    Gamescon 2015 Homefront FPS Booth

    Heads Up! For airsoft players who are video gaming addicts and are planning to attend the upcoming Gamescom 2016 in Cologne, Germany, if you intend to wear your loadout for Cosplay, just make sure that you leave your airsoft guns (and whatever firearm replica) at home to avoid being turned away at the gates.

    Set for the 18th to the 21st of August, the Gamescom is the largest games tradeshow in the world. With the big first person shooters title to be released late this year, rest assured that you they will be at the Gamescom with a full marketing blast. You may intend to take your photos taken at EA’s Battlefield 1 area, or at the Infinity Ward Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare booth, or even find out what’s new with Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy titles such as Rainbow 6: Siege, The Division, or Ghost Recon: Wildlands. The bad news is that you won’t be holding any replica firearm with your loadout put together to match your favourite first person shooter game.

    Due to recent deadly incidents that took place in Germany involving the use of firearms and other deadly weapons, the organizers have take precautions to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors. So this means any type of imitation weapon, ranging from swords to firearms, will not be allowed to be brought in by the organizers. Visitors are still allowed to bring their costumes for Cosplay purposes so the fun for Cosplayers meeting up will continue. They also admonish not bingeing imitation weapons to the Cologne city centre in consideration to the inhabitants and visitors of the city.

    For exhibitors and game developers who plan on having walking acts in costumes and will be bringing imitation weapons, they will need to inform the organizers in advance of their plans and their imitation weapons will be examined and labeled before the Gamescom opens. Once allowed, these are not going to be allowed off the exhibition grounds so as not to alarm the public not attending the Gamescom outside.

    Everyone, visitors, exhibitors, and members of the press as well are encouraged not to bring unnecessary bags to the venue. This looks like there will be bag checks that will be done by security at the gates and this means the more bags to check, the longer the queues will be.

    The exhibitors hope that their precautions won’t take out the fan for costumed participants, and that all the distractions to visitors such as the latest in the video game technology such as gadgets, gaming consoles, meeting celebrities, listening to game developers present their offerings, and the fun of meeting kindred gamers would more than make up for the ban.

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    Tokyo Maru KSG Gas Shotgun Feature

    Tokyo Marui have a knack of surprising customers about their upcoming releases. Of all the airsoft companies their product announcements in major Japanese tradeshows is one of the most watch out for since you’ll never know what they will surprise us with. In the past three years, they never disappointed announcing one hit product after another.

    Also, in recent years, they just made the airsoft shotgun category more exciting with the release of their gas shotgun series such as the M870 line and the Automatic Electric Shotgun (AES) series with the first being the AA-12 AES. And at the last the 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show held last May, they unveiled their 4th product in the gas shotgun series --- the Tokyo Marui KSG Gas Shotgun which they announced that it will be released in summer 2016.

    There seems to be a slight delay, but if you have already saved up in getting one of these, it will definitely be released in September 2016. So just a little bit more patience needed and you’ll finally get to own the first airsoft KSG.

    Now, for some things that you need to know about the Tokyo Marui KSG Gas Shotgun if you are hoping that it will have the exact functionality like the real KSG made by Kel-Tec. Whilst the company has taken pains to provide the it will look like the real KSG in terms of measurements and look (expect some inconspicuous  markings), they have not made the tube magazines like the real one as the real KSG has two tube magazines with each holding 7 12-gauge shells which the user will switch from one to another manually. In the Tokyo Marui airsoft KSG, they cannot have a 3 to 6-shot capability if they want to have a tube magazine function like the real thing as there is no space for their mechanism. They can actually do it, but then the airsoft player will be given a single-shot capability and that will defeat the shotgun concept as an airsoft shotgun will have to fire more BBs in one trigger pull.

    There is still some space in where the Tube magazine will be and for the purpose of the Tokyo Marui KSG, it will serve as a spare shell holder so you can bring more of the shells to a game. As for loading the shell, it can be found at the stock area where the loading and ejection port is located. You can use the conventional 30-round Marui shotgun shells that are used in their other airsoft shotguns.

    Just like the Marui M870 Tactical Gas Shotgun, the gas tank can be found in the stock. For selecting from 3 to 6 shots a vice versa, just open the cover the heat shield and you can find the selector switch. Furthermore, it comes with front and rear sights, top and bottom picatinny rails for mounting weapons accessories, and front and rear sling points.

    For those waiting for an airsoft KSG, then Christmas will come early, and they better save up quickly as September 2016 is just a few weeks away. If you cannot wait for the fully-licensed Kel-Tech KSG Shotgun as announced by MadBull Airsoft in 2012 (they posted ann update that they are definitely going to release one), then Marui’s offering is definitely in your “must have” airsoft shopping list.

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    European Parliament Strasbourg

    This week, an update that will start it right for airsoft players in the European Union. The last update that made on the EU Firearms Directive was Proposal that MEPs were about to vote on it last July. The President of the European Airsoft Association (EAA), Joachim Dekkers, posting on the EAA Facebook Page, has given positive news on that the vote was in favour of the amendments to exempt airsoft from the Firearms Directive Proposal..

    But it is not over yet as there are more procedural steps needed to be done before it becomes final as explained by Vicky Ford MEP in an open letter she sent to Dekkers. We have take the liberty of copying the Facebook posts for everyone, especially to those not using Facebook, to read:

    Dear Airsoft sport enthusiasts,

    As you know on July 13th there was an important vote on the Firearm Directive proposal 91/477, which also included Airsoft Devices (for example replicas and blank firing grenades).

    The part of the vote which actually dealt with our beloved sport, took approximately 1 minute. It was fast and hectic to say the least.

    The result of the vote was in favor of the Airsoftsport, because a large majority of the IMCO Committee members, voted to have replicas placed outside the scope of the directive.

    Still, it took us some time to actually confirm this, because the documents released on the vote are difficult to understand.

    This result is a small victory but we are not there yet. More negotiations will follow after the EU Parliament recess (ends August 21st).

    I know that many of you have been asking about the blank firing grenades. We are working on this and will give you an answer as soon as possible. Please be patient due to the holiday season and the much needed rest.

    Let me be very clear, we would not have been able to have achieved this much, if it was not for others too. The industry ( who came together for this united cause, the IMCO Committee members who voted against having replicas placed inside the scope, colleagues from other sport shooting organizations and individual players.

    I was in touch with Vicky Ford who is the chair of the IMCO committee and I thanked her and her team on behalf of the Airsoftsport community for the common sense and hard work. She sends me an open letter for the Airsoftsport community:

    Open Letter on the European Firearms Directive

    Dear Reader,

    Following July’s vote in the European Parliament IMCO committee I have been asked to provide further clarification regarding airsoft.

    The first draft of Commission’s text was extremely poorly worded. It would have unintended consequences for many different legal owners, including those involved in legitimate activities such as historical re-enactments, training, parades and sporting events as well as Airsoft.

    Over 800 amendments were tabled by Members of the European Parliament including many by myself. I have led a series of negotiations to try to resolve as many issues as possible. Where MEPs had differing views these were put to a vote in order to ascertain the majority.

    There was a very large amount of support amongst MEPs for maintaining the current position for Airsoft. The parliament committee voted to reject the European Commission suggestions for replicas and instead recommends that objects that cannot be converted to firearms, and do not share an essential competent with a firearm, should not be included in the scope of the directive.

    The parliament’s amendments make it clear that a ‘firearm’ shall not include items designed "to only be capable of expelling a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of compressed air or other gas not generated by the action of a combusted propellant, or are designed as airsoft devices or airgun devices of any description from which only a small missile with limited energy can be discharged, provided that they can be used for the stated purpose only and are not capable of being converted in such a way as to render them capable of expelling a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of a combusted propellant.”

    This first vote of the European Parliament committee is not a final decision. The next stage is to enter into negotiations with the European Council (which includes the representatives from the 28 different EU member countries) and the European Commission so called “trialogue” discussions. During the trialogue discussion it is often the case that further clarification or technical adjustments can be made.

    I am very grateful to the many stakeholder groups and shooting organisations who have given expert guidance including the European Airsoft Association.

    Vicky Ford MEP

    You can imagine for all of us this has been a long and tiring road which is still not over yet. The proposal will keep us busy until the end of 2016, as a parliament vote is scheduled for November 22nd.

    My request to the entire community is to be proud of our beloved sport. Don’t be afraid to mention that you are an Airsoftsport enthusiast and above all, keep raising positive awareness wherever you go.

    Together with all people involved we will continue to do our utmost best, to make sure the core values of the Airsoftsport are not hurt.

    Kind regards,

    European Airsoft Association

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    Nike VaporWing Elite

    With the Rio 2016 Olympics going on its first week, it is interesting to find out what athletes are using nowadays for better performance in competing in an event where the world’s crème de la crème are battling out for world supremacy. What interests us more are what of these gear that they use that we wish can also be used in the airsoft and tactical communities, in this case, we see eyewear that are worn by athletes.

    With that said, Nike have what they the Nike VaporWing which was first announced as part of their 2016 Running Collection, “A one-piece, shield construction lens provides a seamless view and superior coverage to help protect you from the elements.” That one sentence makes us really interested in this eyewear since in airsoft we do really need protection from the elements for our eyes.

    Indeed, there are already protective eyewear products that can provide protection more adequately available at good price points for airsoft players. Though in the previous years, we have not seen much improvement in the design of protective eyewear, and perhaps Nike can provide some new aesthetic direction for protective eyewear distance.

    The Nike Wing was designed for high performance athletes, which would include Crossfit athletes who will demand eyewear that can withstand the rigors of their extreme discipline. They cooperated with Zeiss Optics, one of the biggest names in optical technology, to create the Wing to provide unhindered vision, accurate perception, and exceptional clarity for athletes. They should have included shooters in their list of possible users as they do need those features in their protective eyewear.

    The design, primarily geared for runners, looks aggressive which is what the eyewear designs we use in airsoft also look like. But at 23g, the Nike VaporWing is ultra-lightweight designed to reduce fatigue and stress around the wearer’s head. The lens is made of polycarbonate, which is tough enough, though there is no indication of ballistic protection. Nike states that its polycarbonate glasses are impact resistant, but are not shatterproof or unbreakable.

    If Nike wants to make a version of the Nike VaporWing Glasses with ballistic protection, it would be interesting to know what the price point will be. The Nike VaporWing Glasses are expensive at US$396.00.  And they also unveiled a more radical Wing Glasses in cooperation with Zeiss Optics with a price point of US$1,200.00.

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