StrategyPage.com is reporting that Israel has developed a recon rifle grenade. (Post from November 4, 2004.)
It would appear that Israel Military Industries, Ltd. has developed a rifle grenade with a webcam and radio transmitter. Fire the grenade in a high arc and it’ll transmit still pictures of what’s below to a laptop on the way back down. Neato idea.
There’s been a proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the military, some of them so small that they can be carried and operated by one man in the field. This means that they can provide real-time intelligence to the guys at the point of the spear, fast enough that it can actually be used in the sharp and intense environment of a firefight.
This list of UAV’s worldwide shows that Israel has put a great deal of effort into developing this new technology. (In hindsight I suppose it was inevitable that they’d eventually try to find new applications.)
But these little model airplanes are expensive, and they are complicated enough so that they sometimes don’t work. The Recon Rifle Grenade (RRG, for want of anything better) would eventually be more expensive, since any UAV is reusable but one of these nifty little devices aren’t. But the initial cost is less, and if one grenade doesn’t work due to a failed component then you just load up another and try again. With UAV’s you don’t have that option.
Anyone else remember reading military sci-fi where stuff like this was wow-neato gear? Now if they’d only develop a flying car I’d be happy.