Developers at Beretta are moving forward with the powered rail concept bringing the company closer to the fully integrated weapon, an ambitious idea the DoD advanced several years ago. I had the opportunity to meet with a representative engineer from Beretta to get a granular overview of the system.
The powered rail concept calls for a set of accessories and a weapon rail system that distributes power to compatible accessories. The rail also provides a data buss for a video and data stream. The longer term objective is the integration of the weapon to the communications fabric. Rail accessories are powered from a common power source consisting of 6 lithium AA batteries housed in the buttstock.
With its acquisition of Steiner, Beretta is completely vertical and customers will see the development of the powered rail accelerated, along with accessories and technologies to integrate the weapon and operator with command and control, to a level previously unavailable. Beretta markets its powered rail technology as the ARX Intelligent Rail.