US Army Starts Testing Its Next-Gen Rifle Stabilizing System

The aim-assisting system is upcycled from the Army's discarded "Iron Man" suit project.
Fabienne Lang

The U.S. Army's troops may have an even more accurate aim in the future, as it's testing a stabilizing device for its next-generation rifles. 

Any unintentional or unwanted movements will be eradicated thanks to this aim-assisting system, which has been essentially upcycled from the Army's discarded "Iron Man" suit project. 

Task & Purpose was the first to report on the news.

The rifles' new piece of tech, the Aim Control Enhancer (ACE), is a leftover part of the Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) effort, which itself was set for use in the U.S. Special Operations Command's (SOCOM) so-called "Iron Man" military suit. 

The suit itself, officially named TALOS, or Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, was abandoned back in 2019, but its parts could still be potentially used for other military operations, and one such piece of the futuristic mechanism is this rifle stabilizer.

It has to be noted that the Army is currently looking into ACE as a possibility for use, it's not yet guaranteed to be joining the ranks of rifles of soldiers. 

That said, it's still an impressive-looking contraption. 


The contract for the ACE described it as "A user selects a target or a direction, and then the system holds the weapon in the proper orientation. This effort seeks to merely correct for the shaking of the weapon that is not controllable by the user. In this manner, a compact, self-contained unit may be constructed in a form factor that is useful on a tactical rifle."

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The device is easily attached to the rifle and can best be described as a support for a soldier's support hand, isolating any extra movements.


In other words, "Basically, you grab the device, and there’s a mechanical linkage system that keeps the barrel still in certain ways. It doesn’t automatically aim, but the whole thing is closer to image stabilization in a camera lens — as your hand shakes, the system moves to keep the barrel still," as Matt Angle, the engineer who first developed the system, writes Task & Purpose.

The prototyping phase is scheduled for this summer, and the U.S. Army hopes to hone in on one weapon vendor to produce the NGSW rifle.

The ACE is a perfect example of how militaries around the world are working on improving and mechanizing their operational systems — making soldiers look more and more like avatars from video games, including all the extra fighting power.