Rheinmetall announces that it will supply the German Army with its new “Variable Tactical Aiming Laser” (VTAL) module. Worth around 5 million euro, the order encompasses the manufacture and delivery of 1,745 laser light package sets for the Bundeswehr’s Special Forces Assault Rifle (“Sturmgewehr Spezialkräfte Bundeswehr, leicht”) - i.e. the G95 alias HK416A7 rifle. Chambered in 5.56mm and equipped with 368-mm (14,5-inch) long barrel, the HK416A7 carbine was chosen for the German commandos as part of Sturmgewehr Speziakräfte program. The new rifle is the successor of HK G36KA1/A2/A4 rifles currently in use. In 2017 1745 rifles with accessories were in fact ordered from Heckler & Koch.
Rheinmetall VTAL: designed for battlefield conditions
In a press-release, Rheinmetall explains that “Germany’s procurement authority, the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to supply it with a lightweight, assault rifle-mounted laser light package specially designed to meet the needs of German Army special operators. Delivery will commence in the first quarter of 2019. In extremely short order, Rheinmetall has thus succeeded in winning a prestigious customer for its newly developed 'Variable Tactical Aiming Laser' (VTAL) module.”
“The VTAL is the core component of the new laser light package. Extremely robust and compact, the system is specially designed for today’s shorter assault rifles. In addition, each set includes two 'Lumenator' weapon lights – a standard version with a dual LED head and a special version for hostage rescue operations. It also comes with various accessories such as a cable and tactical switch. Typically, the VTAL and both weapon lights are mounted on the weapon. All the devices are made by Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics (RSE) in Stockach, Germany.”
The VTAL is waterproof to a depth of 30 metres, light and stable. Its robust metal housing features a built-in MIL-STD 1913/STANAG 4694-interface. It does not interfere with the line of sight during conventional optical aiming, since it protrudes only about 25 mm above the mounting rail.
Besides being compatible with all standard image intensifier devices. the VTAL features an extremely strong visible red dot laser, a near-infrared dot laser, and a near-infrared illuminator. “The superior quality of the light rays and their consistency of form enhances the user’s situational awareness in all operating environments,” Rheinmetall claims.
The operator can adjust the intensity of both dot lasers with the aid of a color-coded cable switch. The illuminator can be focused using a separate control knob. Furthermore, the VTAL can be coupled with other tactical weapon lights such as Rheinmetall’s modular Lumenator weapon light mentioned above and can be operated using a combined two-button cable switch.