TRAP – the remotely operated sniper station of FBI, SWAT and U.S. Army
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – A very young private company “Precision Remotes Inc.” (PRI) from Richmond, California, founded in 1998 by engineer Graham Hawkes, in less than 10 years managed to establish itself in the military weapons market as a serious manufacturer.
The firm designs and manufactures military equipment intended primarily for sale to government agencies and large security companies. The main development of PRI is the TRAP system [Telepresent Rapid Aiming Platform].
The system is a sniper rifle mounted on a special platform in the form of a tripod, support or mobile chassis. A camera connected to the rifle’s optical sight, a panoramic camera for observing moving objects and several hydraulic drives are mounted on the platform, allowing you to move the weapon up and down and to the left and, most importantly, remotely pull the trigger. Such a system is controlled by an operator via wires (at a distance of up to 100 m) or using radio waves [at a distance of up to 1 km] with a joystick from any closed object. In this case, information from both cameras is displayed. The declared rate of fire is up to one shot per second, depending on the speed of maneuvering, the number and relative position of targets. The maximum allowed target speed is 48 km / h.
In addition to video cameras, the platform can be equipped with other sensor sensors, thermal imagers, infrared sensors, laser designators, microphones and loudspeakers, which makes it possible, when using a built-in computer with appropriate software, to automatically track any target with preset parameters.
The main idea behind the TRAP system is to keep the sniper out of the enemy’s line of fire while maintaining exceptional accuracy in hitting single or multiple targets. The probability of hitting a target estimated by experts is up to 95%.
At the same time, the weather, chemical, biological or radiation effects on personnel are minimized, which ensures, for example, the safety of strategic facilities or the conduct of special operations in adverse climatic conditions. Thanks to this, the system can be located in places that are too close or dangerous for people.
Equally important is the presence of powerful optics, providing accurate (with a declared accuracy of 0.1 MOA) and fast visual identification in real time of a friendly object or enemy and determination of the specific nature of the danger. This significantly reduces the factor of sniper errors, which are inevitable when finding him in awkward positions shot by the enemy.
The system is easy to transport, quickly deployed into a combat position and disguised, and therefore ideal for rapid reaction forces. Not too sophisticated weapons design and quick training in shooting techniques allow the regular spetsnaz detachment to achieve shooting efficiency equal to the level of professional experienced snipers. So, for a general study of weapons to a level sufficient for full combat effectiveness, you should spend only 1 hour. A shooter who has studied the components of the complex for 10 hours can be considered an expert.
Since a single TRAP operator can manage many systems at the same time, organizations can significantly reduce operating costs or make more efficient use of their existing security personnel.
Currently, PRI offers the TRAP system in four versions:
- TRAP T 2 [Tactical – tactical] – a portable system on which you can install small arms of conventional caliber (up to 7.62 mm), as well as non-lethal weapons. It was the first system (and the most widely used today) to be offered to the market by PRI;
- TRAP TO 2 [Tactical Observation – tactical observation] – unarmed and cheap system, equipped at the request of the customer with a variety of optics and tracking sensors;
- TRAP T 250 [Tactical .50 caliber – tactical 50 caliber] – a system similar in design to the T 2 model, only long-range sniper rifles are used as small arms (mainly large-caliber Barrett rifles). This system can be installed on a combat vehicle;
- TRAP T 2 FS [Tactical Facility Security – tactical security] – a stationary system for the detection and defense of important government and strategic objects, which is a TO 2, T 2 or T 250 model, fixed on walls or in special towers.
Based on all of the above facts, we can conclude that the TRAP system can be used to collect information and monitor various objects, destroy enemy snipers and terrorists in hostage rescue operations, destroy unexploded mines and planted explosives, defeat protected targets, as well as guard and mobile protection of facilities [military bases, airfields, ports, military depots, nuclear power plants, oil and gas pipelines, government buildings and prisons].
The only drawback of this, of course, an effective robotic complex is the high cost, amounting to $ 45,000-50,000 per unit, depending on the weapon chosen. This automatically cuts off clients with middle and low incomes and increases the already considerable advantages of the armies of highly developed countries over the armies of the “third world” states.
This unique system was originally designed with the US Army in mind and is currently being purchased by the military, US government agencies [such as the FBI], some civilian organizations [notably the US Department of Energy], and several foreign armies. The TRAP system has also been tested by many US police agencies, including the SWAT LAPD and SWAT SFPD [Special Forces of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Police Departments, respectively], and there is currently an issue of budgeting for the purchase of this weapon for special police forces.
For the first time, the weapon was used in May 2002 by the Israelis against Palestinian militants who had settled in the Church of the Nativity in Beit Lehem. Then the Israeli TRAP system was a modification of the T 2 with an SR-25 sniper rifle. During the operation to destroy the terrorists, the system was raised to the height of the church bell tower, where the sniper was located, using a retractable boom of a truck crane. The operator quickly and easily coped with the task, collecting information about the militants from a height and destroying one of them.
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