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The 'Black Box' was developed by Source of Sound to meet specific IDF requirements. It is currently fielded with elite counter-terror units.
The ‘Black Box’ was developed by Source of Sound to meet specific IDF requirements. It is currently fielded with elite counter-terror units.

The Israeli Army evaluated the C4OPS for its future infantry combat system, but requested changes to the original design, particularly, reducing weight and power consumption and modifying the Man Machine Interface to reflect the IDF requirement for simpler, ‘plug and play’ product that could adapt for all warfighters, not only those operating multiple radio sets.

Through the past 24 months Silynx’ local subsidiary Source of Sound went through the systems’ redesign, conducted in close cooperation with the Ground Forces combat logistics branch and Israel’s special operations community. Under the process the systems’ elements were miniaturized, reducing power consumption, size and weight bringing the new ‘Black Boxes’, as the system is nicknamed here, to a weight of about 180 gr (6.5 Ounces). The first systems have already been fielded, initially with leading counter-terror units, corps of engineers special assault teams, and other elite units.

A major advantage of the new system is its ability to operate stand-alone on a single AAA battery. The system can also draw power from the radio it is connected to, thus saving battery power for backup.

The IDF was seeking an ear protection that would become part of the individual protection gear, just like the helmet, body armor or gas mask. The system’s stand alone operation ability means units can be operated by all team members, not only those equipped with radios. The hybrid system employs in-ear earplugs and a microphone, coupled to a miniature control unit, minimizing cabling and settings offering simple ‘plug and play’ interface. Along with power consumption, size and weight, the cost of the new system has also been reduced to a level comparable to other protective earmuffs.

To date the US DOD has spent over $10 Billion in auditory related compensation. The introduction of an affordable hearing protection that would fit both training and combat could eliminate such high costs in the future.

US Army helicopter crews are issued a specialized gear as part of the Air warrior program.
US Army helicopter crews are issued a specialized gear as part of the Air warrior program.
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