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US Army may have a new optical system by Vortex for its new assault rifles

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – The United States Department of Defense, through PM Soldier Lethality, has contracted with Vortex Optics to supply prototypes of the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Fire Control sighting systems for next-generation weapons, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: US Army uses state-of-the-art thermal imaging optical sights for its assault rifles

Vortex Optics 1-8 × 30 Active Reticle Fire Control is built on the basis of revolutionary technology based on many years of internal research and development, combined with numerous developments on the PM-Soldier Weapons program.

The end result is an Active Reticle, which has been proven to increase the chance of hitting a target and shorten the time it takes to aim.

The complex was based on a 1-8 × 30 optical sight with a reticle in the first focal region, which is complemented by an integrated digital module.

The combination of an optical system with a laser rangefinder (capable of operating at distances of up to 1 km) with a modern ballistic calculator, a set of weather monitoring sensors and a programmable Active Reticle active matrix chip provides effective fire control at all NGSW ranges.

Moreover, even in the event of a loss of battery power or failure of the Vortex Optics 1-8 × 30 ARFC electronics, the shooter still has a standard optical sight with excellent characteristics.

As with other modern weapons, the spectacular design of the complex is noteworthy, which guarantees the owner an unforgettable pleasure in cleaning the device from, for example, filling in numerous cracks and deepening of dried mud or icy snow during field operation.

US Army uses state-of-the-art thermal imaging optical sights for its assault rifles

After we reported in recent days that the US Army is beginning a complete renewal of the armament of its soldiers, today it is time to introduce you to perhaps the most modern thermal imaging optical sight in the world, which is also in service in the US Army.

Read more: US is already ahead of its competitors with several tests of ‘smart’ sights

We’re talking about the FWS-I thermal imaging sight (Family of Weapon Sights) with a wireless module for transmitting images to the latest model of the night vision device ENVG III (Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III).

By pressing the button mounted on the weapon, soldiers can wirelessly transmit the image from the FWS-I sight to the screen of the night vision device ENVG III mounted on the helmet and quickly fire at the enemy.

“This is the first time we have consciously taken information from a weapon’s sight and combined it with the information from a detection sensor mounted on a helmet to enable quick target capture,” said Dean Kissinger, an engineer at Soldier Maneuver.

ENVG technology consists of a traditional infrared image amplifier as well as a thermal imaging camera. The system combines an infrared image with a thermal image on one display.

Soldiers can choose between infrared and thermal modes, or use both modes simultaneously as an effective tool for detecting an adversary at night or in daytime in difficult conditions, such as smoke, fog and sandstorms. The weight of the ENVG III is about 900 grams.

FWS-I offers three modes of operation to choose from: full scope, picture-in-picture, and fast target capture mode. “In main mode, you only see the gun’s scope,” said Major Kevin Smith.

According to him, the fast target capture mode is used to monitor several targets using a wide field of view of 40 degrees. Picture-in-picture mode can be used to increase situational awareness, but this mode is difficult to get used to. “Some soldiers like it, but some don’t,” said Smith.

Also, the system allows not only quickly detecting the enemy, but also immediately aiming at him, even if the fire is conducted “from the hip” or blindly due to shelter. True, army officials emphasized that this was not intended to replace basic shooting skills.

Read more: Israeli Company Introduces Vehicular Anti-Drone Innovative System

FWS-I weighs about 680 grams and allows for targeted shooting at distances up to 1100 meters. It can be mounted on an M16 rifle, an M4 carbine and an M249 machine gun.

Army officials conducted several tests of the reliability of the two systems, and also verified that they could work under conditions of using electronic warfare equipment.

As we reported back in 2017 the army plans to purchase 36,000 FWS-I and 64,000 ENGV III for commanders of infantry brigades, as well as for command of special operations forces. The Marines are also interested in buying the FWS-I.

US is already ahead of its competitors with several tests of ‘smart’ sights

US ground forces at the Syrian base at Tanf have tested the latest SMASH 2000 sight for downing drones, BulgarianMilitary.com reported on June 19.

Similar sights were previously used only by the Israel Defense Forces. US SMASH 2000 was tested in Syria for the first time. “US Special Forces bought this system for use in real-life combat situations,” said Dr. Abraham Mazor, one of the founders of Smart Shooter Ltd.

In the past, Mazor worked for Rafael [an arms manufacturer, one of the four largest Israeli arms and military exporters], including many years of work in the Spike ATGM team.

Abraham Mazor declined to say what kind of military operations this technology is being considered in the U.S. Army, but handouts issued by the United States Army underscores the usefulness of sights as a means of fighting unmanned aerial vehicles, writes Daily Mail.

Read more: The U.S. Invests in Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Drone Advanced Radar Systems

According to him, this product is 100% manufactured by Smart Shooter Ltd. “Our company is in direct contact with the US Special Operations Command [SOCOM], working with US special forces and the IDF”.

Before moving on to testing the scope in Syria, the U.S. Army first bought 98 SMASH 2000 from Smart Shooter Ltd. and in August 2019 conducted their preliminary tests at Beale Air Base near Yuba, California.

The manufacturer of the sights – the Israeli company Smart Shooter Ltd. – Offers a whole line of SMASH sights, which are actually fire control systems [LMS]. Developed in close collaboration with the Israeli army,

The SMASH system allows the shooter to open fire only when the system evaluates the hit on the target as highly probable. Moreover, it takes into account all possible external conditions.

In other words, the shooter first takes aim and fixes [marks] the selected target by pressing the red button on the weapon handle. After that, presses and holds the trigger. A shot is fired only at the moment when the sight “is convinced” of the perfect aiming of the weapon at the target.

However, when a soldier is ready to fire, the system determines whether his target is true, and if the target is “disabled”, SMASH 2000 will not allow to shoot, even if you press the trigger.

Read more: Supplies of new SIG Sauer assault rifles and machine guns for the US Army began

“The new sight automates the guidance process and increases the probability of hitting the target from the first shot four times. For this, the principles of display recognition and auto tracking algorithms that were previously used in homing missiles and fire control systems of military equipment are used,” Konstantin Makienko, deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, explained to Gazeta.ru.

The built-in sight computer stores the necessary data from various types of small arms. According to the manufacturer, the system allows you to increase the probability of hitting from the first shot from 100 m to 80%, which practically equalizes inexperienced and experienced soldiers.

As the source of “Gazeta.Ru” said, since the first appearance of such a sight, the system has been constantly evolving and now Smart Shooter Ltd. offers two scope options: SMASH 2000 and SMASH 2000 Plus. The second model is equipped with a mode to combat unmanned aerial vehicles. It allows shelling air targets in the daytime at heights of up to 200 m. Typical distances of firing at fixed and moving targets in the daytime are 300 m.

While the daytime display is available on the transparent screen of the mirror sight, in night mode it is displayed on video displays for low light. The system consists of an aiming unit and a fire blocking mechanism, which is built into the pistol grip with a safety bracket, which replaces the original handle on a particular weapon.

The scope is compact, measures 195×87.5×81 mm, weighs 980 g, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, guaranteeing 72 hours of operation or up to 3600 shots when the SMASH system is operating. The sight is equipped with a near infrared illuminator and a built-in video recording function.

SMASH sights combine the technology of electro-optics, night vision, image processing, ergonomics and embedded software that works in real time.

The sight is mounted on a standard Picatinny rail – a rail mount system used on various types of small arms to ensure unification of mounts on the sights.

Read more: Forget about AK, Bushmaster ACR is the assault rifle of the future soldier

According to the Daily Mail, during field trials at the US Army base at Mount Tanf in Syria, near the country’s southeast border with Jordan and Iraq, American soldiers used SMASH 2000+ to aim at small boxes mounted on UAVs flying around positions at El Tanf. And this is not surprising.

The SMASH 2000 comes with the integrated Drone Mode, which helps you track small, fast-moving air targets up to 400 feet away. The SMASH 2000 fire control system uses innovative technology to help the military 100% neutralize moving targets.

The base of Et-Tanf, the newspaper reports, was created in 2016 and was used mainly for training local Syrian groups in the fight against the militants of the Islamic State.

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