New Optic Allows Small Arms To Target Drones

The British Army to field 225 new SmartShooter optics on their service rifles.

by
posted on August 1, 2023
Smart Shooter Optic

The British Army has purchased 225 SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control Systems that allow its soldiers to use their issued rifles or carbines to target, track, engage and deliver shots with a high probability of downing micro and mini drones. Cost of the procurement came in at €4.6 million and the systems are already being fielded by troops who carry the SA80 A3 rifle. The optic can also be fitted on other firearms as needed.

“The importance of uncrewed aerial vehicles on the modern battlefield is undeniable,” James Cartlidge, Britain’s Minister for Defence Procurement told reporters at the Land Warfare Conference in late June. “Alongside procuring, developing and deploying this technology in a range of different ways, we must also be proactive in ensuring our Armed Forces can protect against their use by adversaries … Adding this capability to our core equipment program is another example of us procuring the right kit, at the right time for our personnel.”

Exhaustive testing of the sight was conducted last year by the British army. The reflex sight automatically acquires the target when it’s in the field of view, displays a box around it and prevents a shot from being delivered until the shooter has the drone aligned in the optic properly.

The company’s website explains there’s more than ballistic drop compensation at work, too. “Through advanced image processing, SMASH recognizes the target and can predict its movements,” it states. It also stays locked on the drone, regardless of its movement or that of the shooter.

The unit is also effective on ground-based targets—whether moving or stationary. The system uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision to run the advanced algorithms required to calculate firing solutions with the high probability of hits required by the military. 

SmartShooter was established in 2011 in Israel and has its North American headquarters is based in Herndon, VA.

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