Fire control is traditionally associated with larger platforms such as main battle tanks, fixed-wing and maritime platforms and unmanned air systems.
But because accuracy is also vital on the modern battlefield, Raytheon’s ELCAN Optical Technologies is developing a next-generation digital fire control system for small arms to enable dismounted infantry forces to hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy, while retaining full operator control through the period of engagement.
Weighing 1.4kg (3lb) and measuring 76x102mm(3x4in), the ELCAN Specter Digital Fire Control System (FCS) features a 1x-8x turreted continuous Zoom Scope, an interface capability for an external laser rangefinder or an integrated laser rangefinder, and an onboard ballistic computer module, digital aiming and targeting reticule. The custom ballistic computational device has the capability to download a common ballistic kernel for small arms systems, and the integrated micro-display contains a first focal plane etched ballistic drop reticule that incorporates a disturbed targeting reticule system.
How it works: a laser rangefinder sends out a pulse to measure the distance to the target; a ballistic module then tells the shooter precisely where to point. Success – or failure – is measured in matter of seconds. ELCAN says the Specter Digital FCS will revolutionise dismounted engagement in the coming decades. It adds that Specter is currently the only man-portable fire control system light enough, and small enough, for use with assault rifles. The system can be mounted onto any standard Picatinny rail and is easily removed for use on other weapons.
Further, unlike other systems of similar size and weight, the Specter Digital FCS is the only system that works in a canted or tilted position.
Using special software and a combat-proven ballistic computer chip developed by Precision Targeting LLC in Atlanta, Georgia, the FCS calculates a corrected aimpoint if a shooter engages from behind cover or while moving uphill or downhill.
“Regardless of distance or condition, the shooter will be able to engage the enemy effectively without using a whole lot of ammunition,” said ELCAN rifle sights product manager Dan Pettry.
Other ancillary equipment the Specter Digital FCS can interface includes the Insight Technology Small Tactical Optical Rifle-Mounted (STORM) laser rangefinder; the Rockwell Collins Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) and the Rockwell Collins Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (PLGR).
A prototype Specter Digital FCS system is expected to be available later this year. Further information is available at Raytheon Canada’s Booth 1221.