Press Releases

QIOPTIQ: Enhanced Weapon Sights for SOCOM

03 June 2014

Qioptiq recognises that new product development is a vital capability for Special Operations Command in order to ensure mission success as the theatre of operations shifts from Afghanistan and previously Iraq to a completely different terrain.

With a number of potentially revolutionary capabilities emerging as key enabling technologies the roadmap for Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Engagement is becoming increasingly interesting with significant enhancements in sighting system capability through technology evolution and deeper integration.

However financial constraints in any industry means time and money allocated for product design and development comes under pressure, non-more so than in the defence sector at this time. However the Special Forces community will still need to procure new and specialised equipment as they seek to source game-changing technology. So Qioptiq will continue to push the boundaries of Weapon Sights & Surveillance Equipment for SOF users with some significant product and technology development activity.

In the US SOCOM has increased its technology funding. Speaking at the Senate Armed Forces Committee Admiral William McRaven, commander of Special Operations Command, said “the Command is aiming for new technology that augments human physical and sensory capabilities, improves weapon systems and increases situational awareness”.

Qioptiq is known for its extensive design and production capabilities, research and development and its leading-edge innovation, we also benefit from strong technology development teams and strong customer relationships. We are supporting a number of opportunities where high performance equipment is required. And this has demonstrated that our hard work in both product development and strengthening the integration between Qioptiq and other stakeholder organisations has paid off.

“Approaching new technological developments and successfully exploiting them is not a new concept. The change comes in how we tackle the initial implementation”. Said Craig Taylor, Marketing Manager at Qioptiq. “looking at an opportunity as how might we rather than how can we opens up previously closed doors as this assumes there might be a solution we haven’t encountered yet”

It’s widely recognised that modern small arms weapon systems are incredibly accurate and reliable, and that the challenge is being able to DRI the target 24 hours a day, through all weathers and battlefield conditions, with Users under physical and cognitive pressure.

Sighting Systems need to be easy to use, effective through all weathers and provide the ability to detect targets at the maximum range possible in order to prepare the User for the next course of action. The Urban scenario requires enhance situational awareness, wide fields of view and a rapid engagement process in order to respond within the close quarters.

The challenge for us is to provide all of this capability to the User in a package (or suite) that is easy to use and easily configurable for role / mission requirements, whilst remaining affordable and having the potential to endure a service life of 10-15 years.

As Qioptiq continues to move forward with enhanced sighting systems for SF users, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate and partner with industrial players around the world in order to bring world class capabilities to national programmes and to ensure that Qioptiq products remain state of the art and provide features and capabilities called for by the User community.

Steve Rickard, Qioptiq Business & Product Development Manager “Qioptiq are totally committed to reducing the size weight and power burden placed on the end User – developing the battle winning equipment, while maintaining affordability. We will continue to develop, push forward and challenge the boundaries to ensure we always stay one step ahead”

About Qioptiq

Qioptiq, an Excelitas Technologies Company, designs and manufactures photonic products and solutions that serve a wide range of markets and applications in the areas of medical and life sciences, industrial manufacturing, defence and aerospace, and research and development. Qioptiq benefits from having integrated the knowledge and experience of Avimo, Gsänger, LINOS, Optem, Pilkington, Point Source, Rodenstock, Spindler & Hoyer and others. In October 2013, Qioptiq was acquired by Excelitas Technologies Corp., a global technology leader focused on delivering innovative, customized solutions to meet the lighting, detection and other high-performance technology needs of OEM customers. The combined companies have approximately 5,000 employees in North America, Europe and Asia, serving customers across the world. Visit and for more information.


For further information and high resolution images contact:

Craig Taylor – Qioptiq Communications Manager, Defence and Aerospace.

T: +44(0)1745 588002 | M: +44(0)7827 831519 | F: +44(0)1745 584258

E: |

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