Long distance sniper rifle, wind meter, laser range finder, calculator, and more...can it all be combined into one package?
Part of me always wondered why the defense industry never joined a sniper's scope and a laser range finder together. Once the target was lased, the scope could electronically calculate the correct data and display how many clicks the shooter needs to come up or down, or better yet, automatically set the sights for you to bring your reticule to the correct position. An engineer once told me that something similar to this had been accomplished way back in the 90's with the first Land Warrior program but got scrapped when the rest of the platform was dropped by the Pentagon.
Now it looks like Lockheed Martin and DARPA are carrying the baton forward with the Mission Systems and Sensors, or MS2, program having developed a viable proof of concept prototype:
“The [MS2] system demonstrated the capability to measure the average down range crosswind profile, the range to the target, spotter scope position, target heading, air temperature, pressure and humidity... These measurements were used to calculate the ballistic solution for a 0.308 bullet. The ballistic solution with azimuth/elevation coordinates and range were used to calculate the aim point offset and displayed as a red cross (+) in the dedicated rifle scope. The aim point offset was adjusted for the rifle scope crosshair zero and magnification settings. The displayed red cross, which was updated with varying crosswind conditions, was the new aim point to adjust the gun position and hit the target.”
The reticule mechanism sounds similar to that of the Mk47 grenade launcher's sighting system which ranges the target and than displays a dot on the optic showing the point of aim that the user needs to fire at in order to hit his target.
I would be fascinated to know how the sensor package actually works, specifically how it intends calculate wind speed down range. Measuring the wind at the sniper's firing position is easy, but not always helpful. Generally the sniper gauges the wind two third of the way to his target where it is most likely to effect the bullet's trajectory as the round is bleeding off some it's velocity.
“The system developed should provide the capability to profile downrange crosswind and range to target in near real time, replacing the current spotter scope and complementing the rifle scope used by sniper teams.”
(Source: Defense Media Network)
Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger, Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the new military thriller PROMIS: Rhodesia.