Monday, May 27, 2024

British Army to soon get cutting-edge anti-drone weapon sight

British Army’s close combat soldiers will soon receive a cutting-edge weapon sight that will help them counter the increasing threat of micro and mini drones.

Called the SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control Systems, these Israeli-built sights will allow the dismounted soldier to achieve a high probability of hit against micro and mini UAVs. The capability can recognize a target, track its movements, and maintain a lock on the target even if it or the user moves.

This Counter-Small Uncrewed Air Systems (C-sUAS) capability will initially be fitted like a standard sight on the SA80 A3 assault rifle. It can also be fitted on other in-service individual weapons. SMASH incorporates image processing that uses artificial intelligence to automatically acquire a target from the sight’s field of view. It then displays a box around the target in the shooter’s reflex sight. The capability will only fire when the sight is aligned to hit the target, greatly increasing the probability of destroying the drone.

The Ministry of Defence has placed an order for 225 SMASH sights, worth £4.6 million, which will be delivered to Very High Readiness units across the British Army by the end of this year. Over the next few years, more SMASH sights will be acquired from Yorkshire-based Viking Arms Ltd to dismounted close combat operators across the Army, Navy, and RAF, based on operational and readiness commitments.

Last year, the Army’s experimentation battalion, 2 YORKS, tested the SMASH sights.

“We are very pleased to announce the arrival of the first dismounted C-sUAS equipment into the core equipment programme,” Wing Commander Mark Bowden, Programmes Directorate, Counter-UAS SO1, said. “SMASH is a proven capability already in service with our allies and partners. As we have seen in Ukraine and other operational areas, the UAS threat is growing significantly.

“SMASH offers significant enhancement to the close combat operator across all three Services, delivering a tactical edge to the dismounted soldier in the C-sUAS battle.”