SMASH 2000 was originally designed to help shooters improve their chances of hitting a target on their first shot, even when tired or stressed. This, in turn, would help improve the effectiveness of individual troops, as well as reduce their vulnerability to enemy forces and potentially help limit collateral damage.
However, the potential utility of firearms equipped with SMASH 2000, as well as broader applications of the underlying technology, in defense against small drones has been evident for some time. Last year, footage emerged showing U.S. personnel assigned to Joint Special Operations Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) in Syria training to use M4A1 rifles equipped with these sighting systems in this specific role. In March of this year, Smart Shooter revealed that it was working on a new intelligent aiming system derived from the SMASH 2000 for the US military as part of the Pentagon. Directorate of Technical Support for Irregular Warfare‘s (IWTSD) Weapons Overnight Individual Optics Program (IWOO).
Smart Shooter did not specify on which weapons the Marine Corps might seek to test the SMASH 2000 on, but the service’s M4A1 rifles, along with its M27 infantry automatic rifles, would be immediate potential platforms. The M27 is a variant of the Heckler and Koch HK416 rifle, an AR-15 / M16 derivative that primarily differs from many other pistols in the series, such as the M4A1, in that it uses a physical gas piston as its operating mechanism. basic rather than what is called “direct impact”. A pistol that works by direct impact siphons some of the propellant gas generated by the firing of a shell and uses it to cycle the internal action. You can read more about the differences between the HK416 and earlier AR-15 / M16 types here.
The AR-15 / M16 types in service with the Navy are likely to be at least among the platforms that NSWC Crane will use to explore the applicability of Smart Shooter technology in the maritime domain as part of its CRADA with the company as well. . “This collaboration aims to perform a joint integration and evaluation of Smart Shooter technology with weapons and ammunition currently supporting the US Navy mission. With an increased likelihood of success for small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) and increased range of engagement, Smart Shooter’s SMASH technology has the potential to increase the Navy’s ability to engage the sUAS at the individual level – using existing weapons and ammunition in stock, ”according to the company’s press release.
Regardless of the exact guns the Marines and Navy seek to test Smart Shooter systems on, it’s no surprise that both services are looking at this technology as a potential way to boost their counter-drone capabilities. In recent years, the entire US military has rushed to expand its defenses against various levels of unmanned aircraft, which now present real threats to US troops fighting overseas.
conduct operations on American soil.
“These small and medium-sized UAS are proliferating across the [area of operations] present a new and complex threat to our forces and those of our partners and allies, “said U.S. Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), who oversees U.S. military operations across the Middle Orient, especially to members of Congress, this year: “For the first time since the Korean War, we are operating without complete air superiority.
Reports of small drones hovering over or near sensitive US airspace, such as the site occupied by the US Army Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense battery in Guam, have only helped to augment. The potential risks unmanned systems pose to critical civilian infrastructure and other non-military targets also continue to grow.
These threats have also extended to the maritime domain. It’s hard not to see a slew of as yet unexplained incidents involving drones invading US warships off the coast of Southern California in 2019, which you can read more about in the past. War zone characteristic, as probably being a specific factor behind the new Navy CRADA with Smart Shooter.
With all of this in mind, Smart Shooter’s SMASH 2000, or other systems derived from its core technology, are clearly attracting increasing interest in the U.S. military as a whole, as part of efforts to establish new layers of defense against small drones – as well as making its personnel fire more accurately, overall.
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