SuperJack™ the new industry standard interconnect for thermal weapons sights
ISTAR - TARGETING EQUIPMENT AND OPTICS
It is one of the great constants in warfare, you must know more about your enemy than they know about you. Gaining the upper hand will keep you alive. That’s why advanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance equipment is some of the most valued equipment for militaries. These are the technologies used by fire support teams or dismounted reconnaissance troops to locate, and then eliminate, enemy forces in a warzone.
The US Army is currently fielding the latest generation of thermal sights, designated the AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS). The latest TWS uses uncooled, forward-looking infrared technology with 17 micron sensors that offer significant weight and power savings over previous models using 25 micron sensors. Many thermal sights, like the AN/PAS-13, also feature standard video output
for training, image transfer or remote viewing. Modernization programs, like the French Army’s FELIN system, want to integrate the TWS with a head-mounted display (HMD) to allow observation, and firing, around
Today’s surveillance and reconnaissance devices are also connected to the battlefield network, meaning they can send video and data across the 21st century digital battlespace, giving greater situational awareness for commanders at all levels.
corners or obstacles. The US Army’s current effort is called the Family of Weapon Sights which will wirelessly link weapon-mounted thermal sights to NVGs, allowing soldiers to rapidly engage targets without switching between devices. Yet like I2
Several militaries are currently in the process of upgrading or replacing their legacy
dismounted ISTAR equipment. The US Army is fielding the latest version of the Northrop Grumman- built Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR-2H) system. Nicknamed the “Eye of God,” LLDR-2H offers extremely accurate target designation for GPS-
guided munitions like the JDAM or Excalibur. The LLDR incorporates a thermal imager, day camera, laser designator and digital magnetic compass. A built-in GPS calculates coordinates and a Laser Designator Module (LDM) emits coded laser pulses, which are compatible with US and NATO guided munitions.
technology, thermal sights can also have several downsides especially when it comes to seeing detail. Developers are trying to bring together both worlds with fused systems, blending I2 and thermal images into one. One of the best examples of fused technology is the AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night
Vision Goggle - made by ITT Exelis and L-3 Warrior Systems - which is currently being fielded with the US military.
Equipped with the LLDR, soldiers are able to designate stationary targets from over 5km and identify vehicle-sized targets at more than 7km during the day. At 31.5 pounds (14.2kg) it
In Europe, Thales has introduced the Minie-Dir fused system, an adaptation of the Minie-D which has already been selected for modernization programs in France, Germany and Spain. The 490g Minie-D can also work as
is lighter than previous models, though certainly not lightweight. Lighter systems with embedded GPS receivers are also available including BAE Systems’ TRIGR and Northrop’s Mark VIIE which both weigh just over 5 pounds.
a HMD receiving video from unmanned systems, or send video to command posts.
Qwik Connect n January 2015
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