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Only a few weeks ago, the Smart Shooter system was officially certified by the US Army for drone defense (Counter-UAV - C-UAV). Now it has been considered as a possible solution to a NATO Defense Against Terrorism Program of Work (DAT PoW). Also here for the area of ​​drone defense. The system is now to be put through its paces as part of an exercise.

Smart Shooter für NATO-Programm ausgewählt
Photo: Smart Shooter

The Smash family are fire control systems for handguns. Smash combines electro-optical hardware with embedded image recognition software and a ballistic calculator. According to the manufacturer, the system can be used for day and night combat and offers different modes: drone mode, target recognition, lock & track, recording (photo, video) - e.g. for debriefing on technical training or legal purposes. The system supports position stabilization, can be used against static and dynamic targets and helps the shooter to clearly localize targets in front of different backgrounds. Drones can also be recognized and tracked.

Inspired by rocket lock-on and fighter aircraft HUD technology, Smash eliminates multiple mistakes made by shooters, including mis aiming, pulling the trigger, tilting, and misjudging distances and lead.

Once a target has been identified and determined, the analytical algorithm calculates a shot solution, even if the shooter or target is in motion. Taking into account the respective movement of the target and the shooter, the system continuously calculates the stopping point required for a hit. This dynamic stopping point is continuously displayed in the eyepiece and offers the shooter a significantly higher hit probability for each shot. The shooter pulls the trigger, the system locks the trigger mechanically and only allows a shot to be released when the shooter guides the target point of the weapon over the calculated stopping point of a previously marked target. The shot then breaks automatically. The manufacturer promises that every shot hits. At the push of a button, the system enables the shooter to fire the rifle manually if necessary (bypassing the fire control system). The system can be switched on again by pressing the button again.

The advanced real-time scenario analysis and targeting algorithms integrated into the Smash fire control system can identify, track and combat even difficult-to-detect targets such as drones by day or night.

The manufacturer promises that by means of this solution any standard handgun - whether assault rifle, sniper rifle or machine gun - can be turned into an effective defensive weapon drones.

The Israeli company has now been officially certified by the US Army, the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the US Department of Defense (DoD) as one of three approved providers of Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) solutions. The US Air Force, German special forces and other nations have not yet completed their tests.


Smart Shooter für NATO-Programm ausgewählt

Now also as a weapon station

So far the system was available as an extension for long weapons. In the middle of the year, a remote-controlled light weapon station (FLW; Light Remote-Controlled Weapon Station - LRCWS) was presented for the first time with Smash Hopper. This also offers the promise of “One Shot - One Hit” and the drone defense mode, but the operator can control it from a safe distance. The FLW can be mounted on a watchtower or a wall, for example.

Smart Shooter für NATO-Programm ausgewählt
Photo: Smart Shooter

The weapon station should also help to exhaust the system with regard to the effective range and thus go to the ballistic limits of the long weapon. Compact, light and quick to use, Smash Hopper increases the accuracy, lethality and survivability of small arms.

The total weight is 15 kilograms and, according to the manufacturer, it should be integrated into existing command and control systems (C2). This allows an operator to control and operate a large number of sensors and effectors - including smash hoppers. In addition, destinations can be passed or received from one operator to the next via existing communication networks. Equipped with a secure trigger mechanism, a fastening solution and a robust remote control unit (RCU), Smash Hopper offers a pan and tilt function for the weapon system and can be controlled via cable or wireless connections.

Of course, day and night combat capabilities with automatic scanning and target recognition are also offered here. Therefore, the system is suitable for a wide variety of applications, including the (camp) protection of armed forces, border security, drone defense, ambushes from a distance as well as offensive actions in complex and urban environments. The Smash Hopper can be used from a free-standing, relocatable tripod (tripod), a stationary fixed mast or a light vehicle.

André Forkert