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The US Army has been investing in potential replacements for its aging combat weapons for many years. However, to fully maximize the capabilities of these weapons, the service has begun looking for better optics more suited to harsh combat environments.
The military will acquire advanced weapon optics capable of increasing the accuracy and lethality of the close combat force. 250,000 Next Generation Squad Weapon – Fire Control systems will be supplied to the Army by Vortex Optics for over 10 years.
The new optical sight is described as a “computer atop the weapon” since it can calculate range, ballistics, atmospherics, directional information, and digital overlay.
The fire control system will replace the close combat optic, rifle combat optic, and machine gun optic used by US special operations units, Marine Corps, and Army infantry units, according to thedefensepost.com.
The agreement worth up to $2.7 billion specifies that the sights must feature a variable magnification optic, laser rangefinder, backup etched reticle, atmospheric sensor suite, compass, and a ballistic calculator. The advanced optics must also be equipped with a digital display overlay and intra-soldier wireless, visible, and infrared aiming lasers.
Launched in 2017, the Next Generation Squad Weapons program is a US military initiative to develop operationally relevant squad-level lethality against various threats. According to the US Acquisition Support Center, the program will increase soldiers’ firing precision in close combat situations. The weapon system also provides soldiers with significant range and signature management capability improvements.