Advanced Weapon’s Sights Improve Infantry Firepower, Accuracy (part II)


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The Israeli company ITL offers the Multipurpose Aiming Reflex Sight (MARS) used as a standard sight on the latest version of the IDF Tavor assault rifle. MARS projects a circular 0.3 mrad reticle at the line of fire. The dot brightness is adjusted automatically over a wide dynamic range (1:10,000). In addition, MARS uses a red-dot laser aiming light. Both reflex dot and laser dot can be seen with both eyes open, through the large eye-box designed for optimal visibility under difficult day or night conditions. An alternative sight used with the Tavor and Micro Tavor rifle is the Mepro-21 and the new RS-22 from the Israeli company Meprolight.

Originally developed for the IDF, Mepro-21 is designed for instinctive fire in close-quarters, where the use of both eyes is critical. The sight uses Illumination by a fiber optic collector during the day and by a miniature self-powered tritium light source at night. Transition between the two lighting systems is instantaneous and automatic, with the changing level of aiming dot illumination determined to provide good contrast between the aiming dot and the target area.

A tactical team armed with Micro Tavor assault rifles fitted with MARS and Mepro 212 sights. Photo: IWI
Mepro 212 sight

Meprolight is offering a dual illuminated optical collimating sight for the M-203 grenade launcher, replacing the standard issue M203 leaf sight supplied with the weapon is only useful during daylight hours. The new sight functions under all lighting and weather conditions for 5-8 years without the use of batteries or any other external source of power. The sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation; it can be mounted to standard sight rails with suitable adapters or on the M16 carrying handle, retaining the standard metal sight. During the day, a light collector tube concentrates available ambient light into a dot and projects it onto the sight lens. At night, a small tritium light source supplies the light for the dot.

GLS-203 grenade launcher sight

For other applications ITL introduced the Raptor, a small form factor, low-silhouette mini-reflex sight. Raptor is equipped with a motion activated “always ready to fire” mechanism that eliminates the need for manual turn-on and off operation while minimizing energy consumption. The day and night capable sight is mounted on a standard Picatinny rail, and can be augmented with x3 telescope, without zeroing, for extended range operations. The sight is powered by a single 1.5V AA battery.
One of the most advanced weapon’s sights available today is ITL’s Viper, a multi-purpose, day and night capable target acquisition sight and fire control unit, designed for light infantry weapons and rocket launchers.

Viper is based on the MPRS unit, developed for the IMI Refaim program. Viper weighs about one kilogram and is attached to the weapon over a standard Picatinny rail integrates an x1 optical (red dot) sight with data and symbols overlay, laser rangefinder, tilt and roll sensor (inclinometer) and a powerful processor. The basic Viper facilitates accurate aiming and firing of direct or indirect fire (airburst munitions for example) by the use of accurate range measuring and processing of aim-point ballistic compensation. Supporting bi-directional communications with the detonation fuse and automatic fuse programming of intelligent munitions, Viper facilitates various detonation modes including airburst, through window (detonation delay) or point impact. Scores of optional devices including dual wavelength laser pointer, digital compass and GPS, integrated video CCD camera, wireless data and video communications, communications relay, dual wavelength laser pointer, and more. Such add-ons enable “around the corner” viewing capability, using an eyepiece or PDA to project the line of sight view. Wireless datacom enables C4I features such as orientation and guidance towards targets, and video relay within the squad and further back.

IMI took MPRS to new heights by creating a “net centric” infantry combat team. Under a joint program with IAI/MLM it is offering the Warrior Compact Targeter (WACT), which links members of a combat team with their leaders, team members and their rifle’s sights over wireless communications. The system tracks every member via personal location reporting unit, to generate detailed situational awareness (SA) picture in real time. Commanders can watch every rifleman’s sight or assess the situation over a 3D map, perform planning, real-time tracking or conduct after-action review.

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