SPOTLITE – Electro-Optical Small-Arms Fire Detection System


SPOTLITE is an electro-optical system designed to pinpoint the location and sources of small arms fire.  The system can handle simultaneous, multiple fire sources, including small arms and sniper fire sources, during day and night. at long ranges and with high precision and detection probabilities. The system comprises a FLIR, CCD with continuous zoom, a Laser Range Finder, a GPS, a commander control system and multiple “subscribers”, located with the unit’s snipers. SPOTLITE analyses the fire sources detected, verifying that each source is actually enemy fire. When verified, data is transferred to the supported unit, which can engage them with fire support, snipers or indirect fire.

The SPOTLITE system is currently operational. It was designed for use by observation and reconnaissance forces, sniper units and Special Forces as well as for the protection of static posts under enemy threat. By rapidly closing the sensor-to-shooter loop targets can be processed within relatively short “window of opportunity” characteristic of urban warfare scenarios. When required, the system can translate target data into coordinates for other shooters, or mark the target with a laser marker.

At Eurosatory 2006 RAFAEL introduced the Spotlite Mk2, an enhanced, updated version of the Spotlite. Its primary mission is to pinpoint enemy sources of fire and accurately guide within few seconds. Spotlite Mk2 consists of a dual seeker – and CCD) thermal sensor with a larger field of view (48×24 deg.), covering a range of several hundred of meters. The system uses a FLIR camera, CCD camera with continuous zoom, laser rangefinder, laser marker, and GPS. It is controlled by a portable console, relaying target images and visual and audible cueing signals to the sniper. To link to the system, each sniper is equipped with an eyepiece and earphones, linked to the Spotlite via wireless communications. The thermal imager of the Spotlite stares at a wide area, automatically locating sources of fire, processing their exact locations and directing other on-board sensors (CCD and laser rangefinder) to take close-up “snapshots” of the shooters. Live images, and still snapshots, with each of the target’s locations, are distributed to the relevant snipers for swift response, or to other combat elements, as required. Spotlite can operate in daylight or at night, supporting the low tactical levels (platoon, company and battalion). It will also support recce units and special operations forces, by spotting fire sources with high level of precision, efficiently closing a “sensor to shooter” circuit at the tactical level.