Facing modern asymmetric threats, naval forces are often called to respond to surprise attacks launched at close range, with minimum alert leaving a very short time to respond. Such threats range from small, fast boats to unmanned underwater vehicles and suicide drones. Hensoldt has developed a handheld Short-Range Pointer (SRP) device that couples to remotely controlled weapon stations (RCWS) on board to significantly reduce the ‘sensor to shooter’ cycle. Unlike mechanized pointing devices using complex optomechanical systems, the handheld SRP can be pointed wherever the user can point and track the target at any posture (standing, laying, or pointing straight up, at any elevation, or bearing. This capability makes it uniquely effective as part of drone-defense measures.
The SRP uses a reflex sight similar to modern assault rifles to enable fast and intuitive target acquisition. Pulling the trigger, the SRP operator designates the target in his sight, sending instantaneously accurate target data – bearing, elevation and distance, to the RWS and Combat Management Center (CMS). Weighing less than 3 kg, the SRP features an accuracy of <1° bearing and elevation. The rangefinder can operate at distances up to 5,000 meters. The targeting information can automatically direct the weapon station to the designated target without the need to guide the weapon operator to the general target location. The weapon operator then pursues a precise engagement. Using SRP for situational awareness, the designations can point at potential targets and objects of interest without employing firepower.
The SRP can be used on board the ship or on other vessels up to 8 nm from the mother ship hosting the SRP base unit. The SRP uses an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and Differential local Navigation Satellite System (D-GNSS), a stereoscopic viewer, and an eye-safe laser rangefinder (LRF). The device can add additional sensors, such as night vision, using a Picatinny rail mounted on the top. It is coupled to the RWS and CMS via an encrypted wireless link.