The U.S. Army demonstrated a breakthrough in soldier weapons targeting Thursday that features a tiny, weapon-mounted thermal sight designed to communicate wirelessly with the service’s latest Enhanced Night Vision Goggle.
By pressing a button on the side of an M4 carbine, soldiers can wirelessly transmit the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual’s sight reticle into the wide display screen of the helmet-mounted Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and quickly fire at enemy targets.
“This is the first time that we have deliberately taken a weapon-mounted targeting sensor and integrated with a helmet-mounted mobility sensor to provide that rapid target acquisition capability,” said Dean Kissinger, electronics engineer for Soldier Maneuver Sensors at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
The Army first announced the effort in 2015. On Thursday, experts demonstrated a working low-rate initial production model at a special test-firing range, complete with a fog machine to obscure targets.
The weapon-mounted FWS-I “talks wirelessly to a smart battery pack that’s on a soldier’s helmet that then transmits a signal [to] the ENVG III, which now displays a reticle” the soldier can use to engage targets, said Master Sgt. Lashon Wilson, senior enlisted adviser for Soldier Maneuver Sensors.