Archive for the ‘Optics’ Category

US Army Issues Prototype Project Opportunity Notice for Next Generation Squad Weapon – Fire Control

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

The Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon Program promises to field machine guns and carbines which will shoot further than current models. Now, the Army seeks to improve hit capability with a Next Generation Squad Weapon – Fire Control effort.

Consequently, U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), on behalf of Project Manager Soldier Weapons, recently issued a Prototype Project Opportunity Notice (PPON) for the Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control (NGSW-FC) program. The purpose of this PPON for NGSW-FC is to award up to two prototype Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 2371b, developing a fire control system under the NGSW-FC program.

NGSW-FC is intended to increase the Soldier’s ability to rapidly engage man sized targets out to 600m or greater while maintaining the ability to conduct Close Quarters Battle. This objective is achieved by leveraging technologies to calculate and display a disturbed reticle to the User.

Prototype SIG SAUER Next Generation Optic

NGSW-FC will integrate Government Ballistic Solver – Small Arms (GBS-SA), which is the Government developed software ballistic kernel that will serve as the system’s ballistic calculator. This will be used to provide an adjusted aiming point (disturbed reticle) that considers range to target, atmospheric conditions, and ballistics of weapon/ammunition.

The system is comprised of a weapon-mounted fire control system including a soft case, remote(s), lens covers, mounting and alignment tools, lens cleaning kit, User manual/instructions, zeroing chart(s), and two sets of batteries.

Results of the Small Arms Ammunition Configuration (SAAC) Study provide validation that development of advanced fire control systems to reduce system errors is a major factor in increasing the overall system lethality. Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW) has conducted various industry days, trade studies, and technology developmental efforts to support the next generation of fire control systems for small arms weapons systems. In 2018 the Army prioritized the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) programs. PM SW determined it would be in the Government’s best interest to hold a full and open competition to support rapid prototyping of the NGSW Fire Control (NGSW-FC). The NGSW-FC will be integrated with both the Next Generation Squad Weapon – Rifle (NGSW-R) and Next Generation Squad Weapon – Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR) within the Close Combat Force. This PPON seeks to explore fire control system level integration, test and evaluation.

The program also aspires to provide advanced camera based capabilities: automatic target recognition, target tracking, facial recognition, as well as optical augmentation: denial of enemy’s capability, pre-shot threat detection, etc.

The Government intends to award up to two independent fixed amount OTAs for NGSW-FC prototyping. The duration for each prototype OTA is estimated to be up to five years. Deliverables for each prototype OTA include 115 NGSW-FC systems, spare parts, tools/gauges/accessories, engineering support, management support; an option for additional NGSW-FC systems in increments of 10 (not to exceed 100 additional systems); an option for additional NGSW-FC systems in increments of 50 (not to exceed 250 additional systems); an option for additional design representative mock-ups in increments of 5 (not to exceed 50 additional mock-ups); and iterative prototyping efforts as defined in the Statement of Work. Each prototype will undergo Fire Control – Prototype Test (FC-PT) events which include technical testing and Soldier Touch Points (STPs). The initial prototyping and testing for NGSW-FC will be approximately 14 months.

Offerers have until Nov 04, 2019 4:30 pm Eastern to submit.

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

Geissele Offering SOF Pro-Deal On Vortex SVPS Submission Optic

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Geissele Automatics is offering a pro-deal to SOF Personnel for the Vortex submission to USSOCOM’s Squad Variable Power Scope program. Although it was not selected, it has been in use by SOF for many years and remains extremely popular.

The Vortex Razor 1-6 is combined with a Geissele Super Precision Scope Mount. The throw lever seen is NOT included in the package. Still, this is a phenomenal price for a working optic which both Geissele and Vortex hope will be put to use on working carbines.

Fill out the form and follow instructions for submitted. The form is available here for download.

SVPS Submission Bundle

You have to submit via a valid socom.mil email address. Other emails will be deleted. If you are SOF but assigned to a non-SOF organization such as a service school, contact sales@geissele.com to verify credentials.

Safran Optics 1 HRTV [High-Resolution Thermal Video Imaging System]

Monday, May 20th, 2019

Stop by the Safran Optics 1 booth during SOFIC 2019 for a demonstration of the HRTV

Booth #548

Additional hospitality suite located in the Westin Tampa Waterside. Contact your Optics 1 representative to schedule a meeting, or stop by our booth.

The HRTV is a lightweight, multifunctional, long-range targeting and reconnaissance device. It provides increased situational awareness in any condition thanks to the inclusion of cooled thermal, color day, and low-light level cameras. The HRTV is equipped with a laser rangefinder, digital magnetic compass, inclinometer, See-Spot detection, remote wireless observation, photo/video capture, fall-of-shot calculator, moving target speed indicator, and optional long-range lens extender. Users can detect, recognize, and identify targets at a greater distance than ever before.

Optional variations include: HRTV-S (SAASM GPS) and HRTV-C (Celestial)


Stay tuned for a hands-on assessment during SOFIC.


Warrior West 19 – NightForce UltraMount

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

The UltraMount is the latest optics mounting system from Nightforce Optics. Available in both 1.54” and 1.93” (0 MOA bias), the UltraMount features two integral recoil lugs in addition to Titanium beta series crossbolts, as well as slotted 1/2” drive hex nuts to assist in field expedient removal.

All pertinent torque specifications and tightening sequences are laser engraved on each mount to help ensure proper toque values.

The UltaMount is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum alloy and hardcoat Mil-Spec anodized finished.

Currently only available for military and LE sales.

Nightforce Optics are available for agency and unit order through ADS.

Warrior West 19 – Norotos Lo-Sto Combi Helmet Mount

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

The Lo-Sto Combi Helmet Mount From Norotos is a new variant which allows the user to raise the Mount by pushing up on it, at which point it locks into the vertical, stowed position. To bring the NVG back down into position, the user must depress the push button on the side of the mount. Like the standard model, it weighs 4.8 oz. (136 grams) and is only 2.35” when folded.

Norotos products are available for agency and unit order through ADS.

USMC Interested In A Squad Common Optic

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

This week, Marine Corps Systems Command issued a request for information to industry for a Squad Common Optic (SCO) that may be used on the M4, M4A1, and M27.

Nightforce NX8 1-8×24 which meets the requirements set out below.

At a minimum, potential SCOs should meet the following requirements:

• Interoperability. The Squad Common Optic device should be interoperable with and cause no degradation in function to currently fielded host weapons. Squad Common Optic should be compatible with current visual augmentation systems, weapons accessories, lasers, and clip-on night vision devices using a MIL-STD-1913 rail interface as listed below:

Model #
Grenade Launcher Sight
Individual Weapon Night Sight-Thermal
Individual Weapon Night Sight-Image Intensified
Mini-Integrated Pointer Illuminator
Mini-Integrated Pointer Illuminator
Advanced Target Pointer Illuminator Aiming Light
Sniper Squad Range Finder

• Major Components. Each Squad Common Optic should include the following major components:
o Day Scope
o Lens Covers
o Reticle
o Elevation Turrets/Caps
o Windage Turrets/Caps
o Operator’s Manual (hard and digital copy)
o Quick Reference Guide
o Required Tools
o Scope Mount
o Reticle Battery
o Magnification Change Device
o Soft Protective Carrying Case
o Lens Cleaning Kit with Bush and Lens Cloth
• Weight. The Squad Common Optic should be less than or equal to 2.1 pounds (T), 1.4 pounds (O). Weight is characterized as including the optic, mount, turret caps, and battery.
• Size. The Squad Common Optic length should be less than or equal to 10.5 inches (T), 10 inches (O). Length excludes the lens covers. Length is measured at the maximum extended range of adjustment.
• The Squad Common Optic should be able to positively identify and acquire targets at 600m (T), 900m (O). Positive identification refers to the range at which a potential target can be positively identified by facial, clothing, weapon and vehicle features, or an activity.
• Magnification Range. The Squad Common Optic should have no point of aim shift when adjusting through the entire magnification ranges. The Squad Common Optic should have a magnification range of 1X +0.05X to ?8X magnification range.
• Adjustable diopter: The diopter should be adjustable from +2 to –2 diopters.
• Diopter Locking Mechanism. A locking mechanism should be provided on the diopter setting to prevent inadvertent movement (O).
• Adjustment Range. For all configurations, at least 15 Milliradian (mrad) (T), and 30 mrad (O) in Elevation and at least 12 mrad in Windage adjustment should be required. There should be hard stops at both ends of Windage and Elevation adjustment and no dead clicks. A dead click is defined as a tactile adjustment click that does not move the reticle.
• Adjustment Increments. Each Squad Common Optic configuration should have adjustment increments less than or equal to 0.1 mrad Elevation and Windage (E/W). Adjustment increments on both E/W should be consistent in movement, tactile, and have no dead clicks and require no settling rounds. Settling rounds are defined as host weapon live fire that causes the reticle to move initially but stabilize after the live fire event.
• Adjustment Accuracy. For Squad Common Optic, a less than or equal to 2% adjustment accuracy is required across the full travel in Windage and Elevation (T) and a less than or equal to 1% adjustment accuracy is required across the full travel in Windage and Elevation (O).
• Windage/Elevation Caps. For Squad Common Optic, the Windage and Elevation turret adjustments should be covered with a threaded cap.
• Field of View. At minimum magnification, possess a minimum field of view of 18 degrees (T), 20 degrees (O). At maximum magnification, possess a minimum field of view of 2.5 degrees (T), 3 degrees (O).
• Eye Relief. All Squad Common Optic configurations at any magnification should have an eye relief of at least 3.1 inches (T), 3.7 inches (O).
• Exit Pupil. All Squad Common Optic configurations at any magnification should have an exit pupil range of no less than 2.5mm to no more than 13mm.
• Resolution. The resolution for the Squad Common Optic should be 10 arc-seconds or less. The 30% contrast resolution for the Squad Common Optic should be 15 arc-seconds or less.
• Focus/Parallax Adjustment. The Squad Common Optic should have a fixed focus set at 150 meters ± 50 meters and be parallax free at the focus range.
• Focal Plane. Configurations should be first focal plane and/or second focal plane.
• Reticles.
o All Squad Common Optic reticle configurations should offer Mil-Reticle patterns vice a Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) style of reticle pattern.
o All Squad Common Optic reticle configurations should offer an illuminated central aiming point no greater than 1.5 minute of angle (MOA) (T) or 0.5 MOA (O) that is visible during daylight conditions.
o All Squad Common Optic configurations should offer a variety of reticles (i.e., crosshair, German, duplex, Christmas tree, others).
o All reticles should be level with a cant of ± 1 degree (T) or no discernable cant (O) when installed in its MIL-STD-1913 compatible mount.
o Reticle should be usable in the event of degraded capability or no power situation.
• Future Reticles
o Reticle. The vendor should allow for future reticle designs and operational needs to be included in the Squad Common Optic: Mil Dot, Milliradian Line, Ballistic, Velocity, and Grid hybrids. Graduated grid should provide a method that supports the ability to use Windage hold offs and Elevation holds and holdovers accurately. There should also be coarse and fine methods to quickly range targets. A method to allow for rapid engagement of moving targets should be provided on the main horizontal.
o Configuration. There should be no changes to the Squad Common Optic design when changing to a new reticle other than the reticle itself.
• Reticle Illumination. The reticle illumination should be accomplished using side mounted rotary knobs. The Squad Common Optic should have multiple intensity settings, two night vision goggle compatible settings, and tactile illumination off positions after each on position. Reticle settings should be able to be locked in place to provide for inadvertent power cycling in the field. Reticle should be powered by a single commercially available battery for at least 96 hours at highest illumination setting. The Squad Common Optic should allow for battery changes without removal from the weapon and without specialized tools.
• Scope Mount. All scope mounts should be MIL-STD-1913 compatible. Various scope mount heights should be available. Any dissimilar metals should not interact and cause corrosion or damage when subjected to saltwater and other adverse environmental conditions.
• Magnification Change Capability. The Squad Common Optic should incorporate an attachable (T) or integrated (O) field-adjustable magnification change capability that will allow quick magnification changes from minimum to maximum magnification without passing between the eyepiece and rail interface, hitting the host weapon, or interfering with the function of the host weapon.
• Backup Iron Sights. The Squad Common Optic shall not require the removal of the host weapon’s front and rear iron sights. The front and rear iron sights shall be immediately useable upon removal of the Squad Common Optic.
• Lens Accessories and Protection. All Squad Common Optic configurations should be delivered with detachable protective front and rear lens covers or caps. The Squad Common Optic should feature lenses made of durable scratch resistant hydrophobic material and non-reflective lens coatings (T). All Squad Common Optic configurations should provide lenses with sufficient abrasion resistance that they do not require lens covers (O).
• Surfaces. External surfaces (except for light-transmitting elements) should be finished in a flat neutral non-black color that is non-reflective and corrosion resistant. All the exposed optics should have corrosion and scratch resistant coatings, which permit operation in salt sprays and blowing sand. All markings, coatings, finishes, and exposed O-rings should be resistant to paints solvents, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear contaminants, and Super Tropical Bleach (STB) decontaminant.
• Signature Reduction and Counter Detection. The Squad Common Optic should be a dull, non-reflective, neutral, non-black color. The Squad Common Optic should not have an audible or visible signature.

The Marines have expressed interest in purchasing between 18,000 and 30,000 of the optic.

Interested vendors should submit a 10-page white paper to SYSCOM via e-mail, regular mail or SAFE no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 10 June 2019.

To learn more, visit www.fbo.gov.

Knight Vision- Universal Bridge

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Weighing in at just 96g, the Universal Bridge will accept many single tube night vision via common shoe-type interface, or modification adapter (PVS 14/MUM/MINI-NSEAS), turning them into a binocular night vision system.

Adjusts for helmet standoff, inter-pupillary distance, helmet mount drop, and helmet interface wobble adjustment.


Tele Vue – BetterShot

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

In the TNVC booth at last week’s NRA Annual Meeting, I ran across the most innovative product of the show.

There are multiple dryfire systems on the market but most are pistol-centric with a few intended for rifles, but none work with a telescopic sight. The BetterShot by Tele Vue is a dryfire system for optical sight equipped rifles.

Above, you can see the BetterShot device mounted to a scope’s objective lens. It includes a cradle for a smart device which uses an app to detect and track movement through a dry fire sequence.

Here you can see the rubber coated fingers which are adjusted to tighten around the scope’s objective lens (40 -60 mm).

This image shows the objective aspect of the BetterShot device with its 35mm lens. This lens is independently adjustable and you can focus on objects as close as six feet.

Tele Vu founder Al Nagler started out an optical designer for NASA. In fact, Tele Vu builds some great telescopes as well as the BetterShot.