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Sniper

Akos Ledeczi holds a kevlar helmet with the microphones and network node attached that can...

Imagine being able to pinpoint an enemy shooter in difficult terrain with such deadly accuracy that you can see whether they are kneeling or standing and not only what kind of weapon they are firing but the caliber too. Well, engineers at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) have developed such a system by turning soldiers' combat helmets into "smart nodes" in a wireless sensor network.  Read More

Bullet Flight 1.0.0 – the US$15 iPhone app for snipers

The rapid advancement of technology on all fronts has yielded some fascinating mash-ups to make life easier for small groups of people with specific needs and the US$15 KAC Bullet Flight 1.0.0 iPhone app and rifle iPhone mount are a case in point – they are just perfect for the sniper/hunter. One of the many skills of the modern day marksman is mathematics – to measure or estimate the range, cross winds, and calculate the allowances needed for one shot to hit its target after travelling up to 2000 yards. Bullet Flight turns the iPhone into a handy, touch screen, ballistics computer using the iPhone’s accelerometer to calculate angles, providing highly detailed, very quick solutions out to 2000 metres. The KAC mounting attaches an off-the-shelf Otterbox ruggedising case. You can also download different weapon and ammunition profiles (it comes with three) and even subscribe to highly detailed weather and forecast information, not to mention listen to music whilst you await your quarry. BTW – this scares us to death!  Read More

QinetiQ's wearable sniper detector has been ruggedized for use in combat in Afghanistan an...

A wearable sniper detection system is to be used by troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the US Army’s first large-scale deployment of its type. The Soldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting System (SWATS) can pinpoint the location of snipers after a single gunshot, audibly informing soldiers of the point of origin.  Read More

Image: MoD

The sniper is one of the most feared specialists of war and he is one workman who definitely relies on the right tools. There are a surprising number of sniper rifle manufacturers out there, so it’s a big call when one declares itself to be the best .338 in the world, though the raw specifications of the Accuracy International L115A3 sniper rifle suggest there is merit to the claim. The UKP23,000 (USD$34,000) rifle was designed incorporating performance-enhancing features gleaned from international target shooting and fires an 8.59mm bullet which is heavier than the 7.62mm round of the previous L96 and hence less likely to be deflected over extremely long ranges. Put the 6.8kg rifle in the right hands and it can hit a human-sized target from 1400 metres. Even at that range, it hits harder than a .44 Magnum does in the same room.  Read More

Sniper ATP is being used on F-16's
 Photo: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has integrated a prototype two-way video data link into the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, providing it with roughly twice the data range of any other fielded targeting pod. The VDL, which provides forward deployed troops with the Sniper ATP’s real-time full resolution streaming video, was successfully demonstrated at the US Air Force Sniper user’s conference.  Read More

The One-Shot Sniping System

January 7, 2007 The snipe is a wading bird renowned for being the hardest of all birds to hunt due to being difficult to locate, impossible to approach without flushing, or to hit once in the air due to its erratic flight. In the days of market hunting, those who brought snipes to market were regarded as the best of the best and earned the term snipers. The verb snipe originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India applying similar skills in wartime with a human quarry. A sniper occasionally takes the one, well-aimed shot that, if done properly, will save lives and turn the course of battle. One of the many skills of a modern days sniper is mathematics – to measure or estimate the range, cross winds, and calculate the allowances needed for one shot to hit its target after travelling up to 2000 yards (the longest confirmed sniper kill of the Gulf War was made by a Barrett Model 82A1 sniper rifle at a range of 1,800 meters).  Read More

Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod demonstrates Maverick missile compatibility

October 10, 2006 The Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) is the targeting system of choice for both the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard and recently became an even more valuable bit of kit when it successfully demonstrated its compatibility with the launch of a Maverick missile from an adjacent A-10C wing pylon. Combat proven on the F-15E and F-16, Sniper’s advanced targeting technology and features are changing the way the armed forces operate in theatre by providing new capabilities in non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The Sniper is understandably very sensitive – in order to do its job, it contains a high-resolution, mid wave 3rd generation forward looking infrared (FLIR), a dual-mode laser and a CCD-TV along with a laser spot tracker and a laser marker. The advanced image processing algorithms, combined with rock steady stabilization techniques, provide cutting-edge performance but there are obvious issues in firing the rockets it does the precision strike mission targeting for when they are just a few inches away. The ability to fire missiles so close to the Sniper ATP uniquely qualifies Sniper for this weapon configuration, doubling the previous A-10C Maverick loadout capabilities.  Read More

U.S. Army invests US$22 million in next-generation thermal weapon sights

October 16, 2005 All objects emit infrared energy or heat, and this energy can be viewed with an infrared lens designed to create a thermogram, or picture, of the environment, regardless the amount of light. Although objects in a scene can be the same temperature, they often appear to be different temperatures, due to the way they emit infrared energy. Variations in the energy that objects emit create a detailed temperature map of a scene that easily can be interpreted by the viewer. Accordingly, it’s not surprising that the U.S. Army is investing US$22 million with thermal imaging specialists DRS technologies to produce next-generation Medium Weapon Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS II) for U.S. Marine Corps applications.  Read More

Vehicle-mounted Acoustic Sniper Detection System

August 28, 2005 If there’s one thing worse than having snipers shooting at you, it’s getting shot at and not knowing. That’s the bizarre situation US Forces have encountered in both Iraq and Afghanistan as they travel the vast distances in convoys, unable to tell if a bullet has just flown past amidst the noise, dust, and rumble of up to 100 war machines around them. DARPA and BBN Technologies decided to tackle this increasingly common problem and came up with the device pictured. It’s called the Boomerang Mobile Shooter Detection System and alerts soldiers of incoming sniper fire to give them the opportunity to retreat to safety or return fire before they are hit. The Boomerang units attach to a vehicle and use seven small microphones, arranged like the spine of a sea urchin, to detect both the muzzle blast and the shock wave from a speeding bullet. Once a sniper's bullet is detected, Boomerang's display panel, which is located inside the vehicle, alerts soldiers through audio and visual signals that a bullet has been fired, its direction and elevation. Boomerang is currently being trialled on 50 Humvees in Iraq.  Read More

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