Senop has developed a state-of-the-art integrated smart sight in cooperation with Saab

Senop Oy has developed a state-of-the-art integrated smart sight, the Advanced Fire Control Device Thermal Imager (AFCD TI) for recoilless rifle Carl-Gustaf® M4, also known as M3E1 in U.S., and M3 weapons in close co-operation with Saab. AFCD TI is interoperable also with AT4 weapon system.

Carl-Gustaf is a force multiplier for dismounted infantry. With more than 10 different available combat rounds, one can say Carl-Gustaf is a real multi-tool in the battlefield. The operator can choose anti-structure, anti-armor, or anti-personnel rounds depending on the situation and the enemy he/she will face in their complex environment of engagement.

In challenging battlefield circumstances short engagement time and accuracy of weapons are essential. The integration of the fire control system is the answer to those challenges and Senop AFCD TI enables the required effectiveness day and night, 24/7/365.

Senop started to develop of the Advanced Fire Control Device Thermal Imager (AFCD TI) in 2019, and now the final qualification is almost complete.

“For a sight manufacturer, like Senop, it’s extremely important to understand the characteristics of weapons system. From this point of view, our co-operation with Saab has been open and professional. We really appreciate that and the teamwork between our and Saab experts, which has enabled this kind of fast development of the AFCD TI,” highlights Aki Korhonen, Managing Director of Senop Oy.

“The Carl-Gustaf system has a long and distinguished history. M4/M3E1 is the latest weapon in Carl-Gustaf’s evolution, at its weight of less than seven kilograms. We want to improve the capability of this already excellent weapon all the time and Senop’s AFCD TI raises the capability of the system to the next level,” explains Michael Höglund, Head of Business Unit Ground Combat at Saab.

AFCD TI fulfils soldiers’ needs

The primary requirement for a fire control system is the ability to increase the first-round hit probability, decrease the time of engagement and minimize the source of aiming errors. With AFCD TI, the gunner simply measures the range to the target by pressing a button and tracking the moving target from two to four seconds and the operator automatically gets the predicted aiming crosshair in the display. All the calculations in AFCD TI are done automatically by using elevation, angular speed, ammunition characteristics, terrain angle, propellant temperature, and altitude above sea level. The operator can also set the distance to the killing area manually and then the system operates totally passively.

Good situational awareness is the key to success. AFCD TI is the only integrated fire control system for Carl-Gustaf on the market that has both a day camera and a thermal imager in the same casing. If needed, the operator can switch from day image to thermal image immediately just by pressing a button. Fuzion image, which is a combination of day and thermal images, is a perfect means of detecting hidden targets. Magnification is optimized for Carl-Gustaf firing ranges. Both, the day camera and the thermal imager are equipped with 3x magnification and 2x digital zoom.

Soldiers have to carry so much battle gear that every unneeded kilogram of weight has to be avoided. With 24/7 operation capability, AFCD TI is the lightest fire control system for Carl-Gustaf on the market. The device weighs only 1.5 kg and is very small in its design.

Simplicity and ease of use are the key factors for systems meant for warfighting. The operator can run AFCD TI with a remote control that is integrated into the weapon. Only two buttons/switches are needed for operation: the laser button and the four-way joystick.

AFCD TI is designed to withstand rough treatment and hard conditions. When Scandinavian companies design military equipment, the Arctic requirements always play a key role. The energy management component of the reliability of the system is important, especially in Arctic conditions where the long and cold winter season affects its operation. This has been a critical development factor for increasing the operating hours of our AFCD TI in Arctic conditions.

AFCD TI is easy to teach and in the future, it can be integrated into Saab live simulator systems. AFCD TI supports video recordings and live video stream with both cameras (day and TI). All saved images and videos can be exported to external devices (such as a PC). Videos can be used for evaluation of a gunner’s skills and stability of aiming, for example, during active fire.

Continuous development and after sales support

AFCD TI is designed and developed as modularly as possible. Modular design enables Senop to support customers by updating new efficient components, subsystems and software during the life cycle of the device. That is a cost-effective way to increase the operational life cycle of the device.

Programming of ammunition (e.g., air burst), automatic identification of ammunition type and propellant temperature will be features in future types of ammunition and will automatically be transmitted from the weapon to the AFCD TI fire control device.

Soon on the market

AFCD is a game changer for warfighters as it takes the guesswork out of aiming and makes anyone a master level Carl-Gustaf-gunner with the touch of a button. Close and efficient co-operation between Senop and Saab has been the key factor to develop all these features in AFCD TI in such a short time.

The final qualification will be completed soon and the AFCD TI is the only integrated fire control system (IFCS) for Carl-Gustaf on the market, given that it has day, night and fusion capability in the same device.

For more information about the technical characteristics of the device, see the AFCD TI datasheet and check out the product video.