Senop supports soldiers with advanced sights and new technology
Senop’s mission and the future of intelligent weapon sights
New technology is a tool for improving soldiers’ performance, not beatifying by itself. As intelligent sights and night vision manufacturer our mission is to focus detailed on soldiers needs and right issues to improve their combat capability. That’s the reason why we at Senop are cooperating closely with the end-users during the development of our equipment. The latest examples of that are our EVA 40 NVGs, our LUKE laser sights and the FCTS smart weapon sight, all of which have been developed in close cooperation with the Finnish Army.
It is definite that smart weapon sights will become more common in the future in support weapons, assault rifles and even in designated marksman rifles. The maturity of the technology, weight, volume, ergonomics, and price are critical in the end-user’s point of view.
Understanding of the F2T2EA kill chain is important. If your day and night optics are not good enough that you are able to see (detect, recognise, identify) the adversary first, you most probably lose the game. That’s why we at Senop focus on high-quality optics. The importance of first-hit probability is essential. Automated ballistic calculation helps a soldier to engage the target fast and accurate.
At Senop, we consider that the future sighting systems shall be simple to use, easy to learn, light and robust to withstand the stress of military environments. Image performance and energy consumption are also key requirements for advanced sights.
Senop FCTS and Senop AFCD TI in brief
At the moment we have two intelligent sights in our portfolio. HUSKY Fire Control Thermal Sight (FCTS) and Advanced Fire Control Device Thermal Imager (AFCD TI), by which to improve soldier’s and infantry squad’s performance. The basis for both systems is to offer high-class day/night vision and ease the soldier’s mental and physical burden by automatic ballistic calculation.
Senop Fire Control Thermal Sight
FCTS (Fire Control Thermal Sight) is a smart weapon sight with integrated uncooled thermal imager, eye safe laser range finder (LRF), global positioning system (GPS), inertial measurement unit (IMU) and ballistic computer. Digital magnetic compass (DMC), bluetooth and laser pointer are available for the sight. It takes a single push of a button to rapidly calculate the aiming dot by using distance, the ammunition’s ballistic tables, temperature, and measured terrain angle. Smart airburst ammunition can be also programmed via FCTS.
FCTS can be used with a wide range of applications including heavy machine guns (HMG) and automatic grenade launchers (AGL). It can easily be integrated as a part of remote weapon stations and reconnaissance and observation systems. Its external display helps the operator to adjust to a comfortable firing position. The operator can send video or still images and receive BMS information via FCTS. When equipped with DMC, the FCTS can also be used for target acquisition.
Senop Advanced Fire Control Thermal Sight
AFCD TI (Advanced Fire Control Device, Thermal imager) is the first fully integrated intelligent weapon sight designed for the shoulder-launched Carl-Gustaf (M3 and M4) antitank, multi-purpose weapon system. AFCD TI has an integrated uncooled thermal imager, a day camera, an eye-safe Laser Range Finder, Inertial Measurement Unit and Ballistic Computer with necessary environmental sensors (ambient temperature, barometric pressure). AFCD TI enables the operator to use day image, thermal image, or fusion image. AFCD TI calculates the aiming point (crosshair) by using the following parameters from the sight and the weapon:
- Ammunition type
- Target Range
- Ambient temperature
- Barometric pressure
- Terrain and cant angle
- Propellant temperature
- Angular rate (Lead angle calculation)
Benefits of intelligent sights in the combat
Senop´s advanced sights (FCTS and AFCD TI) enable the 24/7 operations (day and night). Image fusion, which is a combination of a day camera and a thermal imager, is available in AFCD TI. Image fusion refers to the main comprehensive information obtained by two different sensors and can be more accurate, clearer, and reliable than the two-sensor data separately. Visible light image can accurately describe details like edges, et al. An infrared image can highlight the performance of the target information and is an excellent tool for detection of camouflaged targets.
Ballistic calculation tremendously reduces the time to hit the target. It also increases the first-round hit probability, lethality and it reduces gunner fatigue. Airburst programming is also a benefit in both of our intelligent sights (FCTS and AFCD TI). Airburst ammos are effective against drones and protected enemy. BMS information can also be presented in our intelligent sights. That helps operators to better understand the surrounding situation and increases the probability to detect hostile targets.
We design and develop our devices to be as modular as possible. Modular design enables us to support our customers by updating new, efficient components, sub-systems and software during the life cycle of the device. That is a cost-effective way to increase the operational life cycle of the device/system.
Last but not least, the energy management is important, especially here in Finland, where we have a long and cold winter season. We are focused on this area in order to be able to increase the operating hours of our devices in Arctic and cold weather conditions.