Infantry: Wired Snipers

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October 6, 2005: Snipers have long had a major effect on the battlefield, often scoring kills from as far as a kilometer and forcing the enemy to be cautious and hesitant.

Ortek, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, however, is making snipers even deadlier with a new piece of technology: A Sniper Coordination System. Snipers have often operated individually on the battlefield - lone wolves with a long reach, capable of decapitating larger units and demoralizing them. The Sniper Coordination System will allow a commander to coordinate the activities of as many as four sniper teams.

The system is a lightweight image splitter used as an add-on to standard day/night sights, and can transmit the data gathered to a heads-up display, computer, or IPAC. Up to thirty hours of surveillance data can be gathered, and the ability to send and receive messages silently, in addition to getting battlefield imagery is added. All of this information can go to the commander, who will be able to see what his snipers see, and with a red or green light, give them the authorization to fire. This creates a time-on-target capability for these four sniper teams - much like the capability that artillery gained during World War II. The effects of four snipers carrying out a coordinated strike will be much greater than four individual snipers operating on their own.

Snipers have long been feared on the battlefield. The Sniper Coordination System will make them even more feared, because now, they will not be mere individual sniper teams picking out targets of opportunity. In the very near future, these sniper teams will be working as a larger team. - Harold C. Hutchison (hchutch@ix.netcom.com)

 


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