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British Army acquires SmartShooter SMASH System Weapon Sight for countering UAV threats.

| 2023

According to information published by the British army on June 27, 2023, the British soldiers will soon be equipped with a cutting-edge weapon sight SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control System in order to gain a tactical advantage against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
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The SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control System will give the dismounted soldier the ability to achieve a high probability of hit against micro and mini UAVs. (Picture source British army)

The capabilities of the SmartShooter system, that the British army is set to acquire, enable it to identify a target, track its movements, and maintain a lock on the target, even when either the target or the user is in motion. This Counter-Small Uncrewed Air Systems (C-UAS) capability will initially be integrated into the SA80 A3 assault rifle and can be subsequently fitted onto other individual weapons currently in service.

As reported by the Army Recognition editorial team on February 21, 2022, the Dutch military has also recently equipped themselves with SmartShooter's SMASH AD solution, a highly effective and cost-efficient fire control system designed to counter unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Following successful testing, the Dutch military has decided to integrate the system into their operations immediately, with a particular focus on C-UAS purposes (Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems). SmartShooter's SMASH AD solution brings advanced targeting algorithms and electro-optical processing capabilities to standard assault rifles, allowing operators to quickly and effectively neutralize targets. The system operates automatically, providing precision and lethality without autonomy, ensuring human control throughout the process. It can be seamlessly integrated into various assault rifle models and combined with other C-UAS systems, providing a comprehensive and modern defense solution for the battlefield.

Specifically designed for the kinetic elimination of small, low-flying drones, the SMASH AD system incorporates a laser rangefinder and offers precise targeting capabilities day and night. It can receive target information from external sensors or detection systems, enabling operators to swiftly and safely eliminate drones up to 250 meters away during the day.

To facilitate the implementation of this technology in the British army, an initial order worth £4.6 million has been placed for SMASH sights. This order falls under a new five-year Framework Agreement, with a total value of up to £20 million, aimed at delivering these sights to Operational readiness units within the Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) community by the end of this year.

Viking Arms Ltd, a Small to Medium Enterprise based in Yorkshire, has secured the contract for the supply of the SMASH sights. This agreement not only ensures the delivery of additional sights to dismounted close combat operators across the Army, Navy, and RAF over the next few years.
Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, acknowledged the undeniable importance of uncrewed aerial vehicles on the modern battlefield. He emphasized the need to not only procure, develop, and deploy such technology in various ways but also proactively protect against their use by adversaries. Integrating this capability into the core equipment program exemplifies the procurement of suitable equipment at the right time for military personnel.

The integration of the SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control System represents a significant advancement for the British Army in countering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Acknowledging the importance of UAVs on the modern battlefield, the Army is taking proactive measures to procure and deploy advanced technology to protect against emerging threats as in Ukraine. With the arrival of the first dismounted C-UAS equipment into the Core equipment program, the Army demonstrates its commitment to staying ahead of the evolving threat landscape. This integration provides a proven capability already in service with allies as mentioned with the Dutch army, offering a tactical edge to dismounted soldiers in the battle against UAVs.

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