British Army soldiers will soon receive SMARTSHOOTER SMASH Weapon Sight Fire Control System to counter small unmanned aerial vehicles.
News Release, Whitehall, 27 June 2023: The Army’s close combat soldiers will soon receive a cutting-edge weapon sight that will give them a tactical advantage countering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
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. The capability can recognise a target, track its movements, and maintain a lock on the target even if it or the user moves. This Counter-Small Uncrewed Air Systems (C-sUAS) capability will initially be fitted to the SA80 A3 assault rifle and can also be fitted onto other in-service individual weapons.
An initial order of 225 SMASH sights will be delivered under a £4.6million MoD contract to Very High Readiness units across the British Army by the end of this year. The contract with Yorkshire-based Viking Arms Ltd will allow further sights to be delivered over the next few years to dismounted close combat operators across the Army, Navy and RAF, based on operational and readiness commitments.
Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge said: “The importance of uncrewed aerial vehicles on the Modern battlefield is undeniable. Alongside procuring, developing and deploying this technology in a range of different ways, we must also be proactive in ensuring our Armed Forces can protect against their use by adversaries.
“Adding this capability to our core equipment programme is another example of us procuring the right kit, at the right time for our personnel.”
The SMASH sights were tested by the Army’s experimentation battalion, 2 YORKS, last year. Wing Commander Mark Bowden, Programmes Directorate, Counter-UAS SO1, said: “We are very pleased to announce the arrival of the first dismounted C-sUAS equipment into the core equipment programme.
“SMASH is a proven capability already in service with our allies and partners.
“As we have seen in Ukraine and other operational areas the UAS threat is growing significantly.
“SMASH offers significant enhancement to the close combat operator across all three Services, delivering a tactical edge to the dismounted soldier in the C-sUAS battle.”
SMASH uses image processing to automatically acquire a target from the sight’s field-of-view, and then displays a box around the target in the shooter’s reflex sight. The capability will only fire when the sight is aligned to hit the target.
Viking Arms Managing Director, Sam MacArthur, said, “We are tremendously proud to have been selected to supply the UK MoD’s C-sUAS Smart Weapon Sight capability.
“The need for C-sUAS capability is very evident and we feel the SMASH solution is truly game changing.
“We are honoured to be supporting our British Armed Forces with technology that will provide significant battlefield advantages, whilst the contract builds on our continued success as a trusted supplier within the UK Defence Sector.”
The announcement of the SMASH contract award comes at the same time as the Land Warfare Conference 2023 on 26 and 27 June. The conference, run in partnership between the Royal United Services Institute and the British Army’s Chief of the General Staff, brings together the land forces community from across the UK’s partners and allies worldwide to address the challenges of the future. This year’s conference will focus on the lessons from Ukraine, the future demands placed on alliance members through NATO, the requirements for a future force, and how the military can recruit the right talent and build a relationship with the defence industry to deliver it.
The roll-out of SMASH sights is the first of the equipment capability deliveries from the Army Land Ground Based Air Defence Programme Project 6, delivering C-sUAS capability to the dismounted and mounted soldier.