The British Army’s close combat soldiers will soon receive a cutting-edge weapon sight that will give them a tactical advantage countering uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control System will give dismounted soldiers the ability to achieve a high probability of a hit against micro and mini UAVs.
The capability is able to 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 £4.6 million order for SMASH sights has been agreed under the new five-year Framework Agreement, worth up to £20 million for delivery to Operational readiness units across the Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) community by the end of this year.
The contract with the Small to Medium Enterprise 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. This work contributes to sustaining the company workforce – supporting the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy.
DE&S Dismounted Close Combat Portfolio Leader, Col Paul Cummings, said:
“It’s great to see the way in which the team has reacted to tackling this emerging threat, through trials and testing, achieving contract award in short time. Delivering this capability into the hands of the User by the end of this year demonstrates the commitment within DCC to keeping the User equipped for current and future tasks.
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.”
Wing Commander Mark Bowden, CUAS lead for the Army programmes directorate, 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 and SMASH offers significant enhancement to the Warfighter across all three Services, delivering a tactical edge to the dismounted soldier in the C-sUAS battle.”
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.”