Defense Media Network

New FLIR Sight Gives Snipers Spectrum Options

SHOT Show 2013

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FLIR Systems utilized the venue of this week’s Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show to highlight its latest night sight technology. This year’s SHOT Show event, held in Las Vegas, Nev., continued the recent trend of increasing emphasis on military small arms technologies.

The new sight, dubbed Advanced Dual-band Universal Night Sight (ADUNS), combines both thermal and image intensification (I2) technologies in a package weighing just 3.9 pounds (versus 3.7 pounds for the AN/PVS-27 I2 Magnum Universal Night Sight).

“The beauty of this system is that I have the detection capability of thermal and the recognition capability of I2,” explained Guy Blocker, technical applications specialist at FLIR Systems. “With thermal I can pull objects that are hiding in defilade out because of their heat signature. With I2, if they’re hiding behind glass, they won’t be hiding for long – I2 will ‘see through’ glass while thermal will not.”

The ADUNS design not only blends the I2 and thermal technologies but does it in a way that allows the operator to “dial in” and select the amount of each technology blended in his target image.

Blocker demonstrated seven different modes of operation for ADUNS. Operational modes include:

  • pre-set Fusion Modes 1 – 3 (different levels of I2 and thermal fusion);
  • AGC Manual, a customized that allows the user to access the menu and establish his own settings;
  • Edge Mode 1, which combines thermal and I2 images with thermal outlines;
  • Edge Mode 2, which gives thermal edge outlines with I2 imagery; and
  • Edge Mode 3, which gives full thermal image, thermal outline, and I2 image.

“When mounted with a telescopic optic, this system can do 1500 meters,” Blocker said. “So whatever system I put it on – whether it’s a .338 Lapua or a .50 caliber – I can do the max effective range of that weapon system. So this is the perfect complement.”

“All of our systems have shock mitigation built into them,” he added. “That means they attenuate the shock 10 to 1. We did that for a couple of reasons. One was that we could not get an I2 tube that was warrantied by ITT, the manufacturer of the Pinnacle tubes that we use, for anything other than a semi-automatic .50 caliber rifle, and nothing [warrantied] for .338 – and even some .308s, like the SCAR-17 or the M14, because of the recoil pulse when the bolt slams forward. So we decided to start working on shock mitigation to get more variety with all of our systems – but mainly with the PVS-27.

What shock mitigation does is attenuate the shock 10 to 1. You can put it on a ‘Tac .50’ and shoot, with no more ‘One shot one kill.’ In other words, the system stays operational. You don’t blow out the tube. ITT took a look at that and said it was just in time, because they had cut back production on their weapons grade tubes and now we are using standard ANVIS tubes in our system.”

Blocker confirmed that the United States Marine Corps has received a small number of systems in I MEF at Camp Pendleton and the company is currently in the process of doing Foreign Military Sales deliveries to some “friendly foreign governments – NATO allies primarily.”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...