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U.S. Army Explores New Day Optical Sight (DOS)

U.S. Army representatives are conducting a market survey to identify potential sources capable of manufacturing a new Day Optical Sight (DOS). The survey is being conducted by the U.S. Army, Army Contracting Command Picatinny, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., on behalf of the Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW).

As outlined in the market survey, physical criteria for the notional DOS include: 13.5 inch maximum length; 2.5 pounds maximum weight; magnification range between 2 to 4 power (minimum) and 15 to 25 power (maximum); and exit pupil no less than 2.4mm at highest magnification.

DOS windage adjustment criteria include: 0.1 angular mil per click, locking mechanism or cap with elevation / ballistic adjustment of: 0.1 angular mil per click, quick locking mechanism provided with interchangeable ballistic caps for the M118LR, M80 Ball, and AB39 ammunition.

Interestingly, the grid pattern design has recently been introduced to warfighters as part of the Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20 x 50mm Extended Range / Tactical riflescope on the new XM2010 [formerly M24E1] sniper upgrade. Planners have pointed to that scope’s elimination of “mil dots” in favor of a grid pattern and Mils as a likely future course for U.S. Army sniper scopes.

In addition, subsequent amendments to the market survey specified a “1 percent adjustment accuracy across the full travel in windage and elevation.”

Additional adjustment criteria include: an adjustment range of “No less than 18.8 angular mils (65 MOA) in elevation and windage. The entire elevation range adjustment shall be within 2 full turns of the turret and discernable by both visual and tactile means.”

The day optic is also desired to maintain boresight within 0.5 MOA “when subjected to recoil shock from the Army Sniper 7.62mm weapons (represented as 400 to 500 Gs in 0.7 to 1.1 ms along longitudinal axis).”

Mark 4 riflescope reticle

An R27 Horus reticle used for Leupold’s Mark 4 riflescope. Photo courtesy of Leupold.

Scope mounting rings will be MIL-STD-1913 compatible, lightweight, range between 1.0 to 1.5 inches in height, and have quick-detach lever that is repeatable within 0.5 MOA.

A detachable anti-reflective device should also be provided as part of the DOS design as well as front and rear lens covers.

The desired DOS reticle pattern calls for a “first focal plane (FFP), grid style pattern providing windage hold offs, elevation holds, holdovers, cross hair and 1 Mil, 0.5 Mil and 0.2 Mil graduations along all axes (course and fine markings).”

Interestingly, the grid pattern design has recently been introduced to warfighters as part of the Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20 x 50mm Extended Range / Tactical riflescope on the new XM2010 [formerly M24E1] sniper upgrade. Planners have pointed to that scope’s elimination of “mil dots” in favor of a grid pattern and Mils as a likely future course for U.S. Army sniper scopes.

Additional features specified for the notional DOS include:

  • With optics lowest power setting, an illuminated aiming reference (i.e. red dot or donut) should be present if the main cross-hair is not visible (the entire reticle should not be illuminated);
  • Power source consisting of AA (LR6 or FR6), CR-1/3N, or CR-2032 batteries;
  • Side-mounted focus/parallax adjustment knob; and
  • External surfaces (except for light transmitting elements) finished in a flat neutral color that is non-reflective and corrosion resistant.

Temperature extreme criteria includes operational range of -40C to 49C and storage range of -51C to 71C.

The market survey calls for the units to be either Non-Developmental-Item (NDI) or Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) item that “shall be ready to use without modification to the sniper weapon configuration, and shall not degrade the weapons performance. Information for products that require minimal modification may also be provided.”

With the usual caveats that the market survey is “to be used for informational planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a Request for Proposal (RFP)…The U.S. Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this market survey or otherwise pay for information solicited… The Government is not obligated to notify respondents of the results of this survey,” interested companies have been invited to submit their capabilities statements no later than May 26, 2011.

By

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

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-4027">

    I though the specs would have been higher

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-4232">

    Wow, what a great story!