Military Review

New opportunities for machine gunners. Testing of the FWS-CS sight (USA) continues

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M240L machine gun with FSW-CS sight


Currently, the US Army pays great attention to the creation of promising sighting systems for small arms weapons... Due to new functions and capabilities, such sights are able to significantly increase the fire characteristics of existing rifles and machine guns. One of the current examples of this kind is the FWS-CS universal optical-electronic sight, designed for installation on machine guns and grenade launchers. He has already reached the test in the troops, and in the foreseeable future it is expected to be adopted.

New technologies


In 2014, the Pentagon launched the development of a new family of all-day "smart" sighting systems Family of Weapons Sight (FWS). As part of this program, it was planned to create sights for rifles FWS-I (Individual) and for "platoon weapons" FWS-CS (Crew Served). The projects were given very daring tasks, but their solution made it possible to dramatically increase the fire characteristics of standard army small arms.

The goal of the FWS-CS project was to create an optical-electronic sight with a day and night channel, a ballistic computer and the ability to output a video signal with an aiming mark to his own eyepiece or to a soldier's helmet display. In the future, the requirements were adjusted and supplemented, but did not fundamentally change.


FWS-CS sight on the M2 heavy machine gun

Since 2014, the American branch of the international company BAE Systems has participated in the FWS program. In 2015-16. it presented experienced FWS-CS scopes and became the winner of the competitive part of the program. In December 2016, the company received a contract worth $ 383 million for a period of seven years. In accordance with this agreement, the company was to continue to develop and prepare for the future production of scopes.

Subsequently, a new stage of design work was carried out, according to the results of which the final appearance of the new products was determined. The design of the scopes has undergone some changes to better meet the requirements. The currently proposed FWS-CS configuration is designed for use with the M240 and M2 machine guns, as well as the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher.

To date, the FWS-CS project has been brought to the stage of checks in the troops. Batches of new scopes are handed over to different military units of the armed forces for testing in real-life conditions. Several stages of similar tests have already been carried out, which have shown all the advantages and disadvantages of the new sights. For example, a few days ago, on April 15, a successful trial operation was reported on the basis of the 82nd Airborne Division.


Mk 19 grenade launcher with a new sight

Features and capabilities


In its current form, the FWS-CS sight is a self-contained device with a full set of necessary elements and a built-in power system. It differs in rather large dimensions and weight, but this is a reasonable price to pay for a number of new features. In addition, the sight can be used on turret armament, which eliminates such disadvantages.

The Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) helmet sight can be used in conjunction with the sight on the machine gun / grenade launcher. It is a small device that mounts with standard helmet mounts. Communication between the main and helmet-mounted sight is carried out via a radio channel.

The FWS-CS is equipped with a large diameter entrance lens, behind which are all optoelectronic devices. In the stowed position, such a lens is covered by a hinged cover. An external eyepiece is provided in the back. The choice of the operating mode and the control of various parameters are carried out using the buttons on the body and the movable ring on the eyepiece.

The FWS-CS sight is equipped with a standard Picatinny rail mount. The strength of the structure corresponds to the loads that arise when firing from large-caliber weapons and grenade launchers.


User side view

There is an HD camera for using the scope during the day; at night or in difficult weather conditions, a thermal imager operating at a wavelength of 12 microns is used. Also, the sight is equipped with its own laser rangefinder. The video signal and data from the rangefinder are fed to the computing unit for the necessary processing before being sent to the eyepiece liquid crystal display. The camera image is supplemented with reticle and data.

The FWS-CS has several operating modes with different capabilities. In its simplest mode, it works as a simple 4x optical sight, day or night. The greatest contribution to the accuracy and accuracy of fire should be made by the "smart" mode of operation. In it, the sight is able to measure the range to the target, calculate the trajectory of the bullet and translate the aiming mark to the expected point of impact. Thanks to this, the shooter can only aim at the target and open fire.

There is a possibility of adjustment according to different parameters in order to increase convenience and efficiency. Depending on preferences or external conditions, the fighter can choose the color of the aiming mark, as well as set different options for displaying the picture from the thermal imager.


Machine gunner of the 10th Mountain Division testing the sight, November 2020

The picture of the desired configuration can be displayed on the HMD eyepiece. Its presence changes and simplifies the process of finding a target and aiming weapons. In addition, such a device allows the shooter to remain in cover, exposing only the weapon with the FWS-CS.

Future project


In various tests, the FWS-CS sight was compared with the devices in service and used with machine guns and grenade launchers. All such comparisons, as expected, ended in favor of the new product. The advantages of such a sight are obvious. It combines day and night capabilities, and also calculates shooting data and displays them in the most convenient form. Existing serial sights solve only one problem.

Thus, the development of the FWS program gets every chance to enter service and become widespread in the US Army. However, the sight for machine guns and grenade launchers is not yet ready for service. In the near future, it will be finalized according to the test results, as a result of which the final configuration will be formed, which fully meets the customer's requirements.


During the testing of sights at the base of the 82nd Airborne Division, April 2021

The work should be completed next year, after which full-scale serial production will begin. The first batches of FWS-CS scopes are planned to be transferred to combat units in 2023 FY. The volumes of the planned deliveries and the scale of rearmament have not yet been disclosed. Given the proliferation of compatible machine guns, it is possible to predict the upcoming re-equipment of almost the entire army and the ILC.

Prospects for Directions


It should be recalled that the FWS-CS is not the only "smart" sight of the American design. In recent years, by order of the Pentagon, a number of programs have been carried out to create promising sighting devices with various capabilities. The development of improved day and night systems is underway, ballistic computers are being introduced, communication of the sight with other devices from the fighter's equipment is being organized.

Tests show the high potential of such developments and confirm their ability to significantly increase the fire characteristics of existing weapons - and have a positive effect on the performance of a rifle unit. Judging by news Recently, in the coming years, the US armed forces will adopt such products into service and receive corresponding advantages.

Obviously, the development of sighting devices, incl. due to the creation and implementation of new technologies, it is a promising area and allows you to get the most interesting results. Armies that do not want to find themselves in the uncomfortable position of catching up should take this into account and take the necessary measures.
Author:
Photos used:
The US Department of Defense
16 comments
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  1. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik April 22 2021 18: 38
    +11
    They are finishing testing individual pieces of equipment of the future.
    Infantry system of augmented reality IVAS Capability Set 3; delivered 600 such kits in 2019. In the fall of 2020, 1600 IVAS Capability Set 4 products were delivered.



    We recently completed successful tests of the military Internet as part of a full-fledged brigade. Which will allow to combine all the technical means of the brigade and each soldier into a single network. In which everyone can receive the necessary information and timely command in real time. Without waiting for it to reach the entire chain. Command will get the whole picture and make extremely quick decisions over a 3D battle map.

  2. rocket757
    rocket757 April 22 2021 18: 40
    +10
    Everything is very serious and promising, it poses a considerable danger to the enemy and the advantages of those armed with such bells and whistles!
    As with us ... without the development of our own scientific base, technologies and production, the electronics industry in general, we will be somewhere out there, not among those who are ahead.
  3. Tsoy
    Tsoy April 22 2021 19: 31
    +5
    Much more interesting is another tender for sights within the NGSW for rifles and machine guns under 6.8 mm. In the finale, Harris and Vortex. I can smell the big three in the face of eoteca, aimpoint and trizhikon problems. None of the competitions contain their products. But the Pentagon Davao has the fattest orders.
  4. Abram Ivanovich
    Abram Ivanovich April 22 2021 20: 20
    -4
    Hmm. The state-of-the-art sight on a 2-year-old MXNUMXHB looks harsh.
    1. agond
      agond April 22 2021 20: 52
      -1
      It's high time to think about the creation of the AAK Active, Automated Carbine
      I think it should have
      1 electronic sight consisting of a small multi-pixel TV camera, a consequence of the small size of the camera lens will be a shift in its light sensitivity to the violet and ultraviolet spectral regions, but this is not bad. You may need a second camera for a different range of light waves.
      The camera is mounted "always" at the factory, for example, in the aiming bar.
      2 Copm which has image recognition function and trigger control function
      3 probably, instead of the usual shock capsule, it will be required with electric detonation
      4 naturally battery
      4 there is a folding, removable screen
      Shooting from such a weapon will go something like this
      - the shooter, using the screen with a crosshair, aims the weapon at the target and presses the trigger, after which the computer recognizes the target in the given field of view and highlights it on the screen, calculates the distance, trajectory, if a lead is needed, while on the screen, a mark appears pressing the arrow. about where the bullet would hit if the shot had occurred at a given moment, the shooter fine-tunes the weapon until the mark coincides with the selected target, after which the computer automatically gives a command to electrically detonate the cartridge and a shot occurs. All this time the trigger is pressed, about 1 - 2 seconds (it can be longer until the finger gets tired), if you stop pressing it will mean the cancellation of the command to fire.
      Thus, things are not that difficult.
      1. Jacket in stock
        Jacket in stock April 23 2021 04: 54
        +2
        Quote: agond
        It's high time to think about the creation of the AAK Active, Automated Carbine
        I think it must have ...
        ... it's not that hard

        Ага.
        And how much will such a miracle of technology weigh with the current level of technology?
        And taking into account our realities?
        Such a carbine can only be carried on a tank.
    2. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U April 23 2021 03: 21
      +3
      Quote: Abram Ivanovich
      A state-of-the-art sight on the M2HB from a century ago

      So far, nothing better than a bullet for a shooter has been invented, it rolls completely.
  5. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh April 22 2021 20: 56
    +15
    Such sights will allow at distances of 700 m to conduct
    not the usual fanning fire, but aiming in a short burst.

    This is a serious claim.
    So it is possible with the help of the old man Browning 0.5 (M2)
    an infantry unit to win a battle even before the enemy starts it.
    1. Ka-52
      Ka-52 April 23 2021 09: 04
      -9
      So it is possible with the help of the old man Browning 0.5 (M2)
      an infantry unit to win a battle even before the enemy starts it.

      well, if the enemy is armed with arquebusses and squeaks :))
  6. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock April 23 2021 04: 51
    +1
    Amused - in the picture there is a shooter sticking out of the armored car turret to the waist, despite the fact that the eyepiece is
    such a device allows the shooter to remain in cover, exposing only the weapon with the FWS-CS.

    Here, complete remote control suggests itself. And not only on an armored car, but also to mechanize an infantry tripod, so that the fighter would sit away from the machine gun during the shooting and would not immediately kill him with a response.
    1. agond
      agond April 23 2021 09: 44
      -1
      Quote: Jacket in stock
      Ага.
      And how much will such a miracle of technology weigh with the current level of technology?
      And taking into account our realities?
      Such a carbine can only be carried on a tank.

      Those who have dealt with optical sights know how they sometimes interfere with movement and what kind of careful attitude they require to themselves, and the fact that after installing the sight on the rifle, zeroing is required, that is, you cannot take it out like a magazine - insert it and shoot. the presence of a conventional optical sight is annoying, if the sight for thermal radiation is doubly annoying, but if the gunsmith's common sense overcomes the habit, then you can put optics on the weapon in blue, violet and ultraviolet colors (near range) and then the dimensions of the sight will be approximately the size of the cartridge case from the cartridge 5.45x39 and less, such a small sight can be firmly "welded" to the barrel instead of a front sight at the factory, while the resolution at short wavelengths multiplies, for reference, the eyes of birds are small and have high visual acuity, poorly distinguish red colors and much better blue and purple, millions of years of evolution are making themselves felt. As a result, the installation of an electronic ultraviolet sight on the weapon will not affect the weight of the weapon in any way, and everything else, a computer, a mini screen (perhaps even with glasses) is all worn separately, connected via a connector, and that FSW-CS sight, the M240L machine gun, we copy don't, you have to go your own way.
    2. Couchexpert
      Couchexpert April 23 2021 17: 14
      0
      Quote: Jacket in stock
      Here, complete remote control suggests itself. And not only on an armored car, but also to mechanize an infantry tripod, so that the fighter would sit away from the machine gun during the shooting and would not immediately kill him with a response.


      In my opinion this is it. Well, you can still make a little smaller, but there probably are problems with the power reserve, and with cross-country ability.
  7. Operator
    Operator April 23 2021 10: 34
    -2
    A senseless and merciless device - what about making an eyepiece without moving the pupil of the shooter's eye to a safe distance at the telescopic sight of a high-impulse small arms (during shooting, "kicking" not childishly)? Is the layout of the collimator for developers a mystery behind seven seals?

    And yes - if you have already developed a sight in the format of a video camera, then what prevents you from transmitting an image through the wire to the eyepiece eyepiece in order to remove the arrow from the line of return fire?

    Plus, the price of $ 125 thousand is simply amazing - at a price of $ 500 for a consumer video camera with exactly the same set of functionality (including a stereoscopic rangefinder and a night channel in the near infrared range) and even with a 300-fold optical-electronic zoom bully
    1. gross kaput
      gross kaput April 23 2021 21: 23
      +2
      Quote: Operator
      And yes - if you have already developed a sight in the format of a video camera, then what prevents you from transmitting an image through the wire to the eyepiece eyepiece in order to remove the arrow from the line of return fire?

      Read it entirely not destiny? implemented the ability to transmit a picture over the radio channel to the helmet-mounted display. The eyepiece is left for every firefighter and plays only a duplicate role if the crest has fallen short or the electronics are out of order.
      Quote: Operator
      to make an eyepiece without taking out the pupil of the arrow's eye to a safe distance?

      What are these stupid Yankees, ay-ay-ay, then whether we have PAG17 for AGS17 fucking removal of the pupil - as much as solid 27mm, PGO-9 for SPG-9 25mm, SPP for a cliff and cord 50mm, we look at all kinds of PP1, OP2 and so on for heavy machine guns and grenade launchers, and little by little we understand something or don't understand laughing
      1. Operator
        Operator April 24 2021 00: 17
        -2
        "The duplicating role of the eyepiece" - such as the communication channel is out of order, well, why then take care of the eye laughing
  8. Konnick
    Konnick April 24 2021 01: 12
    0
    It remains only to hang solar panels on the helmet.
    But seriously, why don't tank sights and periscopes appear on the helmet?
  9. The comment was deleted.