The Family of Weapon Sights (FWS) program will provide Soldiers with thermal enablers/sights for the individual, crew served and sniper weapons.
They give Soldiers the capability to see deep into the battlefield, increase surveillance and target acquisition range, and penetrate day or night obscurants. The FWS systems will use uncooled, forward-looking infrared technology. These systems will also have additional features to provide improved offensive firing capabilities, decreased transition time between mobility and targeting sensors, and improved firing accuracy. The FWS will have three variants, each of which will be silent, lightweight, compact, durable and battery powered: FWS Individual (FWS-I), FWS Crew Served (FWS-CS) and FWS Sniper (FWS-S). The FWS-I will greatly reduce target engagement time with a feature called Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA). It is the wireless weapon sight imagery and reticle transmission from FWS-I to the AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) III so that the Soldier can engage targets rapidly without having to transition between devices. All variants will clip-on (integration) in-line with Day View Optics to achieve their capability and will include different combinations of technologies such as state of the art sensors, microdisplays, integrated Laser Range Finder (LRF) or interoperability with an LRF, and disturbed reticle (auto-adjusted reticle based on range).
ENVG III/ FWS-I – INTEGRATED NIGHT VISION TARGETING SOLUTION
BAE Systems’ ENVG III/FWS-I integrated night vision targeting solution provides dismounted soldiers with a dependable and highly effective rapid target acquisition capability.
In today’s battlefield environment, it is critical for soldiers to be able to quickly locate and identify targets, especially during nighttime operations or when visibility is poor because of heavy smoke or bad weather. Currently soldiers use two different devices – night vision goggles for situational awareness and the thermal weapon sight for aiming, which impacts how quickly the soldier can acquire and engage the target.
BAE Systems, in partnership with the U.S Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, has integrated these two devices with Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) technology. Under the U.S. Army’s Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) program, BAE Systems is currently qualifying and initiating production of the integrated night vision targeting solution for deployment to the field.
BAE Systems has developed a wireless video interface between the weapon sight and goggle so imagery from the weapon sight will be transmitted to the goggle and viewed via the goggle display in real time. This RTA capability eliminates the need for soldiers to rely on aiming lasers, so they are able to remain covert.
Key Operational Advantages
- Weapon sight imagery is viewed by the soldier in his goggle which shortens the engagement timeline.
- Wireless interface between the weapon sight and goggle maximizes the soldier’s maneuverability.
- Advanced high resolution thermal imagers extend the goggle and weapon sight target acquisition ranges.
- Light weight and small size reduces soldier fatigue.
- Low power reduces battery usage and operating costs.