Military

Raytheon laser sight improves shot speed and accuracy

The ELCAN is designed to  reduce the weight of a soldier's kit while improving their aim
The ELCAN is designed to  reduce the weight of a soldier's kit while improving their aim
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The ELCAN fits on a standard assault rifle rail
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The ELCAN fits on a standard assault rifle rail
The ELCAN incorporates a digital fire control system
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The ELCAN incorporates a digital fire control system
The ELCAN will be available in 2018
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The ELCAN will be available in 2018
The ELCAN switches easily between magnifications
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The ELCAN switches easily between magnifications
The ELCAN uses laser pulses to calculate target range
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The ELCAN uses laser pulses to calculate target range
The ELCAN is designed to  reduce the weight of a soldier's kit while improving their aim
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The ELCAN is designed to  reduce the weight of a soldier's kit while improving their aim

Firearms have come a long way from the days of the musket and flintlock, but they're also much more complicated and involve trade offs. In preparing for missions, soldiers are often forced to choose between a close quarter or a magnified sight for their assault rifles as there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Raytheon's answer is its ELCAN Specter dual-field-of-view rifle sights that can not only switch easily between magnifications, but now includes a next-generation digital fire control system.

The ELCAN system has been around for a couple of years and includes the ELCAN Specter DR 1-4x sight that provides machine gunners with close-quarter and precision-fire capabilities, and the ELCAN Specter DR 1.5-6x sight intended for long-range precision fire. The latest versions were recently updated to be lighter weight, have a lower profile illumination switch and a less expensive battery with better life.

But now Raytheon says it can make soldiers into sharpshooters thanks to the ELCAN's computerized fire control system to help them hit the target and hit it quickly.

In operation, the ElCAN's laser rangefinder emits a digital pulse to measure the distance from the shooter to target. The ballistic module takes this data and computes where the sight must be zeroed in and in seconds displays the information to the shooter, who can then adjust their aim. Raytheon says that, unlike other portable systems, the ELCAN uses a single optical path for both the visual and laser channels, which simplifies the design.

The ELCAN incorporates a digital fire control system
The ELCAN incorporates a digital fire control system

The idea of the ELCAN is to provide a sight that has multiple functions, so it not only improves the soldier's capabilities, but also reduces the ever-heavier mission pack load. According to Raytheon, up until now, fire control systems to aid in hitting a target have traditionally been restricted to ships, aircraft, and tanks and involved many components that would be far too bulky and heavy to be practical in the field.

The ELCAN reduces all this to a package measuring 3 x 4 in (7.6 cm x 10.1 cm) and weighing 3 lb (1.4 kg). It allows soldiers to shoot faster, with more accuracy, and is the first such system that can be fitted to assault rifles. It can be mounted on a standard rail, is removable for use on other weapons, and in the event of it being damaged the mid- to long-range scope will still work even if the electronics are out of order.

"You put so much work and training into finding distance and all the things that go into making a good shot,""says Dan Pettry, a former sniper with the U.S. Army Rangers and now a product manager for Raytheon ELCAN rifle sights. "The thought that someone could build a piece of equipment that could do that for you is really amazing."

Raytheon says the new ELCAN will be available early next year.

Source: Raytheon

8 comments
Brian M
Sounds like a laser range measuring system -really needs to be hooked up to instantly alter the settings rather than the soldier having to dial it in. Of course a laser pulse immediately gives your position away to a technically aware enemy before you get to fire a shot.
JimFox
ElCAN's laser rangefinder emits a digital pulse to measure the distance from the shooter to target Sounds like the laser illumination is in milliseconds, not continuous. Surely Miltech designers are aware of the risks? Perhaps the aim adjustment could be automated- or maybe the shooter wants the final say?
Bob Flint
Does it take wind speed, direction, humidity etc. into account?
Bob
A added 3 lb. sight sounds kind of heavy to carry all day.
Commontator
Will it kick me in the boot, when it notices I'm about to shoot a revealing cloud of (suicidal) soot all over the snow cause I forgot to pull up the camo hood? I'll stick with my trusty life-saving spotter and my Bushnell topped Remington for now. Enjoy the toy, folks.
KurtCannon
Quite a weapon. I am sure ISIS is looking forward to getting their hands on a bunch of them as they seem able to do, just as the underworld has always over matched the police in weaponry in this country.
Nairda
Forgot to mention price. How does it compare to a half decent Bushnell for ~$400
Bob
A typical scope weighs about a pound and a good range finder weighs about 8 oz. If this thing weighs three pounds and takes seconds to give a correction, I have to question its value. For shots under 300 meters it would be a waste of time since the bullet drop would be small. If it also adds night vision, then it would have considerably more merit. Our troops carry way too much "just in case" junk.