British Army to get new anti-drone gun sights thanks to new contract

The British Army has announced its intention to acquire Israeli-made drone-tracking SmartShooter SMASH gun sights to provide anti-drone fire control for soldiers.
Christopher McFadden
British soldier testing the new sights.

Viking Arms Limited 

The British Army has announced that it will acquire a batch of drone-killing sights for its frontline soldiers. Called the SmartShooter SMASH Smart Weapon Sight Fire Control Systems, these Israeli-built sights will "give the dismounted soldier the ability to achieve a high probability of hit against micro and mini UAVs," explains the Army. Mounted directly on top of existing rifles, the new tech can recognize a target, track its movements, and maintain a lock on the target even if it or the user moves.

The sights will fit on the Army's SA80 A3

The SA80 A3 assault rifle will soon be equipped with the Counter-Small Uncrewed Air Systems (C-sUAS) capability, which can also be installed on other individual weapons currently in use. The Ministry of Defence has placed an order for 225 SMASH sights, worth £4.6 million, which will be delivered to various "Very High Readiness" units within the British Army before the year ends.

Viking Arms Ltd, based in Yorkshire, has entered into a contract to provide additional sights to dismounted close combat operators in the Army, Navy, and RAF as per their operational and readiness commitments. This collaboration will continue for the next few years.

“The importance of uncrewed aerial vehicles on the modern battlefield is undeniable. Alongside procuring, developing, and deploying this technology in a range of different ways, we must also be proactive in ensuring our Armed Forces can protect against their use by adversaries," explained UK Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge.

“Adding this capability to our core equipment program is another example of us procuring the right kit, at the right time for our personnel," he added.

The army's experimentation battalion, 2 YORKS, has conducted tests on the new sights. As per the current contract, 225 SMASH sights will be supplied to Very High Readiness units in the British Army by the end of this year. In the upcoming years, Viking Arms Ltd will provide additional SMASH sights to the rest of the army, Royal Navy, and RAF.

“We are very pleased to announce the arrival of the first dismounted C-sUAS equipment into the core equipment program," said Wing Commander Mark Bowden, Programmes Directorate, Counter-UAS SO1. “SMASH is a proven capability already in service with our allies and partners. As we have seen in Ukraine and other operational areas the UAS threat is growing significantly. SMASH offers significant enhancement to the close combat operator across all three Services, delivering a tactical edge to the dismounted soldier in the C-sUAS battle,” he added.

SMASH should make a huge difference

“We are tremendously proud to have been selected to supply the UK MOD’s C-sUAS Smart Weapon Sight capability," Viking Arms Managing Director Sam MacArthur said. “The need for C-sUAS capability is very evident and we feel the SMASH solution is truly game-changing," he added.

“We are honored to be supporting our British Armed Forces with technology that will provide significant battlefield advantages, whilst the contract builds on our continued success as a trusted supplier within the UK Defence Sector,” MacArthur added.

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