Army Set To Buy Computerized Rifle Sights For Shooting Down Drones

The Drive – by Emma Helfrich

The U.S. Army has purchased SMASH 2000L computerized optical sight systems manufactured by the Israeli defense firm Smart Shooter. The company is highlighting the system’s counter-drone role, and both the Army and the U.S. Marine Corps have already acquired a limited number of older SMASH 2000 variants for this very purpose.

SMASH 2000L sights, with the ‘L’ standing for ‘light’, are designed for use on a variety of small arms to facilitate more accurate target engagement — basically shooting things with computer-aided precision. While the line’s newest addition is similar to its SMASH 2000 predecessor, Smart Shooter’s product literature for the earlier variant doesn’t officially detail its counter-small unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) role despite the company having frequently tested SMASH 2000 in these scenarios and the high interest in such a function by the marketplace. It is also important to note that Smart Shooter is marketing its newest sight to non-U.S. military customers as the SMASH 3000, so it will be referred to it as SMASH 2000L/3000 from here on out to avoid confusion.

In a press release, Smart Shooter explained that the company was awarded the contract from Atlantic Diving Supply, a U.S.-based contractor that provides military equipment to federal agencies, who then subcontracted with Smart Shooter to supply the Army with an undisclosed number of the SMASH 2000L/3000 sights. The contract’s dollar value was not divulged.

The announcement stated that the systems would be deployed specifically as part of the Army’s counter-small unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) defense strategy, which Smart Shooter had been testing with the Marine Corps using SMASH 2000 sights since last year. When SMASH first appeared with U.S. special operations units in Syria in June 2020, what looked to be similar evaluations of the earlier system were also being conducted.

In a number of photos taken during the tests, special operators at the At Tanf garrison in southern Syria could be seen using SMASH 2000 to fire at decoy targets hanging below commercial drones to evaluate the system’s sUAS targeting ability. While there is no official confirmation that this demonstration meant SMASH 2000 had been officially acquired by U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), doing so, namely in the Middle East where the threat from drones has escalated dramatically with At Tanf coming under drone attack many times over the years, would make sense.

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