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Proceedings Paper

Long range thermal weapon sights for the German future infantryman program IdZ
Author(s): Rainer Breiter; Tobias Ihle; Karl-Heinz Mauk; Mario Münzberg; Werner Rode
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Paper Abstract

In December 2004 AIM started the series production of the HuntIR long range thermal weapon sight. The sight is fielded in the Germany Future Infantryman (IdZ) basic system and since that time in continuous service in various out of area missions with German participation. For very long identification ranges >1500m cooled technology still outperforms uncooled sights, even with respect to smaller size and lower weight because the typical F/1 design of uncooled systems overcompensates cooler weight for focal length >175mm. The HuntIR sight is therefore based on a cooled MWIR detection module for long range battlefield surveillance and target engagement. The device specifically is a perfect match to state of the art small arms like 0.50 cal sniper rifles or crew served weapons like the 40mm high velocity grenade machine gun (GMG) which provide engagement ranges >1500m and need an adequate sight performance beyond that. A recent modification of HuntIR was done to provide a wider field of view for improved situation awareness in urban operations and specifically to allow the engagement of the 40mm GMG in ranges between 250-1200m. The qualification tests of the sight by the German infantry were successfully completed mid 2006. To match the demand of the follow-up program IdZ-ES additional components have to be integrated. Most important are a laser range finder (LRF), 3 axis digital magnetic compass (DMC) and a wireless data link. LRF and DMC together with a highly sophisticated fire control computer provide improved first round hit probability, the DMC additionally improves the fire control in any case of steep trajectories or for pronounced ballistic trajectories to avoid any need to precisely level the GMG. This new sight is done under the brand name RangIR. An important additional feature is the interface for air burst ammunition (ABM). The optical distance is measured by the LRF, the fire control computer accurately evaluates the trajectory under the given angle, muzzle velocity, temperature and range conditions to define the time-of-flight. This fully integrated IR fire control system is available mid 2007. The development phase of the IdZES program is under contract, series deliveries expected in 2009. The RangIR will see some specific modifications for the link and a man machine interface to control the whole IdZ-ES system components ergonomically from the weapon with optimized power supply concepts to minimize the number of batteries, chargers etc.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6542, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII, 65422U (14 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718424
Show Author Affiliations
Rainer Breiter, AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH (Germany)
Tobias Ihle, AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH (Germany)
Karl-Heinz Mauk, AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH (Germany)
Mario Münzberg, AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH (Germany)
Werner Rode, AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6542:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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