SmartShooter 'Automatically' Shoots Drones Out of the Sky
(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence; issued Oct. 5, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
A Dutch soldier fires a Colt C7 rifle fitted with the SmartShooter aiming aid during a recent test of counter-drone weapons. This simple aiming aid fitted to a standard rifle allowed then different drones to be shot down using just a few rounds. (Dutch MoD photo)
The threat from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, is increasing rapidly. The Air Force detects many UAS movements at airports and these often pose a serious threat to air traffic, among other things.

The use of the personal firearm by security units is as yet the most realistic option against this threat. However, this is not effective, but a state-of-the-art targeting system can change this over time.

The Air Force was already familiar with the possibilities of the 'SmartShooter' smart aiming system. The only thing that was unknown was whether it is also effective in combination with the Colt C7 5.56mm long-range automatic rifle.

Operation

The system uses video analysis. A shooter aims his weapon at the target with the SmartShooter. So far, it is the same as with a normal aiming system. With the SmartShooter, the shooter selects the target by pulling the trigger, and holds the pulled trigger while continuing to aim at the target.

As soon as the system 'sees' that the target will be hit, the SmartShooter automatically will fire the weapon. So, it does not work autonomously, and the shooter selects the target, aims and pulls the trigger.

Effective

When the Dutch Army organized a shooting day to experiment with the SmartShooter system, the Air Force joined in to test its effectiveness against drones. A section of the top ten UAS detected by the Air Force in the Netherlands was fired.

The Colt rifle in combination with the SmartShooter system proved to be very effective: all targets were eliminated with a few rounds.

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