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Army Develops Real-Life ‘Snap to Target’ Aim Assist Technology

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(Photo: AEWE)

Using the “aim assist” or “snap to target” function in Call of Duty is cheating. Everyone knows that. No one has that ability on a real battlefield, and no one should have that ability on a virtual battlefield, either.

Turns out, that logic might not apply anymore.

The U.S. Army’s Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) program recently tested the AimLock Stabilized Weapon Platform for the first time during a live fire exercise. The AimLock functions pretty much as it sounds: it corrects for “shooter’s wobble” to assist in target acquisition and target engagement.

The technology was developed by Rocky Mountain Scientific Laboratory (RMSL), based in Littleton, Colorado, and the system’s detailed schematics can be accessed via the company’s patent.

Here’s how it works:

An electromechanical system translates an “aiming error” signal from a target tracking system into dynamic “pointing corrections” for handheld devices to drastically reduce pointing errors due to man-machine wobble without specific direction by the user. The active stabilization targeting correction system works by separating the “support” features of the handheld device from the “projectile launching” features, and controlling their respective motion by electromechanical mechanisms.

Essentially, the system holds the rifle so the shooter doesn’t have to. A computing system works with a camera mounted on the front of the firearm to move the rifle’s point of aim in real time as the shooter engages with the target. This creates a “snap to target” capability that could dramatically increase an individual rifleman’s effectiveness. The shooter controls the trigger and the direction of the rifle, but that’s about it.

Ultimately, the Army hopes the new technology can drastically increase the probability of a hit and reduce target acquisition time, two key factors in the success or failure of engagements with enemy combatants.

The system can also reduce training time for skilled and unskilled shooters, and allow shooters in the standing position to be just as accurate as shooters in the prone position.

AimLock is not classified, but the Army has yet to publish the results of its live-fire exercises. The final version of the product, which should take the form of a standalone rifle without the bulky carriage, is set to be delivered next summer.

AimLock is one of fifty technologies currently under development by the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). The system is also part of the U.S. Army’s larger Force 2025 initiative, which is looking to develop better technology for future conflicts.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Dan November 19, 2016, 7:51 pm

    DOD keeps wasting our tax dollars on unneeded Gear & decreasing the amount of time to develop essential Skills. It’s not a new problem but at some point you’d think someone could try a more successful approach.
    It’s obvious they forgot the Heirarchy of Survival Principles.
    1) Mindset
    2) Tactics
    3) Skills
    4) Gear

  • thomas michelsen November 18, 2016, 10:53 pm

    !!!!SALE STARTING AT @ 12:00 AM EST. SAVE ON IN STOCK 60 AND 100 ROUND MAGS!!!! !!!!!!!ONE OUT OF THE FIRST 20 CUSTOMERS WILL WIN A FREE 100 ROUND MAG!!!!!!!!
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  • Jenette November 18, 2016, 2:12 pm

    The more they train our soldiers to rely on gimmicks like this over actual skill and capability the more vulnerable we become when fighting in a battlefield where all this high technology is rendered nonfunctional either by the enemy, (such as EMP weaponry) or natural occurrence. (solar storms or other magnetic incidents.)

    IMHO, If a soldier can’t hit a target reliably without computer assistance, than they really have no place on the battlefield until they can.

  • al cycle November 18, 2016, 11:36 am

    It sounds like a ‘steady cam’ systems that Hollywood uses to film action movies???? They have ‘centrifugal force’ issues so movement is slow….but very steady???

  • TDB November 18, 2016, 9:34 am

    What about TrackingPoint? That system appears to be already designed, tested and implemented.

  • Pete November 18, 2016, 6:14 am

    Sounds pretty much like what a little practice with iron sights will do for you.

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