Israeli weapons developer Elbit Systems claims to have solved one of the key issues related to using an assault rifle: aiming.
On September 9th, the company unveiled the ARCAS. It is an in-built computerized Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered system that interfaces with the rifle’s Electro-Optical (EO) sight, with a helmet-mounted eyepiece and with the rifle’s assemblies, providing soldiers with real-time intuitive actionable combat information.
It quite literally makes waging war seem like a video game.
The demo used ARCAS systems mounted on M-4s, with testers shooting at stationary targets. The use of ideas from the gaming world is clear when putting the sight up to the eye.
The developers even say that they had tried to make it as simple as possible:
“We made it very intuitive so it looks like PlayStation’s Fortnite; it shows range, wind and ammo left, etc.,” said Arie Chernobrov, general manager of Elbit Security Systems.
ARCAS provides infantry and Special Operation warriors with combat capabilities that were not available for them before, including passive range measurement, automatic ballistic correction, detection of fire sources, video motion detection, the ability to shoot around the corner and from the hip, interface with tactical Command and Control (C2), navigation assistance, friend or foe identification, tracking of stoppage and ammunition and weapon zeroing without the need for live fire.
An AI-powered computer is integrated into the assault rifle’s forward grip, running innovative software and a range of applications that deploy all of the above to the battlefield.
The miniaturized computer unit receives and processes data collected from the soldier’s field of view, as well as from the C2 systems and from other team members’ ARCAS, as well as pure mechanical information from the rifle.
The combat information is presented to the soldier as an intuitive augmented reality layer on top of the scenery that is seen through the EO sight or the helmet-mounted eyepiece.
To make control as simple as possible, ARCAS is controlled with a small joystick button on the rifle’s forward grip, and “a Graphical User Interface inspired by the gaming world.”
Designed in an open architecture approach, ARCAS has two configurations:
- it can include a thermal or low light sight as part of the system and is capable of interfacing to any existing EO sight.
- ARCAS can run additional and third-party applications depending on the customer’s operational needs and requirements.
Elbit said it had three parameters for developing the system: increasing survivability for forces, improving situational awareness and increasing lethality.
So it is fully customizable to make shooting and killing in a combat situation as simple as possible, and as risk-free (for the user) as infantry clashes allow.
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