The Netherlands Air Force is planning to equip its Colt C7 5.56mm rifles with SMASH Smart Shooter fire control systems that help operators in taking down small unmanned aerial systems.
The defense ministry said it was already acquainted with the capabilities of the systems but was not sure how effective they would be in combination with the Colt C7 rifles.
Dutch airmen have now completed a shooting experiment, during which they neutralized all UAS within a few shots. The SMASH systems use video analysis to enhance a shooter’s effectiveness. Once the shooter selects a target by pulling and holding the trigger, the system waits until it has “lock-on” and destroys the UAS.
The recent test was so successful that the air force will now start the purchase process as soon as possible, the defense ministry said.
Smart Shooter, the company developing the range of SMASH systems, says the solution integrates target acquisition and tracking algorithms with sophisticated image-processing software. According to the manufacturer, the systems are accurate at a distance of up to 200 meters.
The Dutch Air Force announcement comes after the US Army selected the Smart Shooter as one of the counter-UAS systems it wants to invest in. NATO is also evaluating the capability as part of its Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT POW) which aims to develop technologies and measures against terrorism and other asymmetric threats.
In addition to handheld weapons, the Israeli company has also unveiled a light remote-controlled weapon station fitted with the SMASH system.