Wednesday, May 30, 2007

DARPA seeks counter-sniper system

Above: A soldier administers first aid after dragging another soldier hit by sniper fire to safety in November. The Department of Defense refuses to include the term in its announcements of fallen soldiers, and employs euphimisms such as 'killed by small arms fire'.

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- The most common cause of U.S. combat casualties in Iraq is the roadside bomb, but sniper shots are a major problem.
Usually referred to as "small arms fire" in military press releases on casualties, the U.S. military considers the number and statistics on enemy sniper kills sensitive battle information and does not release it.

But it is significant enough to merit its research agency's attention. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is soliciting technology for the C-Sniper program to be folded into the Crosshairs program, a system being developed by Mustang Technologies in Allen, Texas, to detect enemy bullets, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars fired at U.S. military vehicles.

The C-Sniper technology would operate from a moving military vehicle, searching for enemy snipers operating with or without telescopic sites before they can shoot. The system would track the target and provide data and control for the Crosshairs weapon to fire on the sniper. The decision to actually shoot, however, would be left to a human operator, in accordance with U.S. rules of engagement in battle to minimize the chances of shooting innocent bystanders.

The "key objective is to determine where the shot may come from rather than where it came from," and to discern a sniper from visual background clutter.

Read the rest at UPI

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DARPA to hold classified forum on anti-sniper technology

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