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Vortex Optics, based in Barneveld, WI, announced on 20 April that the US Army Program Manager Soldier Lethality has placed with the company an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement to deliver production-ready prototypes of the Next Generation Squad Weapon Fire Control (NGSW-FC) device.

The company’s ACTIVE RETICLE fire control systems, built around revolutionary technology based o0n many years’ internal research coupled with cooperative development efforts with the Army’s Program Manager-Soldier Weapons group, have been proven to increase hit percentage and decrease time to engage during ‘soldier touchpoint’ evaluations over the last two years.

When we learned of the soldier’s need for increased lethality out of their squad weapons—combined with the Small Arms Ammunition Configuration (SAAC) study, which proved that advancements in electro-optical fire control had the greatest potential to increase soldier’s lethality—we knew there was an important capability gap we could fill,” explained Sam Hamilton, the company’s Chief Technical Officer. “By combining a unity power 1-8x direct view optic utilizing a first focal plane, etched reticle, a 1km-capable laser rangefinder, state-of-the-art on-board ballistic engine, atmospheric sensor suite, and programmable active matrix micro-display overlaid onto the first focal plane, ACTIVE RETICLE delivers a true multi-mission fire control enabling everything from CQB [close quarter battle] to designated marksmanship at the extents of the NGSW’s effective range.”

For the soldier in the field, that means the freedom to devote his or her entire focus downrange. “End-users will no longer need to leave their field of view to consult separate rangefinders or ballistic calculators, slowing them down and compromising their situational awareness,” Hamilton added.

When augmented with an overlaid digital display, the 1-8x30 ACTIVE RETICLE Fire Control unit provides features unheard of in a traditional small arms fire control. Even in the case of battery power loss, soldiers are left with an uncompromised 1-8x direct-view optic and glass-etched reticle that exceeds current capabilities. (Photos: Vortex Optics)

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