Last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lockheed Martin a $3.93 million contract to develop a rifle-scope attachment to enhance soldiers' marksmanship capabilities.
The Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic, or DInGO system, will enable soldiers to accurately view targets at varying distances without changing scopes or suffering a decrease in optical resolution. The system will enhance soldiers' ability to accurately hit targets at a range of between three and 600 meters.
DInGO automatically calculates the range with a low power laser rangefinder, digitally zooms in on it and accounts for environmental conditions such as wind using sensors built into the scope. It then projects the bullet's point-of-impact calculated from the embedded ballistics computer.
"Current scopes are optimized for a single target range, impacting soldiers' effectiveness and survivability when engaging targets at different distances during a single mission," said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors Ship & Aviation Systems business. "DInGO will solve this problem, significantly increasing soldiers' ability to rapidly reconfigure optics for use from short to long ranges and improving marksmanship capabilities for all soldiers."
DInGO is based on Lockheed Martin's One Shot Advanced Sighting System, which utilizes similar precision engagement technology to automatically transmit crosswind information to a long-range sniper's scope and modify the crosshairs to display exactly where the bullet will strike.
DARPA awarded Lockheed Martin an 18-month, $9.7 million contract in 2008 to integrate One Shot's new crosswind measurement technology into a prototype spotter scope – a small telescope that is carried by sniper teams and is used to bring far-away objects into close view. During tactical field tests in December 2009, snipers were able to engage targets twice as quickly and increase their probability of a first-round hit by a factor of two using the One Shot technology at distances beyond 1,000 meters.
The nine-month Phase 1 contract, with options for additional phases, calls for Lockheed Martin to develop the DInGO system for use on the M-4 and M-16 automatic rifles. Work will be performed at Lockheed Martin's Akron, Ohio, site, which has a strong track record for developing laser technology for ship and airborne infrared countermeasures, communications, wind correction and active sensing.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.