BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold met up with Magnus Andersson for an update on Aimpoint’s new FCS13-RE Fire Control System.
The Aimpoint FCS series sighting system consists of an eye safe 1550 nm Laser Range Finder, a ballistic computer with the capability to store more than 50 different ballistic algorithms, and a parallax free optical channel
with unlimited eye relief. The FCS series automatically compensates for the ballistic drop of projectiles at measured distances, factoring in variables such as rotational (spin) drift, propellant temperature, and terrain angle. The FCS series can also add airburst capability to shoulder fired grenade/rocket launchers and 40 mm AGL systems. The Aimpoint FCS series greatly increases first round hit probability and drastically reduces collateral damage.
The Aimpoint FCS13-RE is a direct view, Dynamic Universal Reflex Sight, which utilizes an integrated laser range finder and ballistic computer to give the gunner an aiming point corrected for range, type of munition, terrain angle, and environmental conditions. In addition to the 84mm Carl Gustaf, the system can also be utilized on other crew served weapons including 40 mm high velocity grenade launchers, and 12.7 mm (.50 caliber) heavy machine guns. The FCS13-RE provides a very high probability of first-shot hit on both stationary and moving targets at extended ranges and utilizes a very intuitive user control interface. The system can be enhanced with modular magnification and thermal imaging components and is compatible with all generations of military night vision equipment.
EASE of USE
No matter the weapon platform on which the FCS13RE is used, the system is extremely easy to use and user friendly which is of great advantage in stressful situations.
The gunner will simply range the target by pressing a button and instant the ballistic computer will compensate for range, spin drift, each ammunition characteristics, terrain angle, propellant temperature, altitude above sea level and target speed if it´s a moving target.
There will only be one red dot presented for the user for both static and moving target.
With multi weapon software installed on the sight the gunner has ability to have the same sight on either a 40mm HV automatic grenade launcher, .50cal heavy machine gun or the 84mm Carl Gustaf.
No matter what the weapon the gunner has chosen in the menu it is the same MMI for all weapons and same aiming procedure.
The same mounting system is used on both 40mm HV and .50 cal heavy machine gun, this allows the gunner to shift the sight between these different weapon platforms by just unscrewing two screws.
High probability of first shot hit
No matter the weapon platform on which the FCS13RE is used, the system will increase the first-round hit probability dramatically compared to other sighting system.
With the laser range finder and ballistic computer all common aiming errors will vanish.
It will turn the weapon system from a surface weapon with suppressive capability to a weapon that will hit the target in the first firing sequence.
The FCS13RE on a 40mm HV AGL the first grenade will be on or very near the target which will suppress or neutralize the threat instantly. This will also dramatically reduce ammunition consumption for the gunner on each target.
Same statements are applicable if you use the FCS13RE on a .50cal HMG, in the first firing sequence you will instantly neutralize or suppress the threat. Instead of working your way on to the target and consuming ammunition you will be on target directly. The gunner will also be very fast to transit between different targets no matter the distance.
“When I visited Aimpoint in 2008, I was shown the prototype Aimpoint BR8 which was a demonstrator of technology. I understand that Aimpoint has made enhancements to the system?”
“Yes, we have off course made major improvements. Nothing is the same when it comes to components and sub-system, but the principle is the same. Further we have off course other technical solutions as well, such as the LRF, the gyro and inclinometers and other critical sub-system. We have also together with the Greek company Theon developed a Thermal clip-on, TH60 for the FCS13RE Theon which allows 24/7 day night operations and improved optics allowing for longer range targeting.” Magnus Andersson said.
AIRBURST SYSTEM capability
FCS13RE can also be connected to different
kind of airburst ammunition and program those to string of pearls.
Which will help the user to engage target in defilade.
* Thermal capability
The Aimpoint TH60 Thermal Clip-On is an inline a focal attachment designed to be used with,
and provide thermal Long Wavelength Infrared (LWIR) capability to the Aimpoint FCS product family.
* Magnifying capability
Aimpoint 3XL is a magnifying module with 3x magnification, designed for use together with FCS13RE. It has a 15-degree field of which allows the operator to see the full ballistic window through the magnifier. Traditionally smaller magnifiers have typically 3 – 6 degrees field of view which doesn’t allow the full ballistic window to used.
“The original funding from the Swedish MoD was for Carl Gustav applications, which weapons systems can now use the FCS13-RE?”
“Following these enhancements, the Aimpoint FCS13RE can now be used on Multiple Weapon Platforms such as, 84 mm Carl Gustaf, 40 mm HV (HK GMG, MK19), 12.7 mm HMG (M2).”
“Aimpoint was awarded a contract in 2012 by the Swedish Armed Forces for the FCS12 mounted on a Carl Gustaf. We understand that you have had considerable world-wide interest in the product given its modular construction with no moving parts.”
“Yes, we have been working with Saab to promote the system to its world-wide Carl Gustaf user base and considerable interest has been expressed in the product. In combination with the new lightweight M4 Carl Gustaf, the FCS13-RE greatly increases the lethality and survivability of troops in the field. The ability to quickly and accurately place the first shot directly on target with a high degree of certainty represents the true value of this system.”
“Have you won your first export order?”
“Yes, we have roughly 10 customers on the system today and among these, we gained our first large export order in March 2019 from the USA. Aimpoint was awarded a USD 24 million firm, fixed-price contract for supply of the Aimpoint® FCS13-RE Fire Control System to the U.S. military. The system will be deployed as the primary Fire Control on the new M3-E1 MAAWS lightweight 84mm Carl Gustaf produced by SAAB Dynamics.” Magnus Andersson continued.
“Aimpoint has been a key supplier to the US Army for some time, did this help the selection?”
“Having delivered over 1.2 million M68CCO close combat optics to the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force since 1997, Aimpoint has proven to be a highly reliable supplier to the U.S. Armed Forces. The selection of the Aimpoint FCS13-RE for use on the M3-E1 Carl Gustaf followed extensive tests and evaluations conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. This latest contract for electronic Fire Control Systems shows that Aimpoint has continued to increase our technical capabilities, and to offer new cutting-edge products for use by our most prestigious military customers.”
Deliveries of the Aimpoint FCS13-RE are scheduled for 2019. The system will be fielded by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations Command.
“As you are exhibiting at DSEI, we have to assume that the British Army is interested in the product?”
“Very much so!” Magnus Andersson said.