The US Military, with the NGSW program and the several that have come before it, has been seeking to increase the efficiency of the soldier’s fighting loadout. Giving them more tech and more options with that tech and doing their best, sometimes, to not marry the soldier to the tech in case it doesn’t work.
The NGSW picked several things to add to the Army’s inventory of weapons. The XM5, the XM250, and the XM157, along with new high ammunitions.
Honestly the XM5 is the most boring part of the whole series, despite it getting the attention from us gun loving folk because that’s the one we can buy once it releases. The XM250 radically upgrades the lightweight beltfed, the 6.8 offers capabilities 5.56 and 7.62 can’t match, and the XM157 is the first preliminarily fielded smart optic.
Smart optics have one crucial function, shorten the time it takes for the shooter to get rounds onto the target. That is it. Everything in the optic and about the optic is designed to shorten the length of time it will take for a soldier to engage a target, especially at extended ranges. Using an integrated rangefinder and some onboard atmospherics measuring capabilities the XM157 matches that information with the ammunition and weapon that you are firing (you tell it that, like M4A1 with M855A1) and it will give you an adjusted point of aim to impact.
Auto-aim, AIMBot, whatever you want to call it. Instead of forcing a soldier to visually range by eye, a time intensive skill, use the optic reticle to set the shot, a second skill requiring understanding of the optic and reticle, and then take a shot with a high probability of impact, a third skill that is time and resource intensive to train… The optic can assist with two of three for the shooter and shorten the time and number of errors.
Lots of math, science, and technology all to shorten the complexities of sending a round into a target.
Neat. Hit play.