L3Harris Technologies, teamed with Leupold & Stevens, have garnered a multi-million dollar prototype optic agreement that could replace the Army’s direct-view small arms optics.
While the information was slim on the specifics of the optic system, L3Harris announced on April 22 they would provide 115 production prototypes for the Next Generation Squad Weapon Fire Control (NGSW-FC) targeting solution. According to the company, the device provides both ballistic computation and environmental sensors to cut the time needed to engage a threat.
The systems aim to be used on the planned NGSW, an innovative 6.8mm-chambered firearm platform intended to replace the 5.56 NATO M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in front-line service with the Army in coming years.
“L3Harris is proud to offer the U.S. Army a revolutionary fire control solution that will increase soldier lethality and enhance situational awareness,” said Lynn Bollengier, President, Integrated Vision Solutions, L3Harris. “Our solution leverages nearly 30 years of expertise in fire control technology, enabling faster identification and target acquisition, ensuring soldiers achieve overmatch capability on the battlefield.”
The company, a giant publicly-traded defense contractor that owns EOTech among other subsidiaries, has partnered with Oregon-based Leupold to use the latter’s optical assemblies and “high volume, domestic manufacturing capabilities,” as part of the project. Notably, Leupold recently won a contract from the Army to provide a version of their Mark 5HD 5-25×56 scope for the service’s new Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) program, separate from the NGSW initiative.
“Leupold is excited to be teaming with L3Harris to deliver the highest-quality optical solution to the U.S. Army. We are the top manufacturers in our respective fields,” said Bruce Pettet, President and Chief Executive Officer for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “Leupold brings more than a century of optical expertise and unrivaled domestic manufacturing capacity to the table, and L3 has a proven track record of performance with high-volume government contracts for night vision, electro-optics, and laser aiming devices.”
Competing against the L3Harris/Leupold team is Wisconsin-based Vortex Optics. Vortex’s entry to the NGSW-FC program is a 1-8x first focal plane optic with an integrated rangefinder and overlaid display.