Eurosatory 12 is over, but I still have a few goodies left over from Paris that might interest you. I know I showed the Israeli’s a lot of love last week on this blog, but I just couldn’t help it. They kept showing me cool stuff — like the new Meslas 10×40 Sniper’s Fire-Controlled Riflescope.

The Meslas, made by Pulse Inteco Systems Ltd., features a laser rangefinder that’s effective out to 2,000 meters and a ballistic computer that provides the sniper with a red dot showing where the bullet will strike the target. The Meslas features a data port so the shooter can upload ballistic tables, wind tables and other sniper tools for the mission, PI Systems officials maintain. In other words, Meslas doesn’t do it all; you need sniper skills to make it effective.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have been developing its own smart scopes such as the Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic, which is based on Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Sighting System (One-Shot) technology.  Designed for snipers, One-Shot relies on sensors that measure environmental conditions at several points along a bullet’s path to the target.

Members of the sniper community, however, have pointed that attempts to develop a sniper scope that calculates atmospherical conditions in addition to providing range and adjusted aimpoint may be a bridge too far. A good spotter can be just as effective or better at reading wind than One-Shot, some snipers say.

The Meslas weighs a little over four pounds and runs on four CR-123 batteries. This is the second version of the Meslas system, which has been in development for roughly four years.

Here is a video of a PI Systems official explaining the Meslas. Hope it’s helpful.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete Sheppard June 20, 2012 at 4:28 am

Even before I read the whole article, I couldn't help but think that thing would be much more effective as a spotter's scope. Besides the simple bulk and weight, the attention required to operate it would be a distraction to the shooter himself.
FOUR pounds sitting on top of a rifle? That would be awkward, to say the least.
I was gratified to see that 'people who know' had the same thoughts.

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nraddin June 20, 2012 at 4:43 am

1) Why are all 4lbs on top of the rifle? Seems like most of those electronics could be moved just about anywhere. The stock or even off the riffle all together and a cable for data link.

2) A good spotter might be better than this scope, but a crappy or no spotter is worst. Spotters are expensive to train, equip and field (Same cost as the sniper mostly). You can put twice as many snipers on the field with this equipment for around the same cost although wish some reduced effectiveness per unit.

3) It will not be long before the onboard systems in something like this far outstrip the capabilities of a human both in speed and accuracy of results. The work still required to do outside of the scope will be automated and the weapon system becomes point and shoot. The only shooting skill left what will be required is actually shooting, so I can't help but feel that people should start trying to get used to these systems. They will be your best friend in just a few years.

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Sam June 20, 2012 at 6:30 am

Good point.

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Axel66Alpha June 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

I agree with your first two opinions there but from from Mr. xpoqx says,

"Cool idea, but the more you adavance technology the more dependent mankind becomes, relying on the technology. While I doubt there will ever be a time when a sniper team can’t fire accuratly with out a sprcail scope, I’m just afraid that the skills of shooting with a dumb scope will not be as well versed as they currently are."

I'd have to disagree with your third somewhat. I agree, that it can have the ability be faster and would be cheaper without a spotter, but again it's just relying too much on technology.
I w

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xpoqx June 20, 2012 at 6:42 am

Cool idea, but the more you adavance technology the more dependant mankind becomes, relying on the technology. While I doubt there will ever be a time when a sniper team can't fire accuratly with out a sprcail scope, I'm just afraid that the skills of shooting with a dumb scope will not be as well versed as they currently are.

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Robert the Bruce June 20, 2012 at 7:18 am

a little heavy yes? 4 lbs sitting atop ur rifle..how can that feel? HEAVY. No, a spotter will do.

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Joe Schmoe June 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

Just so you know, the Israeli's have a system prototype that can read the wind, temp, pressure, etc. as well for the spotter.

That's all I can say for now.

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Mr. Krabbs June 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Seems like putting something that uses active sensors to gather measurements seems like a bad idea. Single pulse or not, if you fire electromagnetic energy at a target a good counter would be a sensor to pick up that energy and map the trajectory. Just as they have acoustic microphone systems that make pretty accurate estimates on firing positions, I'm pretty sure using high-end equipment like this will leave some type of footprint for someone to pick up on, especially a country that is of comparable technological capabilities.

My observation:

While technology sure does add to the options one may have in performing one's duty, it should never be a replacement for operator skill. Stuff like this starts to become like more moving parts in a firearm, and if one of those parts breaks or is impaired, it will be devastating to that weapons ability to put a round down range.

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Lance June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Looks awsome like everything abut it…… except the price. I bet $5000+ for one. Cant stop likeing the classics….. Leopold anyone??

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Pat June 21, 2012 at 6:33 am

If you're a lousy shot, technology won't compensate.

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Larry June 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

Leopold?? Leupold is pronounced "lou-pold". Common mistake. Irritates the crap out of the company.

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nraddin June 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

I see where you are coming from with the idea that technology will destroy the manual capability of the shooters, but I think it's inevitable. We use technology to replace manual labor all over the battlefield from auto-loading weapons, to ballistic computers for Arty, to trucks and planes. At one point one one was sure the Helo was a good idea, today we can't imagine being without it. Once the tech is a little more mature, it will be stable, safe and reliable as just about any other thing we put on the battlefield.

Also, I don't think it would be wise to send out snipers as loan units (for the most part) you will still want a team if for no other reason than the extra set of eyes to scan or watch your back. It's just that they don't have to do the job of ballistic computer anymore so they can use that time to do other things.

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nraddin June 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

Your right 100% on the EM output obviously. There are other ways to do this that are getting better and better. Stereoscopic for example uses nothing but reflect EM (Like your eyes) to judge distance. This doesn't work as well at long distances but it's getting better and better. I would not be surprised to see passive range finders on the battlefield very soon.

As to skill. I agree that it would be nice to maintain all the old stills while replacing them with technology but it's unrealistic to actually accomplish. Great examples of that are horseback riding (We don't expect Cav to know now), Manually Calculating a ballistic arc for a naval gun, Mule Train driving (Infantry requirement until around WWI), Morris code, semaphore, etc. etc. These skills are skill maintains by a select few, but are not longer general and required knowledge of most. Scopes and the electronics that are working their way into them will seem quaint in just a few years and we will wonder how we got along without them (Like Cell phones, cars, radios, cartage fed rifles, and sliced bread)….

Thanks for the well thought out response BTW. So many places today you just don't get that., so thanks….:)

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Broadsword June 30, 2012 at 9:05 am

I am reminded of a Star Trek episode, the movie “Search For Spock”, when the good guys stole the Enterprise to go rescue Spock. In pursuit was the new ‘Galaxy’ class starship, which Mr. Scott had spent several days on, ‘examining’ their systems. As the ‘Enterprise’ bolted for free space, the Poppycock commander of the other ship was in pursuit; the order was given “Go to Trans-Warp Drive”. The scene next is an outside view of this ship chugging and sputtering to a complete HALT. Switch back to ‘Enterprise’, where Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott drops a few small gadgets into Dr. McCoys’ hand, while saying “Here you go Doctor. Souvenirs from one surgeon to another. The more they over-think the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”

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Militaristic June 30, 2012 at 9:47 am

put the unit on a remote tripod and use a data cable or some other link to send the scope adjustments to the sniper, that way a counter sniper wont get your exact position untill after the round is fired and not as soon as you "laze" the target. it would also let a sniper use equipment he has trained on. put one on a rooftop or up in a tree and use a remote handheld device to aim it and gather info, if its EM is detected you loose a device not a sniper team, it might be able to feed info to more than 1 sniper team and let multiple teams cornidated hits at the same time from different positions all sharing same target data…

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docyoung July 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Yeah put them puppies in a tree or on a post away from the snipers. Then data feed the info to the and let them make their own corrections for where they are relevent to the scope and bang away. Poof, there goes the target and no counterfire from the enemy to the sniper(s)!!!!!!!

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oscar d March 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNU2p-FAikM
I just want to share this to you guys. Old School marksmanship and nerves of steel

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Christopher Brosnaha March 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Any reader who is a fan of Stephen Hunter or Jack Coughlin will recognize either Hunter's I-Sniper or Coughlin's Excalibur sniper system in this…separate components have been available to precision shooters for years – this system metely combines all these systems into one small package..I sick of hearing the ignoramus, cretinous press wring its collective hands over the 'deadly new weapon' – BULLCRAP!!! We "gun-guys" KNOW that mere possession of a high dollar rifle and the high dollar impedimenta does not a sniper make' – take the late Chris Kyle or Carlos N Hathcock Jr…patience, skill, constant practice, training & dedication, and a Judeo-Christian sense of right vs wrong is what made them the people that they were – any twink with a cheap .22 skulking around a schoolyard, Senior housing unit or house of worship is NOT a sniper – he/she is a murderer, plain & simple…The MSM needs to get its collective heads out of their collective rectal cavities!!!

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RICHARD ZIMMERMANN March 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm

JUST IMAGINE WHAT WHITE FEATHER DID WITHOUT ONE OF THESE ,SEMPER-FI

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Desiree February 18, 2014 at 9:09 am

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just
posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative
to read?

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