The US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF) has evaluated the capabilities of a developmental handheld precision targeting device (HHPTD) during testing at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico, US.
Carried out in collaboration with the PEO Soldier and Project Management Office PM Soldier Sensors and Lasers, the testing included validation of a variety of technologies in varying terrain and temperatures.
The observations and data were recorded by the soldiers to help set specific, detailed development goals and objectives for the programme.
US Special Operations Command acquisition officer captain Dave Rolen said: "This terrain provides an outstanding environment to test the HHPTD under conditions and atmospheres very much like where we intend to deploy the system.
"We can see the proper ranges and the proper elevations and elevation changes from a high point of view down to a low point of view, or up to the side of the canyons and mountains up here."
WSMR, with its mountainous terrain and wide ranging temperatures, is an ideal testing location for HHPTD, which requires changes in elevation or blocking terrain to accurately gauge the technology's capabilities.
HHPTD is a special targeting system designed to enable soldiers to engage targets with precision munitions, while providing digital connectivity to related units.
Specifically, HHPTD is a joint US Army, Air Force and Marine Corps programme aimed at developing and fielding a one-man portable precision targeting system capable of reducing friendly fire and collateral damage. This can be done by improving the ability to differentiate between enemy and non-combatants who are operating in very close proximity to each other.
The system is expected to serve as an interim capability for soldiers until the development of a larger joint-effects targeting system (JETS).
Image: A US soldier uses a developmental handheld precision targeting device during testing at White Sands Missile Range, US. Photo: courtesy of John Andrew Hamilton, ATEC.