Paratroopers from the US Army's Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB), 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment have started testing a new joint effects targeting system (JETS).
According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), the JETS is a modular, portable, day / night, all-weather target observation, location and designation system.
The new artillery targeting system comprises a handheld target location module, a laser marker module and a precision azimuth vertical angle module, all of which are mounted on a tripod.
Tests are being conducted at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, US, to determine the system’s suitability, reliability and survivability when conducting static line airborne operations.
US Army Airborne testing director colonel Brad Mock said: "Operational testing provides soldiers the opportunity to use, work with and offer up their suggestions on pieces of equipment that can impact the development of systems that future soldiers will use in combat.”
Data collected from the testing will be used by the army to make procurement decisions on JETS.
The testing is expected to continue into 2018 at several military installations.
Following the trials, JETS could be assigned to army light and airborne artillery forces across the world.
The HHB troopers underwent new equipment training (NET) from the Program Manager Soldier Precision Targeting Devices office for four days.
After NET validation, ‘Black Falcon’ army paratroopers tested JETS by performing seven combat equipment jumps and several door bundle drops to ensure that the system still functions after it reaches the ground.
After completing each airborne operation, forward observers assembled the equipment, and began identifying and designating enemy personnel and vehicle targets arranged on rolling terrain up to 2,500m away in day and night conditions, the DoD stated.
Image: US Army soldiers perform a combat equipment airborne jump with the new JETS. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.