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Counter Sniper Program

Counter Sniper Program

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Published by oblivionboyj

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Published by: oblivionboyj on Aug 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Special Operations.Com
U.S. Army Joint Counter Sniper Program 
 The Joint Counter Sniper Program was initiated as an Army project by TRADOCCommander, Gen Franks in 1993. The issue that was given to DBBL by him was "Whereare we in Counter Sniper?" This question materialized because of the sniping that wasoccurring in Bosnia. The project was kicked off with a joint, interagency conferenceto determine where we were and to begin to define a distinct requirement. 
 By the middle of 1994 a draft requirement was formulated and some prototypetechnologies were demonstrated at Ft Benning and at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.DARPA published a BAA in late 1994 and by 1995 we had half a dozen companiesunder contract to build prototypes. DBBL had contracted through ARDEC under theACT II Program to look at the possibility of doing a soldier mounted system. By the beginning of 1996 requirements were refined and took on a form that met theneed of all participants. There are three basic thrusts for counter sniper, a fixed sitesystem, a vehicle-mounted system, and a dismounted soldier system. 
 In 1996 a Mini-ACTD for Counter Sniper was approved and partially funded by OSD.The ACTD started May 1996 and the deliverables arrived at DBBL during the latter
part of August 1996. A total of ten systems were delivered to DBBL: One fixed siteacoustic system called Secures/Tagit. (This system was used in the Ft BenningOlympic Village), four each Sniper team IR systems called VIPER, and five each fixedsite acoustic systems called Bullet Ears. The program was supported by the ArmyResearch Lab (ARL), the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the Defense AdvancedResearch Projects Agency (DARPA), the Dismounted Battlespace Battle Lab (DBBL),and the U.S. Marine Corps. The final report was completed in December 1997. Theuser participants to date are: Army, USMC, AF, NIJ. Various allies are following theprogram as associate participants and include Canada, UK, and France.
 Currently, DARPA has a soldier helmet program under contract that is nearcompletion. DBBL is coordinating with DARPA to use the deliverables in a ConceptExperimentation Program initiative during Sep 99. In addition, the Army Research Labhas a contract for development of a vehicle-mounted system with DBBL acting as theuser representative. This system should be available for experimentation in Apr 99.ARL is in the process of procuring the French system, PILAR. These system should beavailable for experimentation during Mar 99. 
 Mr. Chris Kearns, commercial: (706)545-6391, DSN: 835-6391, emailkearnsc@benning.army.mil. OR Mr. Tony Mason, commercial: (706)545-5257, DSN: 835-5257, emailmasonr2@benning.army.mil. 
Sniper Stoppers
Story by Heike Hasenauer John Eicke, chief of the Acoustics and Special Sensors Branch at the Army ResearchLaboratory in Adelphi, Md., has "talked to a lot of guys who have been shot at," he said. "Theyall remember one thing: 'You can't believe your ears,'" Eicke said."You hear the supersonic boom when the bullet leaves the barrel, and there's an acousticshock wave that moves in front of the bullet," he said. The sound of a bullet as it zips throughspace could come from anywhere.ARL, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Washington, D.C., and the FortBenning, Ga.-based Dismounted Battlespace Battle Lab are working with contractors andrepresentatives from industry and academia to provide soldiers with a sniper-detectionsystem that will eliminate potentially deadly guesswork."We want to have a system ready to deploy to Bosnia if commanders in Europe request it,"said Christopher Kearns, DBBL's countersniper representative. "We know soldiers needcounter-sniper technology," Kearns said. "What we don't know is what technology or technologies will provide the best detection system.""We're trying to come up with acoustic and infrared sensors that will accurately tell wherethe shot came from," said Eicke. Such a countersniper system -- used to pinpoint thelocations of snipers who take pot shots at soldiers deployed in operations other than war,where there isn't a lot of simultaneous gunfire -- could be fielded to Bosnia as early as thissummer, according to Eicke.The snipers soldiers have most often encountered in places like Somalia and Haiti areamateurs, Eicke said. They're not the special forces-caliber snipers who kill with one shot."Random sniper incidents were common in Somalia," said Kearns. "And there's potential for incidents to occur in Bosnia again; there were nine sniping incidents in a week in Bosniawhen NATO Implementation Force troops first arrived. "If such incidents occur again, theproblem won't be how frequently they occur. The problem will be the constant effect even onesuch incident will have on the entire force. It's a psychological thing," Kearns said.To date, about a half-dozen contractors have developed countersniper technologies thatcan be demonstrated, said Eicke, who, with other ARL engineers, evaluates technologiesproposed by DARPA contractors and other interested parties. For the near-term, the Armyhas purchased five of the acoustic-based countersniper systems for delivery to the DBBL,where officials will determine the best method of introducing them into field units, Eicke said.One promising system uses a small, notebook-size computer display for the dismountedsoldier or a miniature, dashboard-mounted display for vehicles. Both indicate the origin of asniper's bullet with a flashing arrow or red dot on a clock-face image on-screen. The systemincludes a collapsible pole and microphones that, in the vehicle system, are attached to each

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