Snipers remain a major threat for infantry soldiers. High-powered rifles with suitable optics can inflict heavy casualties.
In the recent fighting in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, the IDF had to take various steps to avoid sniper fire. One way of dealing with the problem was to quickly spot the sniper’s location and apply counter fire to neutralize him.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has developed a system that helps ground forces locate enemy snipers.
SpotLite-P is an electro-optical system that detects, locates, investigates, and neutralizes the sources of small-arms fire. The system is designed for use at the platoon, company and battalion levels; for patrols and reconnaissance units, as well as sniper forces; for stationary deployment or troops on the move. It was originally built in conjunction with an “operational client” to assist forces in dealing with enemy spotting, and with fast and efficient management of friendly fire, in order to neutralize a target without causing collateral damage.
SpotLite-P provides high-level precision fire by investigating and relaying the targets to friendly sniper forces and other elements, thus swiftly closing the sensor-to-shooter circuit at the tactical level.
The system is the product of a joint project sponsored by Israel’s Defense Ministry and the US Army, while Rafael’s background in image processing played an invaluable role in the project’s development.
The lightweight SpotLite-P requires minimal power and can be carried by two soldiers.
The Electro-Optical Unit (EOU) is based on a FLIR thermography camera (field of view: 48 x 24), a CCD (charge-coupled devices) camera with continuous zoom, LASER range finder and pointer, GPS, light tripod, PTU (pan and tilt unit), and a data processing unit.
Rafael maintains that the system spots fire sources at 1000+ meters with high-detection probability and low-level false alarms. SpotLite- P is capable of locating, recording, and taking out several targets simultaneously.
The Commander Unit includes a userfriendly computer display, especially adapted to the operational client’s needs and enables mission planning by defining sector limits among snipers. When a fire source is spotted, the system automatically assigns the target to the sniper responsible for the sector and not to other snipers.
Rafael claims that the system isolates irrelevant areas, focusing exclusively on a specific target area (quarter, street, house, window), while ignoring other live-fire from outside the predetermined boundaries. SpotLite-P can be preset to scan suspicious points then automatically move to the next point at a time prescheduled by the commander.