Accuracy by volume has been a long-standing sarcastic remark towards the shooting style of machine gunners. However, that is about to change with the new Family of Weapons Sight – Crew Served (FWS-CS) machine gun optic that provides Soldiers increased accuracy and lethality by leveraging the most up to date weapon sight and wireless technology. Project Manager Soldier Maneuver and Precision Targeting (PM SMPT) held a Soldier Touchpoint (STP) with Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Benning.
“With a program as complex as ours, we need feedback early and often in order to ensure we get our machine gunners what they need in the final product,” said Maj. John Nikiforakis, PM SMPT Assistant Product Manager. “Mounted machine gunners have the difficult task of providing guidance to the crew, ensuring protection of their vehicle, and most importantly providing lethal effects on the enemy. The FWS-CS ensures that the gunners in turrets have the best optic for all battlefield conditions and one that mounts to any crew served weapon in the Army’s inventory.”
The FWS-CS is the first machine gun optic to utilize the ‘disturbed reticle’ technology. Along with calculating the range to the target, the ballistic calculator can adjust for air density and works with any of the Army’s current machine gun systems. In addition to the disturbed reticle, the FWS-CS can be used day or night and in limited visibility conditions which provide Soldiers greater lethality on the battlefield. The FWS-CS utilizes long-wave thermal technology and a high-definition digital day display that provides users with an extremely detailed field of view and many options for customizing the reticle and display.
In addition to its stand-alone performance, the FWS-CS is one of many programs within PM SMPT to utilize wireless technology. The Intra-Soldier Wireless (ISW) system allows the FWS-CS to connect to a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD). The effort to integrate capabilities and drive weight reductions are part of Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier’s vision of treating the Soldier as an integrated combat platform. The first Soldiers will see the FWS-CS in FY23. U.S. Army still have a few modifications to make and several more tests to meet the demands of gunners.