Russian robotic thermal sight
What’s that?!

Clickbait? Not really.
I dare to say Russians always had the most sophisticated optical systems, with the robotic sights being the latest addition. People always nagged, that they will never be put into service, too expensive, yada, yada, yada .
Well, things changed: They are being deployed in Syria right now.
Interested in the specifics, or have you never head about robotic sights at all?


For those of you that never heard the term robotic sights before, it is the nomenclature Russian use to refer to (mostly thermal) sight systems, that incorporate a ballistic computer, GPS, a couple of other sensors and most importantly (can) also have control over the trigger group.
The easiest way is probably to just watch the manufactures (IWT) video, which is fortunately in English:

A similar (however less capable), but well known system in the western world would be Trackingpoint. Amusingly they claim to be the first that one to have developed such a system, when in reality the Russian ones predate it quite a bit and always surpassed it.

With a price tag staring at 10.000€ those robotic sights are not exactly cheap, but for military application still feasible.
Yet up to this day it was nothing more then rumors, as there was no solid proof that the Russian Army had actually introduced those sights.

That changed when an officer of Russian special operations forces was killed near Palmyra while carrying out a special task to direct Russian airstrikes at Islamic State group targets. The officer was carrying out a combat task in Palmyra area for a week, identifying crucial IS targets and passing exact coordinates for strikes with Russian planes.
Most likely he was part of the GRU, as several posts on social media suggest. As a result the Islamic State got hold of his equipment and posted the photo below in various propaganda channels:

It appears that among other equipment the officer was using an IWT 337 ‘Cyclop robotic sight with a doctor-sight-type Reddot attached to it.

So one could conclude that at least Russian SF are in fact equipped with such technology.

Another interesting part of his kit, although a bit off topic but now less interesting, is the POM-3 ‘Medalonmulti-functional mine:

It basically is a anti-personal mine, that is deployed by simply throwing it like a grenade. Once it hits the ground it automatically flips itself in the upright position and goes hot. Depending on the version it uses tripwires, motion sensors, vibration sensors…
To make sure it doesn’t cause civilian casualties it a also equipped with a self destruction timer.
For the Syrian scenario I imagine it being a very valuable piece of kit. Forward air controls could easily get outnumbered, like Alexander Prokhorenko, and those mines for sure facilitate a retreat.

23.09.2018 – by netsplit for Gruppa L

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What’s that?!

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