Seeking laser designators

The French DGA Procurement Agency is seeking to acquire red-point target acqusition systems for the future HK 416F assault rifle, and a new generation of lightweight laser designators.

The French Special Forces already use CILAS laser designators

According to a notice published on 13 April by the Official Bulletin of Public Procurement Announcements (BOAMP), a first contract “concerns the acquisition of approximately 120,000 sighting aids for the HK 416F“. This quantity, which may evolve according to need, seems to confirm that the project to possibly recycle the red point Aimpoint COMP system hitherto mounted on the French forces’ FAMAS rifle has been abandoned.

The invitation to tender remains open until 18 May for a market notification planned for the 4th quarter of 2017. The selected manufacturers will provide a sample of four systems to undergo three months of intensive evaluations.

Still in the area of ​​target acquisition, the DGA has also formalised a project for the “qualification and acquisition of light-weight, long-range Laser Designators (DL-NG)“, says the BOAMP. According to the DGA, the requirement is for 70 systems, whose mass must be less than or equal to 4 kg and whose laser beam has an energy greater than or equal to 80 millijoules (equivalent to less than one-tenth of the energy necessary on Earth to lift an apple one metre).

The CILAS DHY 307 laser designator

Two industrial players may compete for this contract: CILAS (Industrial lasers company) and Safran Electronics & Defense (formerly Sagem). The first can rely on 20 years of experience and on its DHY307 LW laser designator already acquired by the French special forces. The DHY 307 LW has a designation range of up to 10 km, apart from the fact that it meets the criteria laid down by the DGA to the letter. The CILAS know-how can also be easily integrated into the JIM LR multifunction infrared binoculars produced by Safran and deployed since 2011 within the combat units of the French Army.