Sharp-shooters’ Strike

When shooting from a helicopter the French Army’s special forces have not in the past been able to use the PGM rifle that can take out a car’s tyres or a go-fast engine up to 2.2kms away from the sharp-shooter, because the rifle weighs some 20kg.

The Strike has been deployed on the French Army's Gazelle helicopters. (photo credit: Christina Mackenzie)

The Strike has been deployed on the French Army’s Gazelle helicopters. (photo credit: Christina Mackenzie)

Given the French Army’s current operations against insurgents in central Africa it was an urgent operational requirement to develop a system that could enable the PGM to be used from a helicopter. And it was a 10-person SME, Cose, that came up with the solution in the form of Strike.

Consisting of a platform that is fixed to the floor of the helicopter just inside the door, two pneumatic, articulated arms that compensate for the weight of the weapon and filter out the helicopter’s vibrations, and various interfaces for attaching the rifles, Strike has been in operation aboard the French Army Gazelles for about 18-months and was being shown for the first time at the Eurosatory land and airland defence show in Paris this week.

Cose told FOB that “we are in the process of selling this system on the export market”, but would not reveal any more details.

Another advantage of Strike is that the sharp-shooter can operate the system on his own. The usual doctrine in the past has been for the person with the rifle to have a colleague’s legs wrapped around his waist to ensure his stability.