It is not the first time that AIM Infrarot-Module, the German specialist in infrared detectors, thermal sights and Stirling cooling engines, exploits the Future Forces Forum to exhibit new systems that have not yet reached the level of prototype, being rather at technology demonstrator stage. It was in Prague that we first saw the Short Wave InfraRed (SWIR) sight, which is about to become a fully fledged product after a lengthy development process, that EDR On-Line understood being carried out hand in hand with German Special Forces. The 2022 edition of the FFF made no exception, as a new Medium Wave sight for long range uses, to be fitted to sniper rifles or machine guns, was announced.
Known as HuntIR Mk4, it is based on a new Medium Wave InfraRed 640 x 512 matrix with a 10 μm pitch, working in the 3.4 – 5 μm band. It will allow identifying a NATO tank target at over 2.8 km, while against a human target detection is declared at over 6.8 km, recognition at more than 2.5 km, while it will be possible to understand if a man holds a rifle at over 500 meters, a key capability in asymmetric theatres.
A clip-on manual-focusing device, the Huntir Mk4 will have a x1 magnification and a 2° field of view, the optic having a 4.6 f number. It is powered by two 4-AA battery packs allowing hot swap, therefore after three hours the operator shifts to the second pack wile the first one can be extracted, batteries being replaced within the next three hours to ensure further continuous autonomy. The sight can also be linked to an external power source when available.
Being based on a cooled sensor, the HuntIR Mk4 needs some time to become operational, however this is reduced to only 150 seconds, while when put on standby it takes less than two seconds to have it ready for use. The new clip-on MWIR sight will weigh less than 1.6 kg, and will be 230 mm long, 110 mm wide and 100 mm high.
It can be installed on a MIL STD 1913 Picatinny or STANAG 4694 rail, can be fitted with a wired remote control; a digital video output is available, as well as a Bluetooth connection. The latter has been fitted to allow connection with an external laser rangefinder. According to information obtained by EDR On-Line at the Prague event, AIM Infrarot-Module is working on a MWIR sensor with a 7.5 μm pitch; this should be developed in a 1024 x 768 matrix, considerably increasing the system capability. However, according to AIM, the main hurdle is the computing capability to be inserted in the sight, considering the considerable increase in the number of pixels. The same case used for the HuntIR Mk 4 is being used for the aforementioned SWIR sight, which obviously uses different optics; first tests for this are expected by year-end, and this should be the latest iteration before production, EDR On-Line understood
Photos by P. Valpolini