By Paolo Valpolini
At the World Defense Show in Riyadh it was mounted on a 7.62 mm machine gun, which made it look pretty cumbersome and heavy. However the SURI – III, the latest development from EOST of South Korea, was specifically designed for bigger weapons, such as 12.7 mm machine guns or 40 mm automatic grenade launchers, usually used in static positions or on board vehicles, where the weight of the sight, better say the fire control system, would have a very limited impact.
A full digital system, the SURI – III night channel is based on au uncooled microbolometer with a 640 x 480 array and a 17 µm pitch providing the image in the long-wave infrared band (LWIR), while the day channel is based on a 1,280×960 CMOS sensor that provides an HD quality colour image. The picture is presented to the shooter on a large 1920×1080 Full HD display, which is fitted with a sunshade to improve visibility. The laser rangefinder integrated into the SURI – III allows distance measuring, the data being shown on the display but also fed into the ballistic computer that moves the reticle providing the shooter with a corrected aiming solution. As option, the operator can choose a goggle display, which can be connected to the SURI – III either by cable or wirelessly. A remote control for the rangefinder is available, which allows the shooter to keep his hands on the weapon system while operating the LRF.
Beside the video solution, the SURI – III is also fitted with a direct view option in the form of a big red dot sight; the overall view for the shooter is 70 MOA, while the red dot covers 3 MOA.
Optimised for the Browning M2 .50 machine gun and the Mk19 40 mm AGL, the most widely used infantry direct support weapons, it is however quite obvious that EOST will adapt its product to other similar weapons on customer’s request, first of all those in service with the Republic of Korea Army.
Currently the SURI – III is awaiting to go through field-testing.
At the Riyadh exhibition EOST also brought its new Raptor 16B binocular night vision goggle, the company claiming that at 395 grams without battery it is the lighter binocular BVG on the market. It is fitted with Photonis 4G auto-gating image intensification tubes of the latest generation. Powered by a AA 1EA 1.5 V battery, either alkaline or lithium, the Raptor 16B can be fitted with n external battery pack located on the back of the helmet; not only this considerably increases operational endurance, but it also allows balancing the weight thus reducing fatigue. Battery consumption is also reduced thanks to the auto-shutdown system activated by a motion system, flip-up and flip-away positions automatically switching off the tubes, which are switched on once again when the NVG returns into working position. A small number of Raptor 16B has been recently sod to the US SOCOM for testing.
Photos by P. Valpolini