ARLINGTON, Va., 12 July 2011. Combat optics designers at the Lockheed Martin Corp. Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2) segment in Akron, Ohio, are moving to the next phase of developing an advanced rifle sight designed to make every U.S. Army and Marine Corps infantryman a sharpshooter by enhancing the warfighter's ability to hit targets at ranges from 3 to 2,000 feet.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are ready to award Lockheed Martin a phase-2 contract for the Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic (DInGO) program to build an optical scope attachment for standard combat rifles like the M16 and M4 with automatically reconfigurable field-of-view and magnification based on how far the shooter is from the target.
DARPA issued a justification-and-approval notice last week for Lockheed Martin to begin the second phase of the DInGO program, which calls for Lockheed Martin to demonstrate a brass board prototype DInGO rifle sight that could replace Aimpoint and ACOG scopes on existing M4 and M16 infantry combat rifles.
In phase 2 of the DInGO program, Lockheed Martin engineers also will demonstrate hands-free operation of the advanced rifle scope with minimal modifications to standard M4 and M16 infantry rifles. A DARPA contract to Lockheed Martin has yet to be negotiated. In the first phase of the DInGO program in May 2010, Lockheed Martin received a contract from the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego, on behalf of DARPA.
If Lockheed Martin in the future moves to a third phase of the DInGO program, company engineers will demonstrate a fieldable prototype that will be retrofit-compatible with existing combat rifles, and rugged enough to withstand the shock and vibration typical in infantry combat operations.
The DInGO program uses the latest developments in reconfigurable lenses, low-power large pixel-count digital imagers, foveated focal plane arrays, and low-power displays to develop an advanced rifle sight that enables infantrymen to keep both hands on their weapons as they use the rifle sight in close-quarters battle, as well as engaging moving targets a quarter mile away.
The DInGO rifle sights will compensate for bullet drop and moderate winds to enhance the shooter's accuracy at long ranges. Lockheed Martin is building the DInGO rifle sights with resolution sufficient to recognize targets at ranges as far away as 1,000 feet between dawn and dusk.
The DInGO rifle sights will operate for as long as eight hours continuous operation -- or seven-day limited operation -- with two AA batteries. DARPA wants Lockheed Martin eventually to develop a deployable rifle sight that costs less than $600 in quantities of 50,000.
For questions or concerns about the DInGO program and Lockheed Martin's phase-2 involvement, contact DARPA's Patricia Matyskiela by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.