Friday, November 09, 2018

The End of Spray and Pray is Nigh

Precision is reaching even untrained gunmen:

In 2017 the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) was offered a new computerized rifle scope; SMASH from an Israeli firm (Smart Shooter). The military tried it out with the infantry and special operations troops and at the end of the year approved it for use. In early 2018 SMASH was offered to foreign militaries (and police organizations). There were several major innovations in SMASH compared to the computerized sights pioneered by American firm TrackingPoint. SMASH could be mounted and used on any weapon with a M1913 Picatinny rail (that allows the sight to work with the trigger). The sight puts a visual block around potential targets the user is aiming at. When the user has the intended target in the block a button is pushed and that target is locked and a precise firing angle calculated and shot fired unless the user intervenes.

I mentioned this scope last month.

Also last month I warned about the effects of this development in a Naval Institute blog post. I called such weapons "dumb but controlled" (DBC):

The May 1972 “Battle of the Bridges” in which U.S. aircraft destroyed targets that had long resisted dumb munitions announced the arrival of a new precision method of waging war that promised “If you can see it, you can hit it. If you can hit it, you can destroy it.” That was described as the first phase of a revolutionary change in the nature of warfare.[22] That battle won with expensive but effective “remotely piloted munitions” fired from expensive planes by expensively and extensively trained air crews has filtered down to the level of rifles carried by even ill-trained individual fighters. Will U.S. Marines be prepared to win on such a battlefield of tomorrow?

I even featured it in a failed science fiction article on future warfare for the Army Mad Scientist initiative.

We need to shift our focus from intensive marksmanship training as our rifles will be able to do what once needed intensive training and time on the range. When enemy militias or terrorists have rifles that make them marksmen, we will need better training, leadership, tactics, and equipment to maintain our close combat edge.

Easy to use firearms that even lowly peasants could quickly learn to fire dethroned knights who relied on extensive training in blade combat and equipment others couldn't afford. How will our infantry adapt to this new technology in enemy hands?