The US Marine Corps (USMC) Systems Command has placed orders with Jenoptik Defense to develop an observation and target acquisition system, known as the common laser range finder integrated capability (CLRF IC).

Under the $1.3m contract, Jenoptik will carry out development and testing work on the new system over a 19-month period to help meet an urgent requirement of the US armed forces.

Featuring day and night capabilities, the company will design a system that will integrate a wide range of mission functions into one light-weight hand-held system, while replacing multiple pieces of currently fielded CLRF equipment.

"Jenoptik will design a system that will integrate a wide range of mission functions into one light-weight hand-held system."

Intended to be carried by just one infantryman, the new system will help deployed marines accurately locate targets even during hostile weather conditions.

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The system, weighing less than 3lb, will provide capabilities such as improved integrated night-vision, internal selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) GPS, and non-magnetic azimuth.

Jenoptik will compete with three other companies in the development of a CLRF IC for the Marine Corps, in Raytheon, Elbit Systems of America, and BAE Systems OASYS.

The new CLRF IC will be developed based on Jenoptik-built optronic reconnaissance system NYXUS BIRD, which features many of the required parameters.

As a lightest multi-functional day and night observation device, NYXUS BIRD integrates Jenoptik’s traditional crystal-clear glass optics, a thermal imaging device, a range finder, GPS and a digital compass.

Weighing less than 1.5kg, the compact handheld device provides the user with a high quality direct-view channel, including seven-times magnification and an infrared channel for observation during very low-visibility conditions.