The United States Marine Corps has decided to purchase Northrop Grumman’s all-in-one Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS) which contains a suite of day/night targeting sensors in a 10lb package ( 4.5 kg) and can operate in GPS mode. prohibited areas.
Portable targeting systems are essential for modern soldiers, who often must act as forward deployed scouts for artillery or must be able to call in heavy fire or air combat support. The problem is that no system can work under all likely conditions. The other is that these systems are bulky and heavy, and combining several of them together can result in a gadget that’s just one more thing to carry around. Worse still, soldiers are often still required to determine targeting coordinates and transmit them to base via field radio.
To address these concerns, Northrop Grumman’s NGHTS combines four different sensors in a single package that is lighter and 60% smaller than previous devices. The NGHTS unit, which incorporates many parts that can be 3D printed in the field, combines the Marines Handheld Light Designator Range Finder, Joint Terminal Attack Controller Laser Target Designator, Controller Laser Target Designator enhanced end-drive and thermal laser imager systems.
NGHTS is built around a color daytime imager, a low light imager and a thermal imager to capture images in complete darkness. There is also a high precision GPS receiver and a celestial compass which provides azimuth readings. That is, the angle between the north or south point of the horizon and the location where an imaginary circle passing through the location intersects the horizon. The clever part is that NGHTS is designed to locate the sun or stars on power up so it can calculate azimuth to within a fraction of a degree.
The sensors allow NGHTS to operate day, night and dusk, which often confuses targeting devices. It can also handle salt spray and temperature extremes, as well as vibration and the effects of elevation changes. It can directly transmit targeting coordinates to artillery units, missile batteries, aircraft or ships at sea, or it can illuminate a target with a laser beam to guide an attack at longer ranges than previous systems. .
“NGHTS’ cutting-edge technology will dramatically improve warfighters’ ability to safely carry out their missions,” said Bob Gough, vice president of navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “NGHTS is lightweight and combines four systems in one portable device with state-of-the-art imaging, targeting, telemetry, designation, and networking. keeps them connected while adding precision and security to their missions.”
Source: Northrop Grumman