For those that are not familiar with the ELCAN model that the LDS is based on, you can read my detail write-up of the ELCAN Specter OS 4X here. The last component of the L85 bullpup that needs to be update is its SUSAT optic. Over two years ago the British military have chosen the ELCAN Lightweight Day Sight (LDS), which is based on the ELCAN Specter OS 4X model, as the replacement of the SUSAT sight. Although the UK MoD have been buying the Trijicon ACOG 4×32 sight as the substitute of the obsolescent SUSAT sight for some of their deployed troops in Afghanistan, but that’s regarded as a temporary solution. Many assumed that the combat proven Trijicon ACOG 4×32 would be the logical successor of the SUSAT on the L85 bullpup.
The announcement of the selection of the Canadian-made fixed 4-power ELCAN within one year of its introduction by the UK MoD was a surprise. It’s interesting that the British military didn’t consider the switchable-magnification ELCAN Specter DR 1x/4x model, which is in service with the U.S. Special Forces as the SU-230/PVS-C. I can only presume the reason probably has to do with the 1x/4x model’s heavier weight, 50% higher cost and the optical compromise due to using a complex lens mechanism.
Noted that a mini red-dot sight was added to the ELCAN sight as part of the LDS package. The piggyback mounted mini red-dot is the homegrown Shield CQB, which 20,000 have been acquired by the British Army. ELCAN also developed a similar size mini red-dot sight know as the ELCAN MRDS for their Specter line of small arms optic. From the look of the objective lens and the relocated battery compartment, the ELCAN MRDS seems to be based on the Shield design but with a more robust housing.
I’m interested to see if Armament Technology, the distributor and service provider of ELCAN, would make the ELCAN LDS and the ELCAN MRDS available to the commercial market in the near future.