L-3 Communications to pay out $25.6 million

eotech-xps3

Well that escalated! Hot on the heels of the U.S. Government suing EOTech for the alleged fraud in their sights, specifically in claiming that their sights could work in certain cold weather and humid environments, then trying to cover up this error in an upgrade, the parent company of EOTech, L-3 Communications, based out of New York has agreed to a payout of $25.6 million to the Government. We literally just reported on the lawsuit going through the the courts, and then this agreement has come up. It could be the end of the matter, or this could drag on with both sides negotiating some more. Along with the FBI’s HRT team switching over to Aimpoint sights, things don’t seem to be looking hot for EOTech right now on the federal government front. If you’re interested in reading the full court reading of the case, Soldier Systems has a good write up of the legal discussions.

What will that mean for civilian or LE EOTech users? The problems are being found in extreme weather circumstances, so if you use your EOTech sights for range use, self defense, and hunting, unless your house is in the Arctic circle, or the jungles of Philippines, I don’t see your sights failing anytime soon. Regardless, maybe the responsible thing for EOTech to do, is to publish lists of serial numbers of their sights with the defect so customers can just be aware of what they have.

L-3 Communications Corps, a New York company that holds numerous contracts with the federal government,ย agreed to settle the matter the same day the civil complaint was filed in a Manhattan federal court, attorneys with the Justice Department told Guns.com.

Since 2004, L-3โ€™s EOTech sold holographic weapons sights that they knew were defective to the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the lawsuit says. EOTech was paid tens of millions of dollars in government contracts.

The defects caused the optics to fail in both cold and humid environments (effective in temperatures -40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), but EOTech claimed it tested the sights in accordance with military standards.

The lawsuit says in sub-zero temperatures the defect distorts the aiming dot within the optic by more than 20 inches fore every 100 yards.

The lawsuit adds that EOTech waited to disclose the problem until 2013, when the company thought they had a solution and then pitched the fix as an upgrade.

A judge is currently reviewing the settlement agreement. More information will be available once the settlement is approved.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • TCBA_Joe

    Because a car trunk has never gotten over 140 in the south or the summer. Additionally, the low temp shift starts at 32 which is not “arctic”. The temp extremes are used to dismiss the severity of the issues as minor without consideration of the actual facts.

    • David Silverstein

      Very true. Even so, nearly every manufacturer of products “exaggerates” on the capabilities of their products. This kind of action causes speculation whether it is even worthwhile to deal in government contracts. The government buys a product, sues the company that makes it for massive damages, refuses any future contracts for that company, and then keeps the product, presumably to sell. At this point, it’s hard to say whether EOtech can survive that kind of thing.

      • CrankyFool

        Can you point to government lawsuits of Colt, FN, and Beretta?

        Frankly, the reputation of the government is not exactly that it screws its vendors, but quite the other way around.

        • yvette99

          A lawsuit is the nuclear option. There could have been any number of quality or performance or contract problems with those companies that were resolved at the program office or DCMA level and never became public. And the government screws companies all the time by “reinterpreting” the contract terms or schedule or performance or test requirements.

          • Precious Roy

            The fact that they learned they were deceived by L3 for more than a decade showed the government that they were exceeding governmental backstabbing norms. But as you said, it is the nuclear option. Other vendors have done worse and not been exposed in this way. Leads one to believe maybe Aimpoint caught wind of this through some govt employee who will retire and have a nice cushy new career at a certain goto optics company.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            Go back and research what company ran into government contract issues because they marked their reflex sights with reference to biblical scripture… This whole thing stinks of Obama’s feces stains…

  • Jack Morris

    I have never understood why EOtech was ever a consideration with how short the battery life is. I chose Aimpoint purely based on the amazing battery life, alone. I put it on a rifle used for home defense and leave the thing on all the time. I couldn’t imagine having to turn my sight on and off every time. Seems counterintuitive, especially for a government fighting weapon.

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      And everyone who have ever had to deal with EOTech’s costumer service will tell you to run the other way. I’ve never had to deal with them myself though, but I have dealth with Aimpoint and they are amazing when it comes to costumer service.

      • Dave Parks

        I’ve dealt with EOTech customer service, and they were awesome. I had an EOTech where the battery compartment started to come loose when it was WAY past warranty. They did a full refurb on mine for free no questions asked, even replaced the bent armor shroud (I don’t baby my guns) and sent it back with a pair of brand new batteries.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Costumer service? Maybe EOTech has a prejudice against furries?

      • Dan

        Is it possible they had a bad experience with customer service because they didn’t get what they wanted? I don’t put much credit in peoples customer service stories unless i personally witness it. I know how people get when they feel they have been wronged.

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        So your commentary on eotech is all hearsay…

  • TDog

    It’ll be funny to see how many folks will turn on EOTech now that it’s fallen out of favor with the military. Plenty of folks will claim, “I never liked it,” but I can remember back in the day when folks would say, “It’s the best for the money! The military uses it! The military uses it!”

    I prefer iron sights myself…

    • BillC

      It will surely piss off the Arfcom Mk18 clone fanboys. I never liked the sight myself even when were being given all the new toys in the military. I loathed the battery life and how quickly it would become a dead-battery holder.

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        Gee tell us how fast it died when you didn’t follow protocol and change the batteries

    • McThag

      I like the EOTech reticule better than the simple dot of the Aimpoint.

      But my wife stole my 552. What can you do?

      I got an Aimpoint M4S to replace it just for the battery life. We’ve been lucky with battery life on the EOTech, hers isn’t one that devours them in the off position.

      As for longevity, I’ve got an Aimpoint 1000 I bought new in 1990 that’s still trucking along… On my wife’s 10/22. Dangit, this girl is an optics thief!

      • TDog

        Hey, she’s a keeper! Anyone who would steal optics for herself rather than try to force you to sell ’em is a good ‘un in my book! ๐Ÿ˜€

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          ( I cant resist) Is she ugly too?

    • Lt_Scrounge

      I like holographic sights, but always felt that EoTech was and is way over priced. Yes I know that clones are seldom as good as the originals, but at less than 20% of the price, I’m more inclined to buy a clone and have enough left to buy a new rifle to put it on than to shell out over a week’s pay for a gun sight that I will hardly ever need to use.

      • TDog

        I never got one because I thought it was shaped funny. Life’s too short for ugly guns or accessories. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          But what about your Ugly women? they still OK?

          • TDog

            Depends on their personality! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            TDog, You Are the Man!

      • Fred Johnson

        Laser. Clones don’t use lasers or have the brightness range. For instance, my clones are too bright in near darkness and are too dim in bright sunlight. My EOTech doesn’t have this problem as it will go from nearly invisible to retina searing bright.

    • Precious Roy

      Well I’ve been looking to see if prices would plummet but so far no dice. A quick look at Amazon(OpticsPlanet and others sell on Amz now) shows Aimpoint PRO’s down 20-50 bucks over last year, FBI goto Aimpoints at the same price and EOTechs not budging one cent. I’m guessing most casual owners have no idea EOTech now means less than spec.

  • BillC

    Good job, TFB. /sarc/. Have you actually read the Soldier System’s write-up? There are severe parallax issues as well. Yeah, good enough for home defense use.

    • CommonSense23

      Socom has known about this problem for almost 2 years now. If the the issues were so bad, do you really think SOCOM would have kept issuing them?

      • BillC

        Yes.

      • Karl

        What makes you think they are?

        • CommonSense23

          Cause they still are. They haven’t changed the SOPMOD loudout.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          they are… don’t you know anyone in the Military????

      • Precious Roy

        Ever hear of depleted uranium? Agent Orange? Protecting our troops from the enemy? Yeah. Protecting them from money grubbing corps exploiting the military industrial complex? Not so much.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          Ever hear of COMMON SENSE? 2,4,5t aka agent orange was ABUSED by the lower level military itself, and sprayed directly on the troops at excessive concentrations, The depleted Uranium rounds were being handled Sans the issued handling gear. because some POG never actually read the specs on handling and loading the DU rounds. Its called Bureaucratic DENIAL of facts.

    • valorius

      are you seriously implying an EOTech is not good enough for home defense use?

      • BillC

        I’m not implying anything. I’m saying it. I’ve tried to link the original post by Soldier Systems Daily, but TFB won’t let me. They have parallax issues that already exist, but are exasterbated by temp. Please go read that. TFB doesn’t do a great job of disseminating information, they just do a snapshot taken from other sites.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          Someone needs to research rifle optics parallax… none of the unmagnified reflex sights have any real parallax issue. Parallax causes issues at close range, and these high tech red dots don’t have an issue at close range simply because centering the target in the optics is sufficient angle of bad guy accurate. Its when you add internal magnification that parallax becomes an issue as it is a literal image shift in reference to the optics. there isn’t a sufficient number of lenses to cause an issue in CQC.

        • valorius

          And to think of all the tactical johnnies that SWORE i had to have a top shelf eotech on my home defense AR which will never be used at a range of over 15 yards max.

          I seriously doubt the veracity of your concerns.

      • Icorps1970

        6 moa? This is over 6″ at 100 yards. What if you are OUTSIDE your house? My on sale 119 dollar 3x Nikon scope is FAR better than this. It will reliably make head shots at 100+ on my civilian M4. And I have irons as well. Inside a house the sights, other than the front one maybe, are largely irrelevant anyway. 4-6 MOA make it USELESS to me or anyone else who likes to hit what he is shooting at.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          try using that scope after sundown…. You are missing the point armchair trooper.

        • valorius

          Except in the absolutely most rare scenarios, as a citizen, a 100 yard shot is not self defense- it’s murder.

      • Precious Roy

        Sure sounds like a cold day in Minnesnowta, Whiskonsin or Iowa would put an EOTech mounted on a rifle in a unheated safe in an unheated area of a home beyond that 32 degree fubar point.

        • valorius

          Feel free to find me one incident- even one- where an EOTech failed on a home defense rifle when needed.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    I still enjoy shooting my xps 3, I also really like the reticle over just the plain dot. so my EOtech is staying where it is.

    • nadnerbus

      It’s funny, everyone has their preferences. Maybe it depends on which sight you start out on and get used to. I started with an Aimpoint Comp ML3, which I always liked for its simplicity. When I used my friends’ Eotech, I was underwhelmed by the reticle, especially the fuzzy outer ring composed of lots of smaller dots. The field of view was a plus though.

      I still have to wonder if the Eotech is really that bad. I mean it has been in military and police used now for over a decade, and I find it hard to believe that nobody noticed in all that time the problems reported and it wasn’t widely spread around the internet by now.

  • Squirreltakular

    And millions of Aimpoint users collectively sighed, “Meh,” and continued on with their lives.

  • INFI

    HMMM..

  • Sulaco

    Color me confused but ALOT of EOtech sights were and are being used in the sand box, the problems in areas that reach 114 is just now coming to light?

    • nadnerbus

      My thoughts exactly. If this were really a huge problem (at the high end temps anyway), there should have been more than enough anecdotal evidence by now to have sunk the brand. I’m not saying the reports are necessarily wrong, I just don’t buy that they are necessarily product killing flaws for a two or three MOA rack grade rifle, which is what the military is probably going to put them on (SOF not withstanding).

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        As I stated to another person,
        Go back and research what company ran into government contract issues because they marked their reflex sights with reference to biblical scripture… This whole thing stinks of Obama’s feces stains…

  • Bill

    The settlement was actually decided prior to the suit being filed, legal formalities and all that.

  • INFI

    PEWPEWPEW!

  • Peewee Sierrafour

    Good riddance eotechs are ugly anyway. I’ll stick to aimpoint and trijs.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      and of course the extra money they cost, right?

      • Peewee Sierrafour

        Yeah though true

  • Sam Green

    Just retired my Eotech for a Trijicon MRO, but it had nothing to do with this tomfoolery.
    My SUV has a Secureit Harrier and I was more concerned about the batteries in my sights being exposed to high temps, as the summer Florida temps get hot. So I put a probe in the harrier box that’s in the cargo bay, not in direct sunlight; it didn’t get anywhere near 140*
    I’m sure the dashboard easily hit 175*-200* in direct light on the hottest summer day. But not many people store their long guns & Eotechs on the dashboard in the mid day summer sun.
    …I feel bad for Eotech, just drove by their facility here in Sarasota this morning.
    PS> Not sure if Aimpoint had a hand in giving Eotech a black eye, but if they did it was most likely a result of Aimpoint’s displeasure of a new 800lb gorilla in the red dot arena, the MRO is a force to be reckoned with. The good news is that we may see lower priced Aimpoint products.

  • Mikial

    Well, I don’t doubt the word of SOCOM folks, but I carried an Eotech in Iraq for 2 years, and it always worked fine for me. I guess some people just get lucky . . ., glad I was one of them for a change.

  • Jason Bourne

    Would I be right or wrong to say that EoTech sights/Technology had been slightly overrated, ’til now? I don’t mean to disparage or put down any one using them, please don’t take my comment that way!! I mean no disrespect. I guess it comes down to this, what do you value in a combat sight? For me, the big deterrent was battery life. The EoTech, based on varying models, has about a tenth of the battery life of the Aimpoint. But, then there is price! I don’t know… I am no tier 1 operator, by any stretch of the imagination. I am from Alabama, we have a varying range of temperatures. None of which, fall in the lower side of the scale, but some temps in vehicles can range towards to upper end. So this makes me timid to run an optic that my life depends on. (My AR is primarily utilized for defense). Can any one convince me otherwise? I am definitely open to comments, positive and negative. I’m still looking for just the right optic for my next build.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      ANY “red dot” or reflex sight is a matter of being over rated in most cases. they offer ONE major advantage, single point aiming. As such there is no eye dominance issue to contend with, no sight alignment issues that take extra time, and no night blindness issues that plague iron sights. These are all benefits of single point aiming, these things essentially make using a rifle they are mounted on, point and shoot capable with accuracy. Its the same as using an illuminated rifle scope. However, people think they make the rifle long range accurate, with plinking skill sets. And they don’t. THAT is why they are all over rated. Bottom line is define your needs and then find the optics that fit. if you don’t, you wont find “the right optics”

  • Winter

    What really pisses me off is that L-3 and their owner knew they were supplying our military, in wartime, with faulty sights. They had several years to come clean but they put their profit above the lives of American and Canadian troops as well as any other militaries using the EoTech.

    According to the documentation, even lower level employees were expressing their own concerns for soldiers safety but the co-owner in charge still refused to notify our government. Yes, there is the issue of financial restitution but the big wigs at L-3 who are involved with keeping the problem secret should be held accountable criminally. Seems like they (L-3) should be charged with something. I doubt treason would apply but for an American company to knowingly violate their contract with the government with the direct result of knowingly putting American soldiers lives at risk there should be some kind of major punishment. I don’t mean some $10 million dollar fine either but actual FUintheArse prison or perhaps even hanging.

    I use an ACOG/RMR combo on my 5.56 carbine but I have used an EoTech on a friends rifle and I liked the reticle. I didn’t care for the need for a flip up magnifier and having to deal with batteries but it’s all personal preference. I’ve never wanted an EoTech after getting used to my ACOG/RMR but after reading the story about how L-3 put our troops in jeopardy,I won’t buy one at any cost.

  • CavScout

    When I stepped off the planme into Kuwait, mid summer, it was like 120-130 degrees. Worst ever being 140 degrees ‘outside, in the sun temp’

    A car trunk over there would have probably been 160+ degrees. And I live in Minnesota, where -40 degrees happens most winters.
    EOTech would have had issues here or there. Luckily I’ve never liked them for battery life alone.

  • Matel Onely

    Crazy. Can’t believe that China Lake didn’t test these things before allowing them to be issues. You’d think that they would periodically grab a random sample and run them through the paces. At least, that’s how I would have written the contract. Independent verification say every 200 units. Someone from DCMA, DFAS or the COR picks random serial numbers and they test them.

    Yikes. There’s probably more to the issue than just L3/EOTech. Some gov’t rep somewhere missed it too.