The Australian Army announced that procurement will begin for a picatinny mounted laser range finder that will supplement also recently purchased ATPIAL AN/PEQ 16s at the squad level. The Squad Range Finder (SFR) from L-3 Warrior Systems has visible and IR laser capabilities, IR illuminator, in addition to the laser range finder. Although it lacks a white light capability, it brings to table a compact range finder accurate out to 3,000 meters. Usually laser range finders are limited to sniper teams, SF groups, and forward observers but with the SRF, an individual rifleman will be able to find the range of anything in front of him. This is not only extremely useful for engaging a point target, but also for calling in fire missions, coordinating with adjacent units, planning attacks/patrols/defenses, etc… To my knowledge this is the first time any modern professional military has pushed a laser range finder capability down to the lowest level, the private on patrol.
How the system works is somewhat unclear, but I assume it is similar to the SWR range finder from Silencer Co. There appears to be a digital reading on the back of the unit, and I assume once zeroed with a soldier’s scope, simply placing the reticle on a target and then activating the range finder will give a reading of the distance.
The SRF is the next generation of lightweight, miniaturized laser range-finders that utilizes eye-safe, direct diode transmission at 1,550 nm to achieve range-to-targets out to 3,000 meters. Specifically designed for squad-level operations and improved mission effectiveness, the SRF replaces existing aiming lights and ranging devices at significant savings in size, weight and power.
• Eye-safe laser RF with integrated aiming-illuminating lasers
• Fischer 7-pin connector (AN/PSQ-23 STORM accessory-
• Meets military environmental requirements
• Bright white OLED display with full-text menus
This range finder is most likely based on L-3s AN/PSQ-23A Small Tactical Optical Rifle-Mounted Micro Laser Rangefinder, which the U.S. Army appeared to have procured in 2013, but I honestly haven’t seen much use of among U.S. soldiers (if at all). In addition, MARSOC was putting out a solicitation (now cancelled) for a “Sniper Ranger Finder”. Possibly the SRF was developed for this contract, but L-3 took it to the Australians when it was cancelled.