At a recent Close Combat Lethality Tech Day at the Pentagon, Program Executive Office Soldier showed off some of the new Multifunction Aiming Light, or MFALs, they have been testing. The new MFALs are designed to help soldiers acquire and hit targets quickly and efficiently in a variety of combat situations.
New Multifunction Aiming Lights have reportedly been developed for both the Army’s new Modular Handgun System and the M4. The new MFALs is smaller and lighter than previous aiming lights such as the AN/PEQ-15. In an Army press release Curtis Brookshire Jr., a systems engineer at Program Executive Office Soldier, said that they had been working on a number of MFAL designs over the last several years.
Brookshire explained that the ‘new aiming lights are smaller, lighter and more powerful’. This makes a soldier’s weapon lighter, less bulky and more manoeuvrable. He believed that the new MFALs will be especially useful to troops wearing NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) suits where masks and breathing apparatus make aiming difficult.
The new MFALs’ lithium batteries enable it to run for an estimated six to eight hours, what Brookshire described as an average patrol length. The pistol MFAL’s visible and IR beams have a maximum range of about 25m. While the rifle mounted MFAL has a daytime range of up to 200m in sunlight, while the IR beam can reach out to 600m at night.
From the photograph included with the Army’s press release, we can see that the pistol MFAL appears to be based on the Streamlight TLR-8. The commercially available TLR-8, which was introduced at this year’s SHOT show, has a 500 lumen LED light and weighs 2.6 ounces. It is unclear what the new rifle/carbine MFAL is based on.
The Army press release stated that the MFALs for the Army’s carbines would take initial precedent over those for the Modular Handgun System and orders are set to be placed in 2019. While the exact purchase quantity is not yet decided, the production run will be three to five years and will be delivered through an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, or IDIQ, contract.
‘Brighter, lighter laser helps Soldiers get on target faster’, US Army News Service, retrieved 10/06/18 from source