US SOCOM Seeks Night Sight for Grenade Launchers

    Original caption: "A paratrooper from Company C, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade shoots during M320 grenade launcher qualification at Foce Reno Training Area, Ravenna, Italy, Dec 2, 2015." (US Army photo, public domain)

    US SOCOM has released a Request for Information (RFI) for a new night sight for their grenade launchers. Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane) released a requirement specification for a Low to Medium Velocity Grenade Launcher Day-Night Sight on the 10th June. US SOCOM run a number of grenade launching platforms ranging from the M203, MK 13 Mod 0 and M320 to the M32 multi-shot launcher to the M19 and M47 automatic grenade launchers.

    U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Mario Hernandez, 366th Engineer Company, 412th Theater Engineer Command steadies an MK19 automatic grenade launcher while his vehicle moves to the next battle position for blank fire during Operation Cold Steel at Fort McCoy, Wis., April 10, 2017.  (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Debralee Best, 84th Training Command)

    Those submitting to the RFI must provide information on their sight’s ability to have stored ballistic tables or an onboard ballistic computer, cant detection, be compatible with the in-service weapon and compatible ammunition types. It is also recommended manufacturers have either an integrated red dot or top sight mount. Must be compatible with additional lasers such as an IR illuminator or Laser Range Finders and have a left, right and top 1913 rail compatibility and the submitter must address their systems ability to be used as a clip-on “including; boresight as a clip-on, display viewing angle, elevation movement, first hit accuracy percentages at what distances, boresight retention, parallax of recommended or integrated red dot or top sight.”

    Here are SOCOM’s basic requirements:

    1) Weight: < 1.5 lbs (including batteries, mount, and top sight)
    2) Clip-on Boresight Repeatability Shift: < 1 MOA
    3) IR Laser Pointer: Class 3B: < 35mW (MIL-STD-1425A)
    4) Ballistic Tables: > 2 usable ballistic profiles, storage for more
    5) Battery Life: > 40 hours on single set of batteries
    6) Degrade Mode: Possess a back-up sighting capability to allow direct fire aiming when power source unavailable
    7) Day and Night (I2) compatible
    8) Immersion: > 33 ft for 1 hour
    9) Compatibility: Used as a modular attachment on a MIL-STD-1913

    The closing date for the request for information on the Low to Medium Velocity Grenade Launcher Day-Night Sight was the 10 July 2019. We at TFB will keep our eye on progress of SOCOM’s search for an advanced new grenade launcher sight and keep you guys updated.


    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]