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Apache's new infrared targeting system spots foes when they fire, doesn't wait for the smoke

Apache's new infrared targeting system spots foes when they fire, doesn't wait for the smoke
Terrence O'Brien
Terrence O'Brien|@TerrenceOBrien|May 2, 2011 1:53 PM
It just keeps getting harder for America's enemies to hide from the technological marvel that is the modern US military. A new ground fire acquisition system (GFAS), coming to Apache Attack helicopters next spring, uses infrared sensors to detect muzzle flashes from small arms fire and pinpoint enemy positions to within five meters. Before the sound would have a chance to reach current acoustics-based sensors the source of the shot pops up on the targeting computer, is sent back to commanders in the Operations Center, relayed to ground troops, and fed to other aircraft -- by the time they're able to pull the trigger again combatants may already be on the wrong side of a Hellfire missile. The new system will make spotting opposing forces easier and keep pilots as safe as they can be -- at least until missions can be flown from the comfort of their couch.
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