US Army testing Israeli sharpshooting system in Syria

The rifle-mounted SMASH 2000 can lock onto bomb-carrying drones and shoot them down mid-flight.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The newest tool being tested by U.S. Special Forces in the fight against ISIS terrorists in Syria is an Israeli-made sharpshooting system mounted on their rifles, American defense news publication Task & Purpose reported last Monday.

The U.S.-led Coalition forces’ Special Operations command posted pictures of the soldiers training with the SMASH 2000 fire-control system to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service on May 30.

The men, lying at a shooting range at the At-Tanf Garrison in Syria, can be seen looking through the advanced optical sights on their M4A1 carbines, and shooting at boxes hanging from small drones.

The fast-moving machines, easily and cheaply bought on the civilian market, have been successfully used by ISIS forces to bomb Coalition forces in both Iraq and Syria. Because they are so quick and small, even experienced snipers have a hard time hitting them.

By using an advanced camera and laser rangefinder as well as cutting-edge algorithms that can calculate the drone’s next moves, the SMASH 2000 can lock onto the target from as far away as 120 meters. The software can even take into account any accidental movement made by the shooter while aiming his weapon. It also has a “locked” mode, when the system will only fire if the gun is lined up correctly on the target. Besides ensuring accuracy, it can protect both fellow soldiers and civilians from any “friendly fire” accident.

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The Kibbutz Yagur-based Smart Shooter company sold dozens of its sighting systems to the American military last year. This was the first time the company knew that its customers were using them in Syria, company VP Dr. Abraham Mazor told The Jerusalem Post Monday.

“We are proud that the U.S. armed forces appreciate the performance of the system,” he said, adding, “We are proud of any of our products that work for increased survivability and safety of the US and Israeli forces.”

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s R&D arm worked closely with Smart Shooter in developing the SMASH system, which the IDF named the Dagger. After a run of successful tests in early 2019, the Ministry of Defense ordered an initial batch of 2,000 sights.