Rifle spotter/gamer query: OICWS


Kit Reviewer
Chaps, this thread is half in the realms of computer gaming geekery and half in the world of weapon-spotting geekery - but I thought it would be better served in here rather than the shooting forum.

Many moons ago my favourite online shooter was Soldier of Fortune 2 (Gold edition still available for about a fiver, and still top-notch). One of the weapons represented in the game was the OICWS, and was supposedly based on the real thing. It had an integrated UGL with a laser range finder and, when you lased the target, it generated a little red dot on your sight picture. If you aimed the crosshair at the marker in the picture (which could be well out of the scope initially), then the grenade would land on target. All very posh and futuristic, but to be honest he rifle looked like a monster and I certainly wouldn't want to carry it around all day and keep the fecker maintained.

Anyway, my question: Does this UGL aiming system really exist? How about something similar? Am I about to get bundled away by people in suits and dark glasses? If you can shed any light on this it would be appreciated - I can provide an RLI email if you'd rather discuss it over that.

Ta much!
There was something on Sky called "Future Weapons" which was hosted by some ex-US special forces guy that demonstrated a similar weapons system but I think the rifle mounted version used a 5 round 20mm clip.

You lased the target and then used a button on the foregrip to add or remove a bit of range. The rounds would then detonate at the required range. It was demo'd using an open top fire trench and then I think a bunker with firing slots and appeared to be very effective given the relatively small size of the round.
It exists, albeit as a developmental system and technically it was a semi-automatic cannon with an underbarrel rifle. The current incarnation is the XM-25, and the South Koreans have something similar.
Similar fire control systems have been developed for 40mm grenade launchers, either underbarrel or automatic, which use a laser range finder to apply the appropriate amount of superelevation to the aiming mark.

The clever bit with the OICW (and the XM-25) is that the grenades not only arrived in the right place, but would detonate in mid-air if required, allowing you to hit people hiding in trenches or behind rocks.


Kit Reviewer
5-round clip of 20mm nades is about right, but I'm not so much worried about the weapon (which I know was a failed experiment in many eyes - grenades exploding halfway down the barrel, etc.) but the sighting system itself.

IC, could you elaborate a bit more on the 40mm launcher version? I think this is the info I'm really after. How similar is it to the OICW targetting represented in the game, or indeed shown elsewhere? I've been trying to track down some footage but YouTube isn't playing ball.
The 40mm fire control systems aren't terribly complicated. Where in ages past you would estimate range, adjust the sights according to your estimate and fire, the modern systems have a laser rangefinder to establish range and they automatically move the aiming point accordingly. With the low velocity grenades, the elevation required may be so severe that manual movement of the sight is needed, but since the range has been established accurately the computer can tell the user where to set the sight.

The Aimpoint BR8 is one such system:


Kit Reviewer
Beautiful, cheers - especially liked the un-PC diagrams of dead people. You don't get straight-talking like that in UK documentation!

There's not much in the way of sight pictures on that, though. I assume that when the aim point is out of the scope (i.e. you need to aim a lot higher) there's some indication of this, and it appears eventually when you raise your aim high enough?
I would guess with the BR8 that aiming at targets when you have to elevate outside the sight window is not possible, unless you can manually adjust the angle of the sight. You have to be able to put the aiming mark on the target.

The Vectronix RAAM is the Thales Fist system for UGL aiming.

This one looks like it uses a laser rangefinder to get the range and sets a display to the correct angle. The operator then adjusts the sight module for elevation then aims using a conventional sight (iron or red-dot) In that sense it is just like a convention sight with elevation adjustment for range but the range and angle are calculated automatically and more accurately than educated guesswork.


Kit Reviewer
Damn useful link; it was the FIST stuff I was interested in, so thank you very much! People have been blinding me with classification so far, but evidently they're just being girls.

This does raise a separate question about the CQB - is it just a red-dot sight (i.e. a laser pen)? It was described to me completely differently, that you could look down into the sight from a second viewport on the top of the scope allowing accurate fire from the hip. A red-dot sight makes much more sense for CQB, as you can still look where you're going while snap-firing.

Edit: It's probably worth moving this out to a shooting/armourers forum now. Can a Mod sort that for me please?
Classification tends to be applied to specific capability, such as range, wavelengths and other tricky little things or what have we actually got. General principles are pretty obvious so classifying them is a bit silly, but it happens. Once that marking gets on a document, it's damn hard to get it off.

Red-dot sights and laser aiming devices are a little bit different. A laser, like that on the LLM, projects a laser beam that will make a dot on what it is pointed at, as well as a funky-looking line if there is sufficient reflective particles in the air. Near-IR lasers will also show up on image intensifier equipment but not be visible to the naked eye, which would make them useful for pointing out targets in the dark. Not so useful if the other side has II gear, as he'll see it too and then it's a big flashing beacon screaming "I'm here!"

Red-dot sights, on the other hand, tend to use an optical device where there is a red-dot visible as an aiming mark. Some of these are holographic so the dot appears to be at the same distance as the target, even though it is only visible when looking through the glass. Plus the holographic sights are set up so that however you look through the sight, if you can see the aiming mark then it will be pretty much in the place the bullet will go, so you don't have to have such a good sighting position as for iron sights or telescopic sights.

On top of that, the red dot is highly visible so you can shoot with both eyes open more easily.
Tell me about it. People get really pissy about classification over the most ridiculous stuff, and it just makes life difficult.

I reckon I'm pretty well up on the red-dot, near-IR, hologram etc. sighting systems from a theoretic point of view but I just wasn't sure what the CQB was. If it's a simple red-dot attachment then it makes perfect sense. The bollox that was originally described to me sounded like over-engineering to the point of, well, pointlessness.

Cheers for all the info, IC. Should give me enough to get some proper answers and maybe a little extra useful work done.
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