Soldier mounted gunshot detection system going to theatre

#1
I saw this earlier in The Register and wondered what people thought of this kit? Seems like a good idea but would it actually be used as from the picture it sits exactly where straps will go over your shoulders. The company are the ones who make the big vehicle mounted boomerang system the Americans use so appear to have a good pedigree in this area.

Acoustic gunshot locators get UK military field trials • The Register

Acoustic gunshot locators get UK military field trials

Bullet-crack backtrack attack-smack
By Lewis Page

The UK Ministry of Defence has turned to famed techsploration firm BBN - which among other things gave the world the "@" symbol in email - to provide a shoulder-mounted gunshot detector able to backtrack bullets in flight and locate enemy gunmen firing at British troops.


Most users will probably not remain this calm in field use.
We learn this courtesy of US-centred arms mammoth Raytheon, which bought up BBN a year ago. Raytheon say that the UK's defence research labs have tested several different shot-spotter systems and found BBN's "Boomerang Warrior-X" to be the best. Apparently the tests are "related to urgent operational requirements".

The Boomerang Warrior-X features a shoulder-mounted module weighing less than 11 ounces (312g) which will run for a day on 2 AA batteries. It works like most such systems by detecting the sonic boom of a passing bullet (bullets do not whistle by, but crack or snap*) and the muzzle blast of the gun that fired it. Together the two sound signatures, provided that the system has got the right pair, can be used to calculate a range and bearing to the gun muzzle in less than a second. This is often a lot faster than troops under fire can locate the enemy who is shooting at them.

There are various other acoustic shot-detectors out there and US forces have thousands in the field already. Thus far they have won mixed reviews: the tech usually works fine given a single unambiguous gunshot to work with, but tends to have problems if several guns are firing - especially if muzzle blasts are also echoing from nearby buildings or terrain features.

BBN's Warrior-X is quite recent, however, and the company claims a low false-alerts proportion of 2 per cent. The selection of the system by the MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratories is certainly something of an endorsement - but it doesn't necessarily mean that the problems of acoustic shot-spotters have been fixed well enough to make them useful.

The next stage in the UK's progress will see the Warrior-X trialled "in theatre conditions".

"Sending Boomerang Warrior-X to the field will provide UK troops with the very best protection available," says Boomerang exec Mark Sherman, hopefully. ®

*With the exception of subsonic rounds. These are rare in serious gunfights, however.
 
#2
Waste of time. If it's a sniper they'll fire one or two rounds then disappear, if it's a group of riflemen you'll either be in their killing zone or given the volume of fire it won't take the brains of an archbishop to work out where they are. Only worth while if it was tied to a computer system that automatically returns fire... with artillery!
 
#4
Excuse my naivety but seeing that gunshots tend to emit a loud bang, have soldiers not had gunshot detectors mounted on each side of their heads for quite some time?
 
#5
Excuse my naivety but seeing that gunshots tend to emit a loud bang, have soldiers not had gunshot detectors mounted on each side of their heads for quite some time?
Not as good as you'd imagine....
 
#6
Excuse my naivety but seeing that gunshots tend to emit a loud bang, have soldiers not had gunshot detectors mounted on each side of their heads for quite some time?
For a single gunshot with a supersonic bullet you won't hear the shot until after the bullet has passed you.

If you go to a shooting range even under ideal conditions (flat terrain, good weather, single shot, no echoes) you'd be doing good to estimate the origin of the gunshot within a 30 - 45 degree arc. When I'm in the bunker patching up people's targets at 300m it is even more difficult to distinguish the supersonic crack of the bullet from the pop of the rifles downrange, let alone tell you which lane the bullet came from noise alone. Humanly pinpointing a shooter is inordinately difficult.

Of course there are soldiers here who can give you first hand accounts of what it is like to be in a pitched firefight, which not having been there can only imagine to be much worse.
 
#7
For a single gunshot with a supersonic bullet you won't hear the shot until after the bullet has passed you.
Your points are true and I'm not disagreeing, but..

In line with your point above, with a supersonic bullet, you will not be able to do anything about it until after it has gone past you, detector or no detector.
 

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