Heard about gunfire identification systems? As we reported back in July, Newark, New Jersey has one called ShotSpotter. The U.S. Army has a few at forward bases whose location they ain’t sayin’ (Is there a BaseSpotter?). As you probably guessed, the systems analyze a bullet’s acoustic signature to pinpoint the shooter’s location. Some bright spark at the Pentagon reckoned that the Army should deploy the technology on each individual soldier, so that every man jack could locate they’re aspiring killer and, uh, kill them. And so, as militaryaerospace.com reports . . .
“The Army awarded a $38.4 million sniper-detection system contract to QinetiQ on 29 Oct. for 15,000 Individual Gunshot Detection Systems. QinetiQ produces the Ears Shoulder-Worn Acoustic Targeting System (SWATS).” So what if there are multiple attackers attacking from multiple angles all at the same time? Sigh. I’ll make the call later this morning . . .
How would such a system differentiate between good guy shots fired and bad guy shots fired?
AK/Dragunov/RPD does not sound anything like AR/M1A/240. I assume the software can tell the difference.
These acoustic detection systems are to be networked together, to allow triangulation of shot-origin data. Ideally this data inputs automatically into a counter-sniper support fire system, and our fire-support base will have small-caliber mortar or artillery rounds outbound before the sniper can even line up his next shot. I don’t know how effective suppressors or other countermeasures would be against these acoustic ranging systems, however.
No convictions in New Jersey can be attributed to this system and I'm not aware that is has prevented any crimes, so it hasn't been productive in civilian use in NJ. However, the military use certainly needs to be fully explored. Anything that's good for the troops should be provided, in order to improve their safety and efficiency.