02 Dec 2011
US Army orders more than 12,500 of the Redmond, WA, firm's diverging green lasers for initial delivery, with more to follow.
The US Army has ordered several thousand green laser systems through its Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier effort.
The rifle-mounted Green Laser Interdiction System (GLIS) is intended to send a warning signal to either hostile forces or innocent civilians that a military operation is approaching or in the vicinity. Unlike conventional green lasers, which are highly collimated and typically used to point at small targets, the GLIS instead features a more divergent source – making it more eye-safe and able to be aimed at multiple targets simultaneously.
The Army is set to receive an initial order of 12,542 of B. E. Meyers’ GLARE MOUT Plus green lasers as the GLIS program moves into full release in 2012, with the company saying that more orders may be added over the next couple of years. B.E. Meyers, based in Redmond, Washington, is one of two suppliers of the technology to PEO Soldier, along with the top-tier defense contractor L3 Communications, which participates through its Insight Technology subsidiary.
“The win is the culmination of two years of effort to develop and deliver the best non-lethal laser device to the US Army,” said eponymous CEO Brad Meyers in a statement. “Non-lethal lasers have been proved to save lives by reducing the number and severity of incidents with non-combatants.”
The system is best based on a green emitter because this is the wavelength to which the human eye is most sensitive, meaning that far less power is needed in the beam compared with a red laser to achieve the same distracting effect at large stand-off distances.
“GLARE lasers are used to warn civilians away from checkpoints and other areas where their safety is at risk,” states the B.E. Meyers web site. “At closer distances, the GLARE lasers clearly determine hostile intent and can deter aggressive action.”
The GLIS program is just one of a large number of different types of optics-related equipment adopted through PEO Soldier’s “Project Manager Soldier – Sensors and Lasers” initiative. Others include thermal weapon sights, enhanced night vision goggles, and pistol-mounted white-light laser pointers. In addition, the “Family of Weapon Sights” mission will provide soldiers with remote thermal imaging capability, through uncooled, battery-powered forward-looking infrared detectors.
Under the Laser Target Locators mission, the “TRIGR” device incorporates a 7x direct view optic, an uncooled thermal sight and a fiber laser rangefinder. Contractors Ashbury International Group, BAE Systems (Nashua, NH) and Northrop Grumman Laser Systems (Apopka, FL) are involved in this mission, said to be currently in “production verification testing”.