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Locating and marking targets is a difficult and dangerous business. Qioptiq's POINTER weapon cueing system can help.

March 21, 2011

Locating and marking targets is a difficult and dangerous business. POINTER, the weapon cueing system can be easily netted to sensors providing rapid target marking directly to the weapon system user enabling those best placed to counter the threat to react.

Escalating global terrorism means an increase in counter insurgence, force protection and internal security duties. In such situations finding the target can be an individual or team activity. Once the target is found, the location needs to be marked rapidly, accurately and intuitively. POINTER allows the best equipped person to deal with a threat as it passes onto a target electronically without drawing any undue attention to the spotter.


Handing off targets from Observation Posts and other positions to those who are best placed to deal with it is a difficult task. POINTER draws information from a network of observers, sensors and shooters and intuitively delivers the potential target information directly into the user’s view via a display indicating the target for visual identification and reaction. The mapping interface at the base station location means the target information can be easily and rapidly taken in by C2 staff dramatically reducing reaction times.

POINTER can be linked to almost any shot detection system to provide real time target information to weapon operators and improve force protection. Using information provided by C4ISTAR assets, shot detection systems or a simple map, POINTER sends target location information directly to the Head Up Display mounted on the weapon station. This system also enables multiple weapon systems to be cued onto the same or several different targets silently allocating priority as and when required.

When a threat is detected response time is critical. The networked lightweight battery-powered POINTER system can use almost any real time sensor and can easily be integrated with a variety of in service scopes, HMG’s and GMG’s. POINTER has been developed through collaboration between Qioptiq, ISTEC and QinetiQ to give those in the line of fire the support they need when they need it.

Scenario 1
A foot patrol encounters enemy fire and is pinned down. The location of the source of fire is verified and details sent from the patrol to an operating base via radio. The coordinates of the enemy position is then transmitted to the other stations operating POINTER. They may be supporting mobile or aerial patrol units. The support units are able to visually identify the enemy location and move quickly to engage, receiving coordinates and target information in real time via POINTER. The enemy threat may then be decisively neutralised allowing the patrol to move on and complete its mission.  

Scenario 2
A Forward Observation Base (FOB) comes under fire from an enemy location. The shots are instantly detected by the FOB shot detection sensor system and the location fed to POINTER. The POINTER system instantaneously sends out the location of the enemy to other gun positions, FOB and mobile units carrying POINTER. A response is decided upon and the target information is sent directly to those best placed to deal with the threat. The enemy are quickly moved on and engaged from several locations.

Technical Specifications:
Wireless Range – 1000m + (using PRR)
<1 second transit time from sensor detection
Base station runs on standard PC running XP design features
Uses 4 x AA batteries
8hrs battery life from 4 AA on Rifle or 40hrs on HMG with BB 2590
Fits 50 cal HMG and in-service 3-12 Sniper Scope as standard
Can use SELEX EZ Personal Role Radio or equivalent as wireless link

Design Features :
Easy to assimilate iconology in the users weapon sight
Gives precise range and bearing to target
Links shooters with the sensors ( and other Shooters)
Accurate weapon based target indication.
Simple and intuitive
Plots targets on base station map for rapid hand off to indirect fire
HMG variant
Fits to standard HMG and tripod
Rifle variant clips directly to in-service 3-12 Sniper Scope
Vehicle variant for crew served weapon stations
Vehicle variant can provide on the move targeting with GMG and HMG
Hand held monocular available

 Key Points:
  • Networks and links observer sensors and shooters.
  • Information from a sensor such as a shot detector, Laser Range Finder or a simple map sent to the weapon itself . In real time.
  • Intuitive and effective delivery of potential target directly into the user’s sight.
  • Indicates the target optically for visual identification and implementation of RoE and combat ID.
  • Mapping interface at the base station location for easy assimilation of target location by C2 staff.
  • Reaction times can be dramatically reduced and tempo increased.
  • Cues multiple weapon systems onto target silently
  • Vehicle variant for fire support or convoy protection
  • HMG variant provides rapid firepower onto detected targets.
  • All forms of force protection where effects are required rapidly.

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