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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

19 January 2016

SHOT Show 2016: FN Herstal Smarter Than Ever

FN Herstal recently introduced a new product line – FN e-novation. It includes the FN FCU fire control unit for 40mm grenade launchers, the FN SmartCore shot counter, and the associated FN SAM small arms management software. For developing the fire control unit, FN Herstal teamed with the Finnish optoelectronics specialist <rot>Noptel<P>, which is a subsidiary since July 2011.

The FN SCAR CQC Assault Rifle equipped with the FN40GL 40mm grenade launcher and the FN FCU Fire Control Unit. (Photo: FN Herstal)

Many of us would say that the 40mm grenade launcher is not accurate enough; but, this is not true,” Shane Healey, FN Herstal’s Operational Marketing Manager, noted. “It is potentially very effective, the aiming system of the 40mm launcher is usually not. Using the FN FCU will result in first round hitting the target, day and night. It gives the user confidence in his weapon, and avoids collateral damage.“ Implementing shot counters as a methodology to keep small arms safe is an important new factor.

Integrating new technology such as electronics into small arms can improve the user’s operational capability, maintenance, and logistical management. FN SmartCore analyses and records the conditions of the use of a weapon, thus reducing life cycle costs and optimising operational capability. Additionally, the electronic system is able to communicate any exchange of fire to the upper level of command in real time. Healey described FN SmartCore as a, “completely new tool” that, in combination with dedicated software FN SAM, provides automated reporting of any replacements or checks required for components of the weapon. The dedicated software enables a fast and accurate overall view of the weapon fleet location and condition. “Electronics are becoming more and more significant for [ground-role] weapons,“ he concluded.