Optical sights designed for mission requirements
SoldierMod talks to Raytheon ELCAN’s new Technical Sales Manager for Rifle Sights – Todd Pace
Todd Pace. Raytheon ELCAN’s Technical Sales Manager for Rifle Sights
Q: You’re new to the Raytheon ELCAN team. Tell me about your military background and achievements?
A: I recently retired from the military after serving 21 years in the U.S. Army. I started my career in USSOCOM in the 3rd battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, where I served with Charlie company and later in their sniper platoon.
After a few deployments, I was offered the opportunity to shoot competitively for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. During my time in this unit, I specialized in shooting precision and long-range rifle competitions. I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to manage both the Custom Firearms Shop, where I learned about the building and maintenance of numerous firearms, and the Action shooting team, which focused on multiple shooting disciplines from USPSA Pistol to 3 Gun competitions. When we weren’t competing or training, we developed courses and trained U.S. soldiers in basic and advanced marksmanship techniques. I remained with the Marksmanship Unit until my retirement in 2019.
As the newest member of the Raytheon ELCAN team, I'm honoured to have the continued opportunity to work with and help our soldiers and allied forces. Our team works diligently to develop and provide soldiers with extremely durable and dependable combat rifle and machine gun optics. I'm very proud to be a part of this team and look forward to what the next generation of rifle optics will bring to our troops.
Q: Raytheon ELCAN continues to develop new rifle sights to meet soldiers’ needs. What’s new in the Specter line?
A: As an optics innovation centre, ELCAN is on the cutting- edge of new developments across missions and platforms. This experience and our capabilities are applied to developing rifle and machine gun optics that meet mission requirements and keep soldiers safe.
DFCS – ELCAN Specter Digital Fire Control Sight
This sight is a 1-8x variable power optic that utilizes an on-board ballistic computer and range finder to calculate a ballistic solution using both environmental conditions
and external ballistics including density, altitude, humidity, temperature, wind, range, and the ammunition. When the shooter ranges the target, the ballistic solution is displayed to the shooter as a digital disturbed reticle, showing where to aim to increase the chances for a first-round impact.
This advancement in technology will allow our soldiers and allied forces to be more accurate and increase their lethality at greater distances in order to gain overmatch on the battlefield.
The Specter 1XL is a low profile, close quarters sight with a wide field-of-view and unlimited eye relief, providing rapid target acquisition and engagement in close quarters or open environments. This sight uses LED technology that helps reduce the pixilation or grainy appearance of the reticle.
The LED projects a 62 MOA circle dot, or 1.1 MOA dot into the shooter's field-of-view and has 8 levels of illumination adjustment - 2 of these for night vision. The locking mount attachment provides accurate zero retention and can be attached to a MIL-STD-1913 or STANAG 4694 NATO rail. The ruggedness and versatility of the Specter 1XL makes it a reliable choice for a light machine gun.
ELCAN Specter 1X
The 1X MRDS (Mini Red Dot Sight) is a standalone sight and offers a large viewing window that’s completely enclosed and sealed. It can also be mounted on top of the ELCAN Specter OS (4x or 6x) and Specter Dual Role optics as an additional red dot capability.
The ELCAN Specter DR sights are rugged and reliable to meet expanded mission requirements on lightweight and medium caliber machine guns, especially paired with a clip-on thermal optic. This combination allows soldiers to achieve overmatch in unpredictable environments, day and night.
Q: What are some of the trends that you are seeing in the industry?
A: ELCAN’s product development strategy aligns with the two key trends we’re noticing in the marketplace: a need to meet expanded mission requirements and the need for advanced capabilities.
We have seen an increase in the use of the ELCAN Specter DR sights on lightweight and medium caliber machine guns, especially paired with a clip-on thermal optic.
With less moving parts and the dual role capability, this combination allows soldiers to achieve reliable overmatch in unpredictable environments, day and night. The U.S., Australia, Canada, Italy, Romania, Saudi Arabia, India, UAE, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and the UK have chosen to use our optics on their machine gun platforms.
We are also seeing a lot of demand for digital sights with a disturbed reticle and integrated soldier networking capabilities. As technology develops, we will be able to integrate advanced sensors and cameras to increase capability. The capability for wireless communication and networking will enable both image and information sharing between units and command while advanced software processing will enable active target tracking and augmented reality in man-portable packages.
Q: You mentioned increased use of the Specter DR dual role sights on machine guns. What weapons is this sight available for?
A: The Specter DR sight is compatible with any weapon platform that offers the Picatinny MIL-STD-1913, or the NATO accessory STANAG 4694 rail system. The 5.56 and 7.62 reticles have been the most popular with our customers to date.
The Specter DR sights are also available with 5.56, 7.62 and .50 calibre machine gun reticles. Customers have requested customized reticles to fit users’ needs (including the latest Denmark and Germany procurements), allowing the Specter DR to be compatible with multiple weapon systems ranging from a standard Colt M4 to an FN Machine gun. The difference and the main benefit is that ELCAN sights withstand the intense vibration and recoil and maintain zero.
Q: What benefit(s) does the Specter DR provide for gunners or MG teams?
A: The Specter DR dual role optic allows gunners the unique opportunity to quickly transition from a large field-of-view on either 1x or 1.5x to a magnified field-of-view (4x or 6x). This not only increases the gunner’s ability to maintain situational awareness but also allows the gunner to be more effective in target identification, faster target transitions, more accurate engagements and maintain a good sight picture throughout recoil. These sights increase mission success in both urban and open mission environments. The unique design of the Specter DR sight eliminates the need for internal scope adjustments. This allows it to be extremely robust and able to take the abuse associated with recoil as well as mounting and dismounting from vehicles and tripods that these weapon systems typically see, making it an excellent option for gunners or machine gun teams.
For more information on ELCAN Specter sights: