A major U.S. Army program office requested Wexford analysis and recommendations to resolve a dilemma in development of a major Infantry family of weapon sights.
The quandary as presented by the Government was whether to reduce the sight’s size and weight while maintaining performance, or to increase performance while maintaining existing size and weight.
Wexford assembled a team of former Special Operations personnel and engineers to answer the question. The team examined each sight variant for familiarization and practical experimentation. They interviewed Army units familiar with the sights to gain firsthand knowledge. They discussed the actual use of the sights, training issues, maintenance, and other aspects of the sights that the Soldiers chose to discuss. Wexford investigated short and long-term technology improvements, analyzing them for timeliness and developmental risk. Utilizing its broad experience in the area, the team also looked at other non-U.S. Army sights of similar capability for operational and programmatic comparison purposes.
Wexford’s two-fold recommendation suggested a focus on smaller and lighter. The team discovered that Soldiers used the sight as an observation tool as much as in the weapon sight role. The second recommendation was to explore a modular solution successfully adopted by other Services. The modular solution was a complete departure from the current configuration but could keep the item from becoming irrelevant in future development. The design engineers had not even considered obsolescence, but Wexford’s operational experience with comparable equipment offered a better solution than the dichotomous either-or choice first suggested.