In November of 2015, the U.S. Government sued L-3 Communications, the parent company of EOTech, for fraud after it was found that their popular holographic weapon sight (HWS) was adversely affected by both heat and humidity. Despite settling the suit for over $25 million, a pretty damming admission in my book, DOD personnel continue to use the sights and officials don’t seem to see a problem with that.
According to the lawsuit and the EOTech website, there are two potential problems with the HWS. First, increased humidity may lead to seal failure which allows moisture to enter the housing. If this happens, the viewing areas can fog and the crosshairs can dim, both conditions can result in either sight failure or reduced visibility. Second, and most reported, is a condition referred to as “thermal drift” which results in affected units having a point of impact between 6-12 inches different than the point of aim on targets as close as 300ft. Originally this was thought to only occur in extreme cold conditions, but further testing indicates it is possible in both hot and cold climates and may be caused by fluctuation in temperature rather than long term exposure.
According to a recent Washington Post article, numerous units in the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and throughout the Marine Corps continue to use the questionable sights and neither command appear to be in a hurry to change this practice. In their defense, spokespersons for both SOCOM and USMC claim their respective organizations are monitoring the situation but they also claim that there are no recorded incidents of thermal drift being experienced in the field.
How would anyone know if a service member had experienced this particular problem during a firefight? I am sure that service members have missed their intended target while using HWS systems, but how do they know whether it was the result of poor marksmanship or a sight malfunction? Furthermore, why wait until there is a proven case of failure in the field before taking action? Chances are good that when it is proven, it will be as a result of an American service member being killed. Since it has already been established there is a problem, why risk this? Isn’t this the whole basis for the government’s suit?
The government should make sure that the $25 million settlement is used to purchase replacement units, preferably from another source, and immediately order all suspect units be removed from service. Plus, it should be mandatory that all troops first learn to shoot properly with iron sights rather than relying on potentially faulty technology. This way, if a similar problem is encountered in the future, solving it will require nothing more than removing the affected accessory.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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