The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has fielded the Enhanced Target Acquisition Kit, or ETAK, to provide day, night and degraded visual environment target acquisition and tracking for man-portable systems. Developed by the command’s U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager for Strategic Missile Defense’s Prototyping and Experimentation Branch, it was first demonstrated by the US Army in Europe during the bi-annual Sabre Guardian exercise, held in July 2019.
ETAK is designed provide enhanced day, night, and low-visibility situational awareness, acquisition, and engagement capability; digital fire control to the man-portable systems. It is field mountable/ dismountable and does not degrade the capabilities of the existing system; rather it augments the Soldiers’ existing equipment so they are able to see at night and receive sensor tracks to cue the Soldier to the location of the threat.
The kit is in two parts- the first is a rail sight mount for the weapon and the second is a sensor-based cueing system. ETAK cues a Soldier to the vicinity of the target using the sensor and then enables positive identification and tracking of the target via the night optic.
While the primary goal is to increase the Soldiers’ capability to acquire and engage targets with man-portable weapons, the system is also designed to show location of friendly units and help reduce the possibility of having a friendly fire incident on the battlefield.
The ETAK was first fielded during an exercise in July 2019 and is currently being assessed by operational units of the US Army to address gaps in current systems.
Presently used with the Stinger, the use with other man-portable systems after due changes in the Kit, is not ruled out.