Steiner eOptics recently unveiled a sleek new thermal weapons optic equipped with a red dot for close-quarter combat.
The Close Quarter Thermal (CQT) was on display for the first time at Modern Day Marine 2019.
"This our latest thermal camera; it's a full 12-micron thermal camera with a red-dot overlay," Don Pride of Steiner eOptics told Military.com.
The thermal can be mounted on any weapons rail to allow shooters to see the green-glowing heat signatures of potential enemy targets in dark spaces, Pride said.
It's designed to be most effective in engagements of up to 12 yards, Pride said, adding that several law enforcement agencies and some special operations unit have requested the technology.
"So, when you punch into a room or something, rather than having night vision in a dark room, you have a full thermal camera," Pride said.
"The good part about that is with night vision, you get into a dark room [and] you are constantly switching your head side to side trying to find out where everything is.
"With a thermal mounted on your weapon you step into a room, you maintain your weapon as you swing around; if there is any heat in there, it's going to pop up really bright in your view and you have your red dot to engage."
The CQT takes two CR-123 batteries and weighs approximately one pound, he said. There is one setting for red-dot only and one for red dot and thermal.
"You can change the pattern of the thermal from a full thermal to an outline mode," Pride said. "You can also change the red dot from a circle, square, crosshair ... the capabilities of this are pretty much unlimited."
The CQT, however, is not inexpensive. It currently costs about $10,000, Pride said.
"I have got four or five SWAT teams that are really interested in it; I tell them the price and they don't care," Pride said. "They like the technology."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.