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L3 Insight’s NGAL on Display at SHOT 2018

Although L3 Warrior Sensor Systems/Insight Technologies M1913 Picatinny rail mounted Next Generation Aiming Laser (NGAL) has publicly been demonstrated in various trade shows over previously, this year we were able to get a conversation in with one of the L3 representatives about the NGAL in order to learn more about it.

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The size comparison between the NGAL (bottom) and in this case the LA-5/PEQ ATPIAL (top) is readily apparent when placed next to each other. Notice the different locations of the various adjustment knobs and the relocation of the divergence control for the IR illuminator to the rear of the device. This is so a user can adjust how wide they want the IR beam used to illuminate backgrounds in low-light conditions.

Originally beginning as a SOCOM solicitation several years ago, the intent of the NGAL was to provide a better Advanced Target Point Illuminator Aiming Laser (ATPIAL) than the current AN/PEQ-15s, AN/PEQ-16s, and LA-5/PEQ ATPIALs currently in service when it comes to reduced Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP). Currently, it offers similar modes of operation when compared to the AN/PEQ15 with a visible red laser, an IR aiming laser, and an IR illuminator. In addition to dimensions and power usage, there are a number of other factors that set the new NGAL apart from existing ATPIAL designs from Insight.

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At the business end of the NGAL with the protective caps removed is the visible red laser (left side, top), IR laser (left side, bottom), and the IR illuminator (right side). The visible and IR aiming lasers have a boresight retention within 0.5 mrad.

Of chief importance is the use of aluminum for the NGAL frame. This allows the overall dimensions to be much smaller than the LA-5/PEQ due to not needing to work with a bulkier polymer frame. NGAL can take either a single AA battery or two CR123 batteries depending on the battery cap that is utilized. This is so a user doesn’t have to rely on CR123s if traveling to countries where CR123s may be in limited supply.

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In this image the battery cap is open, showing a CR123 battery setup. There is an equipment retention fixture between the battery compartment and the IR ruminator divergence knob. Below this knob is the pressure switch cord insert for the use of a remote pressure switch to be mounted on the M1913 Picatinny rail of the rifle. In addition to the pressure switch there is a rubber button on top of the device that can be depressed to engage any laser activated should the wire or cord go down.

Another important note is that L3 Insight worked in conjunction with Vixel to produce the IR illuminator for the NGAL. According to conversations with the L3 representative, the NGAL has entered active service with special operations elements in 2016 and 2017.

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The NGAL uses a left-side Phillips head screw to clamp onto the M1913 Picatinny rail interface system. Note the IR illuminator windage adjustment on the left side of the NGAL frame. In this photograph, the cap to the pressure switch cord hasn’t been inserted.

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From left to right are the various laser and illuminator options: visible red laser AH (Aim High), AL (Aim Low) , O (Off), L (for IR Illuminator), DL (Dual Low), AH (Aim High), IH (Illuminator High), and DH (Dual High). The “High” versus “Low” indicates whether or not that setting has a “high” Class 3 laser output, or a “low” Class 1 laser output. The blue set screws are to prevent the use of the high-frequency emitting lasers while in training where they could be non-eye safe for participants. Note the elevation adjustment buttons for both the IR illuminator and the IR/visible laser. Also, note the battery shape facing “Tit Down” so users can be aware of the correct battery direction when inserting it.

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