“Contact right! Contact right!”

It’s an oft-heard call when the lead starts flying. And soon, some troops in Europe (or here in the US) could have a new gadget that helps make that call more accurate.

Developed by the French company Metravib, the PEARL is essentially an enhanced microphone that can sit atop a rifle or machine gun and helps guide the shooter to where the bad guy let loose his rounds.

It’s kind of similar to the vehicle-mounted Boomerang system developed back at the height of the IED and sniper war against US troops in Iraq. These types of acoustic detection systems became a staple of Israeli forces fighting insurgents in close-in urban areas.

“Metravib PEARL is a miniaturized acoustic gunshot detection system initially designed for infantry and dismounted soldier who is in direct contact with the enemy,” the company says. “PEARL provides the capability of finding in a few seconds and in a very intuitive way the origin of the shots that are threatening them.”

The PEARL uses LED lights to direct the shooter to the source of the fire and helps determine the azimuth and elevation of the bad guy. The sensor can detect a shot from 50 meters away outward and will filter out the outgoing fire, the company says.

Here’s a company video that explains what the deal is.


Christian Lowe is senior editor for digital operations and is a competitive pistol and rifle shooter.

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