“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.

The PEARL system can be installed, using a Picatinny rails on an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, a machine gun or multifunction goggles/sights. (Photo: METRAVIB)
The PEARL system can be installed, using a Picatinny rails on an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, a machine gun or multifunction goggles/sights. (Photo: METRAVIB)

“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 RS232 or RS422 interface of PEARL allows coupling, after a short adaptation study, with other systems. It uses LED lights to guide the shooter to the target. (Photo: METRAVIB)
The RS232 or RS422 interface of PEARL allows coupling, after a short adaptation study, with other systems. It uses LED lights to guide the shooter to the target. (Photo: METRAVIB)

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.