In any Close Quarters Combat setting, there is always one factor that we always consider, the lighting conditions. Usually in CQC/CQB we expect our operating environment to be low light so apart from obstacles, rooms, and barriers, darkness is always suspected to conceal an opposing shooter. We use usually use weaponlights to illuminate dark places, or if not needing weaponlights, we prefer the red dot sights for faster target acquisition.
But what if that red dot sight comes with thermal imaging? Then it’s a whole new ballgame as the shooter equipped with such red dot sight will have an enormous advantage. Steiner Optics’ CQT or Close Quarters Thermal exactly does that.
First seen at the SHOT Show 2019, the Steiner Optics CQT was on display at the Modern Day Marine 2019 last 22-24 September in Quantico, the home of CG Marine Corps Combat Development. So far, this is the first hybrid red dot – thermal sight as usually these are separate devices. Combining both, especially for CQC purposes, lessens the device requirements as well as the load on the rifle that will be carried by the soldier or police. The device is as 12-micron thermal camera with a red dot overlay.
Here is a video from Gear Scout taken at the SHOT Show 2019:
With thermal imaging, one can see the glowing green signature of the target in the dark for better target acquisition, and for more accuracy the red dot overlay. In brighter conditions, there are tinted lens that can be flipped up to allow you to have a better look at the thermal image. The pattern can be set to full thermal or thermal outline with the latter showing the outlines of the targets and the shooter can select which to use to have for target acquisition.
Weighing one pound, it is powered by two CR-123 batteries and red dot and thermal cameras have single settings only. It is a costly device, as it will set one back a good US$10,000.00. This is one device that will costly for use in airsoft, and it will be a long time before an affordable replica will be made for the airsoft market.
Top photo from the Steiner Optics USA Facebook Page.