Oerlikon Contraves GmbH, located in Stockach, Germany, has been a major supplier of advanced technologies to the military and law enforcement agencies around the world for over two decades. The LLM (Laser Light Module) 01 is the most feature-rich of a family of small-arms laser targeting devices from Oerlikon Contraves.
Currently in use by numerous armed forces and law enforcement entities, including the German Army and Special Forces, German GSG-9, British SAS, Italian and Spanish state police, among others, the LLM 01 provides the operator with both visible and infrared (IR) illumination for target acquisition and visible and IR aiming points for fire control.
The integrated system eliminates the “module stack up” that would be the case in which a separate laser aimer and illuminator are employed. The use of an integrated, programmable system additionally provides flexible performance and greater cost effectiveness.
The LLM 01 has received high marks for its effectiveness, ruggedness and user-friendliness by foreign forces engaged in combat side by side with American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a force multiplier that has proved to be a lifesaver in urban warfare operations. Many of its design features are the result of input received from the field experiences of SpecOps warfighters in combat operations.
Distributed in the USA by Advance Defense Technologies
, the Oerlikon Contraves family of small-arms laser-based active aiming aids consists of three basic products: the programmable LLM 01, the LLM-R (illuminator and laser), and the Laser Module LM-S (single laser or illuminator), which is available in six configurations. The Oerlikon Contraves “Justierlasersatz” or Laser Adjustment Device (LADS), although basically a boresighting tool, is also part of the family, and has seen extensive use during recent and current conflicts. LLM 01
Oerlikon Contraves’ LLM 01 laser light module was developed for the German Infantry as part of the “Infanterist der Zukunft” (Infantryman of the Future) project, which is the German Army equivalent of the U.S. Army’s Land Warrior Program. Requirements included a single, compact multi-functional system that provided both visible and covert target detection and marking, with mission-specific interoperability across a variety of weapon platforms. The LLM 01 features a modular adapter scheme for many weapons systems, utilizing a quick-clamping device.
The LLM 01 can be operated in any of four basic operator-selected modes: visible laser only; visible laser and white light, IR laser only, and IR laser/illuminator. The LLM 01 is equipped with a rotary pre-selector switch, located on the left side of the unit, for selection of key functions.
All functions of the LLM 01 are controlled by an optionally programmable, integrated microprocessor. One of the key advantages of the LLM 01 is the ease of programming and reprogramming the selector switches in order to custom tailor the light and lasers’ functions to suit differing operational requirements.
Push buttons on the right, left and the rear of the unit allow the user to trigger the illuminating and targeting functions. The push buttons are optionally programmable for any possible function assignment. The LLM 01 can also be activated by a trigger cable of desired length with pressure pad or push-button remote switch. Special remotes are available for a variety of weapon platforms.
White light illumination is provided by an 8W halogen lamp. The lamp is shock-mounted to withstand recoil and combat field conditions. Peak white light output is rated at 120 lumens. The diameter of the beam is approximately 2 meters at 10 meters distance. The beam provides target illumination at distances of up to 100 meters. It has a blinding effect on the dark-adapted eyes of the target at distances of up to 10 meters. Run time on a single set of batteries (white light only) is over one hour. Run times are based on operational temperature of from –10 deg C to +20 deg C.
Optional snap-on 630 nm red light filter and 850 nm IR filter are available for the halogen flashlight, as accessories. The flashlight can get quite hot when the red light or IR filter is employed. With a filter installed, the flashlight shouldn’t be operated for more than 10 minutes at 20 deg C ambient temperature and must not be activated when covered.
IR near-field (diffuse) illumination is provided by a 25 mW 880 nm Class IIm laser diode. The beam from the IR illuminator measures approximately 2 meters in diameter at 3 meters distance. The range is up to 10 meters at night with night vision goggles, with target detection possible at up to 25 meters.
Alternatively, a long-range IR illuminator can be installed in place of the near-field illuminator to effect illumination or “painting” of targets up to 2,000 meters. The long-range illuminator can be controlled, like all the other lasers of the LLM 01, through five steps of intensity, and optically modified from high concentration to diffuse illumination. Run time on a single set of batteries (IR illuminator only) is over 15 hours.
Oerlikon Contraves manufactures a special 850 nm IR Long Range Illuminator for the LLM 01 for use where extended-range IR illumination is required suddenly as an alternative to the flashlight. The IR Long Range Illuminator is easily installed by simply unscrewing the flashlight head of the LLM 01 and replacing it with the IR Long Range Illuminator. No tools are necessary. The IR Long Range Illuminator produces a 2 meters by 3 meters wide beam at 200 meters. Other laser heads, to substitute the white light function, are available to cover every possible operational situation.
The LLM 01 is equipped with a 5mW 650 nm (orange-red) Class IIIa visible laser. The visible laser has a range of up to 20 meters in daylight (under optimum conditions) and over 200 meters at night. An optional filter disk that reduces the laser to a Class II is available for training. The filter disk absorbs 80% of the beam, reducing laser output to less than 1mW.
Operator-controlled output power selection is also available. The laser is adjustable in azimuth and elevation. Spot size of the visible laser is approximately 15 x 30 mm (less than a square inch) at 25 meters. Run time on a single set of batteries (visible laser only) is over 15 hours.
The use of the laser target marker allows for fast, accurate aiming of the weapon without using the sights. It also provides a degree of “intimidation” value that can potentially de-escalate many situations.
The LLM 01 has a 0.44 mW 850 nm Class I IR targeting laser. It can mark targets under twilight conditions or in complete darkness at extended ranges (up to 200 meters.). The IR laser is adjustable in both azimuth and elevation. Spot size is 15 x 30 mm at 25 meters. Run time on a single set of batteries (IR laser only) is over 15 hours.
The lasers are positioned above the white light lamp head for close proximity to the boreline. The point of aim (POA) of each laser is adjusted separately by means of adjustment screws. The Oerlikon Contraves “Justierlasersatz” or Laser Boresighting Device (LBD) is designed to allow the operator to quickly and accurately adjust the laser target markers, optical sights and mechanical sights of the weapon. The LLM 01 has excellent boresight retention, retaining its adjustment under recoil and when removed from and remounted on the same weapon.
The LLM 01 is designed to allow the operator to easily reduce IR laser output to comply with different standards of eye safety power by utilizing special filters, and to switch from a powerful white light source to a high-power infrared illuminator or sniper-range pointer. Special holographic shape generators (circle, square, triangle, cross and T) are also available for the LLM 01.
The shape generators allow for the personalization of the IR illuminator and/or laser aimers. The primary use of the shape generators is to designate specific targets and also to allow for the immediate visual identification of source of the beam, e.g., platoon or squad leader. The filters and shape generators are easily installed by the operator in the field.
The LLM 01 is quite compact, measuring only 86 x 46 x 58 mm (L x W x H). Total weight is less than 7 ounces, including batteries. The LLM 01 meets the toughest environmental requirements, and is waterproof to 66 feet.
Operating power is 6V. Power is provided by two commercially available 3V DL 123A lithium batteries. DL 123A lithium batteries have become the standard battery for most tactical lights on the market. Operational temperature range is –20 deg C to +55 deg C. The battery case has integral inverse-polarity protection.
The LLM 01 is extremely rugged. It fully meets and exceeds all U.S. Army requirements. According to Oerlikon Contraves, the LLM 01 could be made lighter, but its weight is justified by material added to provide the extreme shock resistance such a device must exhibit on the battlefield where dropped or banged weapons are routine. The LLM 01 is hardened against battlefield EMC, including jamming, electro-magnetic fields at large, RF electro-magnetic fields, and against electrostatic discharges.
The LLM 01 features a special integral, universal adapter system for most small arms. The adapter system is equipped with a quick-clamping device. It can be rapidly installed on small arms without tools. It fits all weapons equipped with M-1913 (Picatinny) rails, as well as many other pistol rails.
The operator simply slides the LLM onto the rail and clamps it on to seat it firmly on the weapon. A variety of optional clamp jaws, mounts and adapters are available from Oerlikon Contraves for the LLM 01, allowing the unit to be mounted on most popular military and law enforcement small arms.Eugene Nielsen provides investigative and tactical consulting services and is a former officer. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.