For government entities, the procurement of new equipment is a costly process. Smaller organizations like the Postal Inspection Service or the Marine Corps may lack the funds to perform exhaustive and rigorous testing that ensures that the final selection is the best product for the money. As a result, they often follow the lead of larger organizations like the FBI or the Army, who have the funds to conduct thorough testing. To that end, the selection of new optics by the FBI is significant in the law enforcement market.
On December 21, 2023, Aimpoint Inc. announced that it was chosen by the FBI to supply two of its optics for the Bureau's Red Dot Sights and Mounts Program. "Following extensive testing of a broad selection of competitive optics, Aimpoint was awarded a five-year contract with a maximum award amount of $7 million for the compact Duty RDS sight, and an additional $4 million award for the larger format CompM4s sight," Aimpoint said in a press release.
The CompM4 is an evolution of the older CompM2. Similar in appearance with a 30mm tube and military-standard Quick Release Picatinny Mount, the CompM4 uses a AA battery while the CompM2 uses a 1/3N battery. Both red dots are fielded by the Army as the M68 Close Combat Optic. The "s" variant selected by the FBI moves the battery compartment down to a low position and closer to the mount. This provides the user with a less obstructed field of vision. The CompM4 has been adopted by Army Special Forces and has trickled into the regular Army.
The Duty RDS is a newer offering from Aimpoint. It provides a more compact package similar to the popular Micro T-2. Both optics even use the same CR2032 battery and mounting footprint, although the Duty RDS sits higher than the T-2. Offering a similar form factor at a lower price, the Duty RDS is a more affordable alternative to the T-2. Both the Duty RDS and CompM4s have brightness settings compatible with night vision.
The previous FBI red dot sight, SIG Sauer's ROMEO4M, was chosen in December 2016. After the SIG optic was approved for use on personal rifles the previous month, the Bureau selected it for general issue beginning in 2017. Unlike the Aimpoint optics, the ROMEO4M features SIG's Motion-Activated Illumination System which gave it a rating of 50,000 hours of normal use. Aimpoint rates the Duty RDS at 30,000 hours of constant-on use and the CompM4s at over 80,000 hours. Of course, battery life is subject to the brightness setting being used. Deliveries of the Duty RDS and CompM4s to the FBI began at the end of 2023.