Thales Infra-Red Warner Technology a success
Thales has successfully showcased its Infra-Red (IR) Warner technology, demonstrating the company’s ability to develop innovative solutions for the Australian Defence Force.
The IR Warner System detects the discharge of weapons through IR sensing, and displays this information to alert the operator about the presence and location of an adversary.
The system is intended to be fitted to vehicles and integrated with vehicle-mounted weapons and countermeasures systems to provide an effective self-defence capability against hostile fire.
It is being developed in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), under the Department of Defence’s Capability Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program.
“Field trial results for the IR Warner System were outstanding, and have exceeded expectations,” said Ian Irving, VP, in charge of Thales’s Land & Joint Systems activities in Australia.
“The IR Warner System successfully detected all threats presented during the trials,including some very challenging threats that have been difficult to detect using previous hostile fire indicator systems.”
Following the success of this CTD, the Commonwealth has invited Thales to submit a proposal under the CTD extension program to explore the potential adaptation of the IR Warner System for ADF aircraft operations.
“We look forward to continuing the excellent relationship with DSTO established under this CTD to further develop ADF capabilities for hostile fire detection and situational awareness,” Mr Irving said.
The hostile fire indicator capability for the IR Warner System is provided by the Thales Elix-IR threat warner. This has been developed for airborne applications as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Technical Development Program.
One of the objectives of the Australian IR Warner CTD was to demonstrate the performance of Elix-IR in complex warfighting environments, while another was to demonstrate that networking the IR Warner System between vehicles and existing ADF command and support systems can enhance the ADF’s force protection capability.
“The trial results show Thales’s ability to reach back for global technology transfer,” Mr Irving continued. “As a worldwide company with a vast product range, we are well-placed to offer a valuable combination of national and international innovation and expertise.”
The final stage of the CTD involved four weeks of field trials at Thales’s Australian Soldier Systems Development and Support Centre at Lithgow, NSW, and the Commonwealth’s Proof and Experimental Establishment facility at Graytown, Victoria. In these trials, the IR Warner System was tested against a variety of weapon types likely to be encountered by ADF land forces.
During the trials, Thales also successfully demonstrated the shared situational awareness generated by the IR Warner System in combination with Thales Australia’s Portable Situational Awareness and Moving Map System (PSAMMS).
This provided the ability to share situational awareness between vehicles fitted with the IR Warner System regarding the presence, location and disposition of adversary forces detected by Elix-IR. The integration of Elix-IR with PSAMMS, and the networking of PSAMMS using standard military messaging protocols, was achieved without any technical complications.
Thales (Australia) is a Core Participant of the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC). DMTC is a joint venture between defence industry, universities and public research agencies focused on enhancing Australia’s defence capability through the development of new materials and manufacturing technologies.
Posted by DMTC on November 10th, 2009