Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, is developing innovative solutions to protect ships of the Canadian Navy against asymmetric laser-based threats.

Under the designation LOCATES (Laser Optical Countermeasures and surveillance Against Threat Environment Scenarios), the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), based in Valcartier/Québec awarded Cassidian a contract in 2011 to apply new technologies to detect and counter laser-based threats such as laser-beamrider missiles in harbors and littoral waters.

Now, the Critical Design Review has been achieved allowing the hardware development and integration of a demonstrator system which will be field-tested in July 2012 until the second half of 2013.

The programme reacts to increasing threats of laser range finders, laser designators and laser-guided weapons which are widely distributed and easy to operate. Navy ships are particularly vulnerable in a littoral environment where attacks are difficult to be detected without sufficient pre-warning time.

Therefore, LOCATES aims at the development of a detection and tracking capability together with a reliable laser countermeasure system. In close cooperation between Cassidian and DRDC, the programme will include technologies developed by DRDC and Cassidian’s experience in the production of laser-based self-protection systems.

“As the threat scenario confronting naval forces worldwide is continously evolving, the Canadian Navy needs cutting-edge technologies to detect and protect vessels from asymmetric threats,” said Simon Jacques, Cassidian Head of Canadian Sales. “Cassidian is proud to continue our long-term collaboration with the DRDC, and leverage our know-how and expertise to develop future laser detection and countermeasure innovations. Technologies developed in partnership with the DRDC-Valcartier will not only satisfy the Canadian Navy’s littoral requirements, but also those of allied Navies throughout the world.”

Cassidian capitalizes on a wide-ranging experience in the field of platform self-protection in the electro-optic spectrum. The company has developed laser warning devices for ships, aircraft and land vehicles which are in operation with several NATO armed forces. Its MILDS missile launch detection system, with more than 8,000 units sold, is the standard missile warner for helicopters and widebody aircraft on a global scale.

Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing Lead Systems Integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe: air systems (aircraft and unmanned aerial systems), land, naval and joint systems, intelligence and surveillance, cyber security, secure communications, test systems, missiles, services and support solutions. In 2011, Cassidian – with around 28,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.8 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 133,000.