ABERDEEN, Md: BAE Systems, Inc. and Thales recently demonstrated the newest version of their jointly developed combat identification system to U.S. Army officials at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, marking the first time the system was demonstrated with a large, crew-served weapon on a U.S. vehicle.
The new version of the combat identification, or CID, system prevents soldiers operating machine guns on armored High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles from firing on friendly forces operating in other combat vehicles. During the demonstration, the CID system correctly identified moving and stationary friendly vehicles through smoke and fog and in tree lines.
“The general officers and civilian attendees who took the time to try the CID system all responded positively to its potential for preventing fratricide,” said Sal Costa, head of identification solutions for BAE Systems. “They were uniformly impressed by its simplicity and effectiveness.”
The demonstration tests consisted of a series of tactical vignettes developed to reflect potential real-life situations and how the CID system works with other technologies to reduce friendly-fire events among U.S. and coalition forces.
“Our team’s innovative combat ID systems continue to show their potential to deliver a capability to the warfighter that improves combat effectiveness while minimizing the risk of friendly casualties,” said Merry Michaux, director of Thales’s Communications, Navigation, and Identification business.
The CID system consists of transponders that are mounted on vehicles and direct-fire weapon interrogators to help gunners determine if targets are friendly. The demonstration unit included a palm switch used to conduct the interrogation, a visual warning device mounted near the gun, and headphones for audible warnings that allow the gunner to see and hear the results without having to take his eyes off the target.
BAE Systems is the premier global defense, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems’ sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.
Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, serving defense, aerospace, and security markets worldwide, supported by a comprehensive services offering. The group’s civil and military businesses develop in parallel to serve a single objective: the security of people, property, and nations. Thales employs 60,000 people in 50 countries and generated revenues of $12.7 billion in 2005.