Cubic Corporation, SAN DIEGO: The defense segment of Cubic Corporation has received a $3.4 million contract from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command to integrate Cubic's Optical Combat Identification System (O-CIDS) into a major field exercise being held this month to assess the effectiveness of several different combat identification technologies.
Cubic Defense Applications (CDA) will participate in the Coalition Combat Identification Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstration field exercise from Sept. 19 to Oct. 9 at the Salisbury Plain Training Area in the United Kingdom. The U.S. Joint Forces Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Command Transformation group are conducting the exercise to assess how laser-, radio-frequency (RF), infrared-based combat ID and other systems perform during realistic force-on-force engagements involving dismounted soldiers and vehicles. Cubic is the only company demonstrating a completely laser-based system — O-CIDS.
Cubic's O-CIDS is designed to reduce the incidence of fratricide or “friendly fire” for ground troops, vehicle crews and aircraft. The system provides the shooter with information about the target, including if it is a known “friend,” and also provides the range to the target with a low probability of detection, interception or jamming. Cubic hopes to provide air-to-ground combat ID capability in a future generation of the system.
If the target is visible with or without optical aids such as night-vision or thermal sights, shooters can interrogate the target and get a response without any perceptible time increase to engage a target. This means that the shooter is not in a vulnerable position while waiting for the target's response. Future features include point-to-point voice and data communications to allow the shooter and the target to talk or transmit data to each other.
“Over the years, Cubic's laser-based combat training systems have helped save many lives,” said Walter J. Zable, chairman and CEO of Cubic Corporation. “O-CIDS is a logical extension of the life-saving technology that we already manufacture now.”
Zable noted that during the wars of the last century, the rate of U.S. deaths that occurred as a result of “friendly fire” incidents ranged from 10 percent to 25 percent.
“We believe Cubic's O-CIDS system is technologically superior and more affordable than other combat ID systems now proposed, including radio-based and infrared approaches,” said Max Farrow, senior vice president of Engineering for Cubic Defense Applications. “It offers the added benefit of conserving bandwidth, since laser systems do not operate in the same spectrum as most other tactical communications technologies.”
Cubic's O-CIDS system has been certified eye-safe by a U.S. government testing laboratory.
Cubic Defense Applications, one of Cubic's two major segments, is a world leader in realistic combat training systems, mission support services and defense electronics. The corporation's other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities.
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