Combat identification system

BAE Systems and Thales have been awarded a contract by the US Army to provide technologies that minimise the risk of so-called ‘friendly-fire’ casualties.

BAE Systems and Thales have been awarded a contract by the US Army to provide combat identification solutions for ground-combat and combat-support vehicles to minimise the risk of fratricide.

Under a $3.3m (£2.3m) contract from the US Army Communications and Electronics Life Cycle Management Center, the companies will study how millimeter-wave combat identification systems can address issues related to affordability, information security, and platform integration.

The contract was awarded as part of the Joint Cooperative Target Identification-Ground programme, an effort to develop a low-cost target identification capability for the US Army and Marine Corps.

Paul Markwardt, vice-president of identification and surveillance for BAE Systems in Greenlawn, New York, said: ‘BAE Systems and Thales are working together to develop a systems approach that combines Thales’s expertise in combat identification equipment and BAE Systems’ expertise in platform integration and network-centric combat identification capabilities.’

The contract covers the programme’s risk-reduction phase, focusing on ground-to-ground combat identification between military platforms.

The programme specifies a NATO-standard all-weather, millimeter-wave interrogate-and-respond system for use on US fighting vehicles to signal the presence of friendly vehicles.

According to BAE Systems, the solution must be able to operate during the night and day and not be affected by camouflage or battlefield obscurants.