Boeing has been awarded a US Air Force contract for a Ground Situational Awareness Toolkit (GSAT) that integrates a ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with a ShotSpotter gunfire detection and location technology system.
ShotSpotter sensors are ground-based, personnel wearable and vehicle mounted. In the GSAT application, the system can provide ScanEagle the coordinates of a shot’s origin to enable the vehicle to point its camera at that location.
The integrated solution is designed to provide additional force protection for military convoys and bases against sniper fire.
The Air Force’s 820th Security Forces Group (SFG) at Moody Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia, will conduct a four-month military utility assessment to validate ground detection and aerial location of sniper fire. If successful, the system could join Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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Upon arrival at Moody and completion of system training, the 820th SFG will begin incorporating GSAT into the unit’s ground training to evaluate the system while performing the various missions it may encounter when deployed.
After the group concludes its evaluation of GSAT, the equipment will be matched with one of the unit’s deploying squadrons that will conduct “first in” force-protection missions across the spectrum of peace and wartime military operations.
‘Imagine a battlefield where whenever the enemy fires any kind of weapon you know within seconds exactly where the shooter is and can cue an airborne platform camera to put the shooter on TV,’ said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Steve Siegfried, vice chairman for ShotSpotter.
‘This kind of situational awareness has never existed on any battlefield,’ added Siegfried. ‘When troops on the ground have this kind of instant information with support from ScanEagle, they have an advantage no other warfighters have ever had.’