DSEi 2011: Thales develops new counter-IED ECM system
Thales has developed a new ECM in an effort to counter radio-controlled IEDs (RCIEDs, which the company says are currently the enemy’s ‘weapon of choice’.
The Gecco ECM is undergoing tests by Thales, and is expected to be available to order by 2012, Martyn Pratt, ECM product line manager said at a pre-DSEi media briefing on 13 July.
‘IEDs are currently the widest threat and killer in the military forces, and RCIED triggers are a weapon of choice,’ Pratt explained. ‘Give the insurgent a choice and he will used a radio-controlled link.
‘This is for a number of reasons: it enables him to be away from the point of detonation, and more importantly enables him to hit the target he wants, so there is a better kill rate, but also a reduced level of casualties amongst the indigenous population that he has to live in.’
He explained that the key is to not only stop the attack, but to ‘identify attacks and exploit them later on’, maintaining sovereignty over your capability.
This system provides intelligent and agile protection, but also brings some EW capability to the front line, according to Pratt.
Current systems have problems with size, weight and power on both mounted and dismounted platforms.
Pratt pointed out that a lot of equipment currently in service came about as a result of an urgent operational requirement and, therefore, today’s equipment is only designed for today’s conflicts; the ‘new threat new box’ concept needs to be deterred from.
The Gecco is a re-look at technology, and is ‘spectrum-flexible’, making it easy to support because it is modular and extendable.
‘We have created a new base technology that has enabled us to deal with some of those issues that exist today. We have also looked at the architectures of vehicle systems that are coming into service, and we’ve designed them to interface into modern platforms,’ Pratt said.
Following field tests that began last September, Thales has delivered ‘a number of platforms’ to customers.
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