Autonomous systems could meet future 'last-mile' logistics requirements for the British Army, with developments ongoing under Project Theseus.
Renault provides French DGA with SLATE
Renault Trucks Defense has announced that it has provided the French defence procurement agency (DGA) with 80 SLATE (Acoustic Sniper Localization System) kits for integration with TOP 12.7 versions of the VAB armoured personnel carrier in Afghanistan. According to the company the delivery was part of an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) issued in November 2011.
The SLATE system consists of a PILARw acoustic antenna for detecting gunshots, produced by 01dB-Metravib, which is connected to the Kongsberg TOP 12.7 (Protector M151) remote control weapon system and an interface for the crew.
According to Renault, when integrated into the VAB, this assembly allows very fast response times against sniper attack. As soon as a gunshot is detected, the VAB’s crew can decide to cue the turret automatically in the direction of the danger. The target can be identified and fire returned immediately.
In partnership with the DGA and the French Army Technical Department (STAT), the system has been enhanced to improve the sensitivity of SLATE to allow the threat level to be determined by indicating whether the weapon used is small or medium calibre. At the same time, the SLATE system stores the geographical location of the attacking shooters in memory, even after the VAB has moved.
The VAB can therefore move into cover when engaged. Thanks to the added reach provided by the armament of the TOP 12.7 weapon station (a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm grenade launcher), the crew can move away from the threat while retaining the option of neutralising targets from a safe distance. Ultimately, the SLATE system could be connected to information and command systems to improve the sharing of information gathered at tactical level.
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