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General Dynamics - 'Boomerang' Sniper-Detection System

General Dynamics : 08 October, 2007  (New Product)
General Dynamics C4 Systems has received a task order from the U.S. Army to integrate BBN Technologies' 'Boomerang' sniper-detection system with the Land Warrior system, enabling Land Warrior-equipped soldiers to identify and respond to a sniper's shot within seconds. The new capability, requested by Land Warrior-equipped troops serving in Iraq, improves soldiers' ability to detect and respond to enemy sniper fire.
The $250,000 task order funds integration and delivery of six sniper-detection systems to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team which is currently serving in Iraq. Initial deliveries are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2007. The task order is a modification to the Land Warrior contract awarded in 2003.

Land Warrior is an integrated ensemble worn by dismounted soldiers that greatly enhances their warfighting combat efficiency and reduces risk of fratricide.

Developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based BBN Technologies and integrated at the General Dynamics-sponsored EDGE(TM) Warrior Innovation Center in Scottsdale, the Boomerang system comprises a group of small microphones and a digital display. The system detects and analyzes the muzzle blast and shock wave from a speeding round to display the precise distance and direction of the sniper. Once delivered, Land Warrior soldiers will automatically receive sensor input in their digital displays.

Work is also ongoing in the EDGE Warrior Innovation Center to make size, weight and power improvements to the next generation system based on feedback from soldiers.

'This is what the EDGE Warrior Innovation Center is all about -- delivering new technology to soldiers quickly,' said Richard Coupland, director of the EDGE(TM) Innovation Network. 'In our first eight months of operation, the EDGE Warrior Team has developed and integrated multiple components and capabilities with the next generation of Land Warrior, reducing the system's weight to less than 7.3 pounds.'

Mark Sherman, vice president, BBN Technologies, said, 'BBN is pleased to support General Dynamics' initiative to integrate the latest life-saving technology into Land Warrior to enhance troop protection in the urban battlefields where snipers pose a constant threat. The ease of integration translates into rapid deployment and the ability to save more lives in urban operations.'

Opened in December 2006, and with members representing customers, industry and academia, the EDGE Innovation Network was designed to reduce the development cycle time and cost for new warfighter technologies and capabilities. The EDGE enables an environment of collaboration between customers, industry and academic members with access to laboratory and test facilities. In just 10 months, more than 20 innovations have been successfully demonstrated to U.S. military and government customers.
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