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BAE Systems - Thales demonstrates new combat ID System that helps reduce friendly-fire incidents

14 September 2009

BAE Systems and Thales recently demonstrated the newest version of their jointly developed combat identification system to U.S. Army officials at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, marking the first time the system was demonstrated with a large, crew-served weapon on a U.S. vehicle.

The new version of the combat identification, or CID, system prevents soldiers operating machine guns on armored High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles from firing on friendly forces operating in other combat vehicles. During the demonstration, the CID system correctly identified moving and stationary friendly vehicles through smoke and fog and in tree lines.

"The general officers and civilian attendees who took the time to try the CID system all responded positively to its potential for preventing fratricide," said Sal Costa, head of identification solutions for BAE Systems. "They were uniformly impressed by its simplicity and effectiveness."

The demonstration tests consisted of a series of tactical vignettes developed to reflect potential real-life situations and how the CID system works with other technologies to reduce friendly-fire events among U.S. and coalition forces.

"Our team's innovative combat ID systems continue to deliver a capability to the warfighter that improves combat effectiveness while minimizing the risk of friendly casualties," said Merry Michaux, Vice President for Communication, Navigation, and Identification Business Line at Thales Land and Joint Systems Division.

The CID system consists of transponders that are mounted on vehicles and direct-fire weapon interrogators to help gunners determine if targets are friendly. The demonstration unit included a palm switch used to conduct the interrogation, a visual warning device mounted near the gun, and headphones for audible warnings that allow the gunner to see and hear the results without having to take his eyes off the target.



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