The Soldier-Vehicle Connection for a More Effective Fighting Force
The soldiers in the armed personnel carrier were ready to meet the mean streets where insurgents had been spotted.
They had all of the most advanced equipment that would connect them to each other, to the vehicle, and to the command post once on the ground. They wore the latest thermal imagers that could spot the enemy day or night, head mounted displays to receive information from drones and other sensors, and carried light, digitally-empowered rifles for rapid target acquisition.
Yet, there was one risk that could be the most dangerous of all: how do exit safely if you are inside the vehicle and can’t see what is around you?
“That’s the dangerous gap that is now closed, thanks to a real breakthrough in local situational awareness”, says Pascal Secretin, head of imagers and sensors for optronics systems at Thales, “We are providing all types of armed vehicles with ANTARES, the leading 360-degree optronic video system that tells the vehicle crew and the soldier precisely what is happening around them before they go out.”
With its five million pixels and 360-degree view of its surroundings, ANTARES, allows vehicle crews to thwart threats to the vehicle or to the soldiers inside, on the road, as they exit or even afterwards, giving them the ability to ‘see’ through the vehicle’s walls.
“It’s as if the vehicle walls become transparent — and you can see into the far distance”, says Secretin. “ANTARES has an integrated laser warning system and can even detect the launch of an incoming missile and allow the crew to respond”.
Real-time day and night local awareness becomes part of a defence cloud that allows all units on the ground, on the sea, or in the air share data and images. The vehicle’s sensors are connected into a shared data battle space where autonomy and Artificial Intelligence provide more useful information faster for the decisive moments in combat.
“Thales innovation and technology in integrating intelligence on all types of platforms, including the augmented soldier and vehicle, and then connecting them together, is the key to assuring the most effective fighting forces today and tomorrow,” says Emmanuel Sprauel, Director of Strategy and Marketing for Optronics and Missile Electronics business line at Thales.