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US Army Places $9.95 Million Order for QinetiQ North America’s Next Generation of Soldier-Wearable Sniper Detectors


US Army’s first large-scale deployment of Ears expected by end of year

QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group has announced a $9.95 million order from the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) for SWATS Soldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting Systems. Part of the Ears Gunshot Localization System product family, SWATS soldier-worn units will be deployed to US Army troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan this year. The deployment, expected to be complete by early next year, will also include QinetiQ North America personnel to provide training and field support.

This is the US Army’s first large-scale deployment of any soldier-wearable gunshot and sniper detection solution.

According to Don Steinman, Director of Technology Marketing and Transition for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group, QinetiQ North America worked directly with the United States military to extensively test Ears, both in-theatre and in stateside demonstrations. The results, he says, meet the US Army’s requirement and give soldiers an important tool to help keep them safe. The Ears systems purchased by the REF will include next-generation sensors and rugged features that further address the environment in which the gunshot localization systems will be deployed.

“The soldiers gave us feedback and we acted on it,” said Steinman. “The result is a powerful, rugged, and lightweight gunshot localization system that helps the individual warfighter rapidly respond to dangerous situations.”

The mission of the REF is to equip operational commanders with off-the-shelf solutions, insert future force technology required by engaged and deployed forces, and assess capabilities, thus enabling US forces to rapidly confront an adaptive enemy.

QinetiQ North America developed the Ears Gunshot Localisation System to allow military personnel to immediately and accurately respond to sniper fire. The Ears low-profile acoustic sensor, coupled with operator interfaces designed for individual soldiers, vehicles and fixed locations, audibly cues soldiers with direction and distance in just a fraction of a second from the first gunshot, without being confused by surrounding sounds. The palm-sized, 6.4-ounce core sensor needs only one gunshot to accurately locate snipers in a 360-degree view, even when in use in a moving vehicle.


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