Monday, September 13, 2010

Electro-optical sensor system for Navy ship defense from terrorist attacks provided by FLIR Systems

U.S. Navy ship systems designers needed electro-optical sensor systems for the Shipboard Protection System (SPS), which helps protect Navy surface vessels from terrorist attacks while moored to piers, at anchor, or during restricted maneuvering. They found their solution from FLIR Systems in Wilsonville, Ore.

FLIR will provide the Navy with Star SAFIRE series electro-optical sensor (EOS) systems, containing forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor and laser detection and ranging tracking system under terms of a $27.1 million contract, announced Monday. Awarding the contract is the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division in Crane, Ind.

These EOS systems are rugged and ship-mountable systems to provide surface ships with a day and night, high-resolution, infrared, and visible band imaging capability, as well as range finding capability, to augment existing optical and radar sensors for detecting and identifying potential terrorist or unconventional threats.

SPS is designed to increase the anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP) capabilities of naval vessels by providing 360-degree situational awareness and a flexible layered defense with engagement zones that are defined by the system operator. The SPS entered low-rate initial production last year, and is installed on the Navy's Burke-class destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Laboon (DDG 58), and USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79). The system will go aboard Ticonderoga-class cruisers, amphibious assault ships, and aircraft carriers beginning in 2012.

The FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE electro-optical sensor system is in use in the Royal Danish Navy on several ship classes, by the U.S. Navy for the SPS/EOS program, by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Deepwater program, and by other naval forces for surveillance and fire control. The Navy designed the SPS system in response to the devastating attack by terrorist suicide fast boats on the destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) at the port of Aden in October 2000.

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