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A new gunfire-detection system has been unveiled by IAI and is attracting worldwide attention from potential clients. Company officials say its ability to turn shooters’ locations into precise target data means that “the imagination is the limit” in terms of usage and impact on future battlefields.
JNS.com reports that the system can detect anything from machine-gun fire, handguns, RPGs, 30-millimeter cannons and other types of threats. The system can detect hostile fire at lengthy ranges, including 2 kilometers for RPG attacks and more than 400 meters for AK-47 fire. Sniper positions can also be detected from hundreds of meters away.
According to the company, the system can be used in both stationary and on-the-move configurations, on vehicles, armored platforms, tanks and autonomous unmanned systems, as well as vehicles that transport VIPs and paramilitary vehicles. A version also exists for infantry and special force units. The Othello, described as lightweight, speeds up the time it takes for forces to locate enemy positions and turn that information into targeting data for return fire in a process known as the sensor-to-shooter loop.
“Othello-P was developed using a combination of innovation and developing existing systems.” Said Asher Abish, the director of marketing at IAI-ELTA’s Land Division. “One of the biggest problems that we have is getting situational awareness”. With the Othello, Abish added, “If someone is shooting at me, I can identify where the fire is coming from, what the location of the shooter is,”.
The camera (electro-optical) sensor of the system identifies the flash of hostile fire that emanates from a barrel. The acoustic sensor identifies the blast, as well as shockwaves that are generated by bullets passing nearby. “We can integrate all three—or even just two of these—to get a location,” Abish elaborates.
Othello-P can operate during the day or night and in all weather conditions, stated IAI representatives. “We are able to operate in an urban area. This is very unique because the current traditional systems have a problem operating in an urban area,” said Abish. “Urban areas are noisy environments. We integrated optical sensors for detecting flashes and an acoustic listening sensor for measuring and classifying fire sources, enabling us to operate in much more robust conditions than in the past.”