DoD ISSUES NEW DVE REQUIREMENT
By Julian Nettlefold
07 Oct 08. The U.S. DoD, seeing the success of the deployment of the Driver Vision Enhancer system onto a number of legacy vehicles in theatre in Iraq and Afghanistan, has expanded the requirement to include all vehicles in service by 2011 by the issue of a fully-funded IDIQ worth approximately $2 billion. BATTLESPACE understands that responders to the IDIQ include, BAE Systems, DRS Technologies, Flir Systems Inc. and Raytheon. DRS and FLIR were showing examples of their DVEs and ancillary equipment at AUSA.
DRS has made some enhancements to its existing DVE equipment, including a stabilized gimble to meet the new DoD requirements. The new DVE requirement requires the winning bidder’s equipment to be compatible with the older systems.
DRS Technologies’ Driver’s Vision Enhancer (DVE) has been fielded on a number of key vehicles in the U.S. fleet including Abrams, Bradley, FMTV, M113, Stryker and MRAPs. The DRS DVE has also been fielded on the Bulldog, CVR(T) and Warrior vehicles in the U.K. DRS showed its DVE fit on the Land Rover on the Hobson Industries stand at DVD this year and on a HMMV at this year’s AUSA. The US Requirement stretches into the HMMV fleet and the U.K. is actively considering DVE’s for its Land Rover fleet. DVE also forms part of the JLTV Requirement and is being offered for OUVS.
The DRS DVE B-kit provides combat and tactical-wheeled vehicle operators with unparalleled flexibility to conduct day/night operations or maneuver in severely degraded visual conditions caused by smoke, fog, dust or other battlefield obscurants. The DVE B-kit provides situational awareness, vehicle tracking, support elements for the combat force, and gives an operator the ability to detect targets or ambushes.
The DVE B-kit System is comprised of two Line Replaceable Units (LRUs): the Sensor Module (SM) with the integral Uncooled Mini-Microbolometer module and the Display and Control Module (DCM). These LRUs are interchangeable in the non-captive A-kit adapter bracket which fits into the vision block of various combat vehicles or mounted externally on the vehicle to maximize the viewing area. These units fit into all standard vehicle A-kits and are adaptable to other customer furnished A-kits.
DVE B-kits fit into A-kits of various tactical wheeled vehicles as well. DRS’s DVE B-kit is upgradeable (e.g., improved optics and focal plane arrays for increased resolution and field-of- view). This reduces the potential for technical obsolescence and allows inexpensive upgrades to maintain the equipment utility.
DRS used this year’s AUSA to launch its new OmniScape video and data distribution system which both enhances and complements the DVE system giving vehicle operators and crew total 360 degree visibility to the outside terrain of their own and other vehicles. OnmiScape was developed using DRS Private Venture funding.
“DRS’s OmniScape Video and Data Distribution system is a vehicle-central conduit for all video and data reformatting, routing and management designed to fulfil 24/7 situational awareness for U.S. and coalition armed forces. It is designed to interface with existing vehicle C4I systems including FBCB2, DVE and EO targeting systems. It has the added benefit of having a large data storage facility which backs up all data to protect the system and its contents in the event of battle damage. The technology for OmniScape was leveraged off the 1996 BAE Grizzly Engineering vehicle project.” Gary Smith, VP & General Manager of DRS Test & Energy Management Inc. told BATTLESPACE.” “The system provides all round 360 degree visibility and connectivity to vehicles in all types of conflict and weather. One immediate application is to provide 24/7 surveillance and protection for the MRAP vehicles. Urban warfare situations require the troops to know of the whereabouts of any hostiles or IEDs prior to disembar