FORCE PROTECTION’S VEHICLE TACTICAL HUB MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (VTHMS)
By Julian Nettlefold
Jack Autry of Force Protection showed the Editor its new and unique COTS-based Vehicle Tactical HUB Management System (VTHMS) which the Company has independently developed using its own money and integrated on a tactical wheeled vehicle for demonstration during IDEX. VTHMS provides a framework for integration multiple C4, RSTA, Weapons Control, and on-board systems using a common, vehicle network that is embedded on the base-vehicle. It was demonstrated on an Ocelot during the exhibition.
“Although we are showing VTHMS on Ocelot at IDEX, we are working with the U.S. DoD, the U.K. MoD and other customers to retrofit this system to in-service vehicles; this includes delivery of the system to other manufacturers. Force Protection developed the IP, backbone and system architecture, which are Open Source Plug-and-Play technologies. This enables us to work with partners such as Savox who have supplied the unique dual-mode voice and data intercom system which can also be distributed wirelessly to other vehicles, convoys, troops and facilities.” Autry said.
With VTHMS, both vehicle operator and commander can have cross-access to systems’ status in real-time — all the time — which significantly increases vehicle and unit operational flexibility. VTHMS can also be reconfigured in the field to support multiple mission profiles.
“We have designed the system so that C4I systems are accessible to vehicle crew using position independent Vehicle Information Terminals. For instance the Driver Vision Enhancer (DVE) thermal imagery are no longer a ‘driver only capability, they can now be distributed throughout the vehicle and beyond. In addition, targets detection and identification can be performed using the Enhanced Low-Profile Pan and tilt roof thermal imager, from QuickSet Moog, sights can be handed over from Commander to Gunner and vice versa. The system can be networked to enable any crew station to access any sensor.” Autry continued.
Other capabilities include, rear-facing situational awareness, automatic sniper detection and location, ICS and displayed alert, navigation, Calculated origin location, Cue and slew and Video motion detection automatic alert.
VTHMS provides a transparent, central management and control system that integrates multiple C4, RSTA, Weapons Control, and on-board systems in a common vehicle network. With a modular, scaleable, open architecture, it is interoperable with current and future components.
Command, Control & Communications:
Intercom – Voice over IP (VoIP)/Radio over IP (RoIP)
• Selective Cross station communication
Local unit communications
• Vehicle position to vehicle position
• Broadcast “alerts”/threat detection data
• Seamless cross vehicle data exchange
• Video, graphics etc
• TUAV Video Down Link &
Remote Weapon Station (RWS)
• On board sensor cued
• Video distribution
Other features include: Cross weapon target data exchange, Weapon selection and management, Multiple weapon – multiple target engagement, On-board Component/Systems Management and Automotive monitoring.
“Given the growing importance of on-board HUMS systems can VTHMS be linked to the vehicle’s sensor data bus and diagnostic functions?
“Yes, VTHMS has its own HUMS in the form of an embedded log book and on-board technical manual digital e-library. This is linked to the vehicle’s power management and control systems, health monitoring and logging and vehicle systems diagnostics. Thus, VTHMS offers reduced crew workload and improves task performance and maintenance cycles by automating and simplifying routine crew tasks.” Autry continued.