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19 Jul 13. GE delivers COTS rugged systems for US Army’s I-BESS. GE Intelligent Platforms has delivered its commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) rugged systems to the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), which is currently developing an integrated blast effects sensor suite (I-BESS) for the US Army. The company had received a contract from GTRI for supply of 50 systems to serve as the main system for collection of data from IBESS’s two major sub-systems, a soldier-worn unit and a vehicle sensor suite. GE Intelligent Platforms Systems product manager Mac Rothstein said I-BESS is an initiative that will potentially help in enhancing the quality of life of US military personnel. GE’s COTS rugged systems provide a flexible computing platform for mission applications: including unmanned vehicles, ground vehicles and manned aircraft. Manufactured as part of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Information Analysis Center programme, I-BESS is designed to measure the physical environment of an explosion, collecting data that will help in understanding the effects of explosions on wounded soldiers. The integrated, time-tagged data captured by the system can later be used by doctors for diagnosis and determination of the best treatment methods for soldiers with concussions or brain injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries. Currently capable of capturing only environmental data, the system is scheduled to undergo further modifications to enhance its ability to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen and hydration levels, body temperature and EKG activity to enable integrated blast effect research and collection. (Source: army-technology.com)

25 Jul 13. Ahead of September’s 7th Annual Infantry Weapons conference in London, the UK Royal Marines have expressed dissatisfaction with the standard issue SA80 A2 in the hopes that government and industry step in to provide better solutions. Commandos operating on the frontline of Afghanistan have told Defence IQ that although the SA80 assault rifle has improved greatly since its first introduction to British Armed Forces, the weapon is more ideal for conventional forces than for specialised forces more likely to engage at close quarters. The full article is available on the Infantry Weapons website. Insiders, many of whom have seen action in Helmand within the past year, have quietly criticised the rifle’s 5.56 mm calibre ammunition as being too small to effectively defeat a target with a single round and occasionally find themselves vulnerable to a counter attack from wounded insurgents. In addition, the rifle “rattles”, causing a problem for covert operations, requires duct tape to prevent it from clogging with dust, and lacks the manoeuvrability of other modern assault rifles such as the Diemaco C8. A source explained that today’s Commandos would much rather have a 7.62 mm rifle familiar to Special Forces. Problematically, the 7.62 sharpshooters that can switch to a short-barrel mode are currently available only to one or two troops per section but are themselves underperforming due to an inadequate magazine. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)

24 Jul 13. The U.S. Army completed Early User Testing (EUT) of the Raytheon Company developed JLENS. During the six-week-long EUT, soldiers tested JLENS’ ability to operate in a number of complex scenarios that replicated an operational environment. The soldiers also tested JLENS’ endurance by operating the system continually for 20 days. An affordable, elevated, persistent over-the-horizon sensor system, JLENS uses a powerful integrated radar system mounted on two aerostats to detect, track and target a variety of threats. This capability better enables commanders to defend against threats, including hostile cruise missiles; low-flying manned and unmanned aircraft; and moving surface vehicles such as boats, mobile missile launchers, automobiles, trucks and tanks. JLENS also provides ascent phase detection of tactical ballistic missiles and large-cali

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