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26 Feb 03. HALO Mark 2, BAE SYSTEMS new advanced Hostile Artillery Location system, has been taken into service by the Ministry of Defence as part of the British Army’s Advanced Sound ranging Programme (ASP) capability. This follows the completion of an intensive programme of trials conducted by the MOD.

HALO detects and pinpoints the position of enemy guns, in both urban and mountainous environments. HALO Mark 2 is more accurate than the earlier version which has been extensively and successfully used by the British Army in Balkans operations. Many years of privately funded research by BAE SYSTEMS into acoustic location systems has now enabled the company to develop this service-proven system still further.

The incremental nature of HALO as part of the solution to the ASP requirement will ensure that the British Army continues to deploy the world’s most advanced and rugged artillery location system, which has been rigorously tested in a variety of terrains and environmental conditions around the world.

Key benefits of the new HALO Mark 2 are its high levels of availability, passive operation and accuracy in both urban and mountainous terrain. Advanced sensors and innovative computing processes have been combined with open systems architecture to provide the potential for further cost-effective enhancements in the future. The BAE SYSTEMS solution also includes training and equipment support.

HALO is an acoustic weapon locator with utility across the spectrum of conflict. It has the strategic, operational and tactical mobility required for both expeditionary, manoeuvre warfare and peace support operations. It is quick into and out of action and is capable of producing hostile battery locations with the accuracy required for effective counter battery fire. Acoustic weapon location systems offer unique benefits by providing passive and covert detection, with 360 degree coverage, night and day.

HALO has revolutionised acoustic weapon location because it has demonstrated new levels of accuracy by calculating the true flight path of sound using meteorological and terrain data. HALO employs a number of Sensor Posts deployed over a wide area, each of which has an array of microphones together with sensors for measuring weather conditions such as temperature and wind. The Sensor Posts send data on acoustic events and meteorological conditions to a central Command Post.

Powerful software algorithms examine the sound waves received at the microphones and determine those sounds that represent weapon fire. All other sound events, such as vehicle noise, are ignored. HALO can detect a wide range of weapon types including artillery, mortars, tank guns and shell bursts. Even during very high levels of multiple fire, HALO’s powerful software will provide clear presentation of weapon location, which the user can choose to view in real time or as a replay.

Following a detailed and rigorous technical assessment, a contract was agreed with BAE SYSTEMS Avionics Ltd in December 1999 to provide sufficient systems for the MOD to meet the capability required. HALO was exhaustively trialled and tested by the MOD before being finally accepted into British Army service on St Barbara’s Day, 4th December 2002

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