QinetiQ has announced a $9.95m order from the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) for SWATS soldier-wearable acoustic targeting systems.

This is the US army’s first large-scale deployment of soldier-wearable gunshot and sniper detection solutions and will be deployed to US Army troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan this year.

The sniper detection units use Ears gunshot localisation systems to allow military personnel to use low-profile, acoustic sensors coupled with operator interfaces designed for individual soldiers and vehicles to cue the wearer as to the direction and distance of a gunshot, without being confused by surrounding sounds.

The palm-sized, 6.4oz core sensor needs only one gunshot to accurately locate snipers in a 360° view, even when in use in a moving vehicle.

Director of technology marketing and transition for QinetiQ, Don Steinman said that the system had been tested using extensive soldier feedback.

“The result is a powerful, rugged, and lightweight gunshot localisation system that helps the individual war fighter rapidly respond to dangerous situations,” said Steinmann.

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The mission of the REF is to equip operational commanders with off-the-shelf solutions and provide future force technology that can enable US forces to rapidly confront an adaptive enemy.

By Daniel Garrun.