The first Valiant Angel system will be deployed in Afghanistan by the USAF later this month, following successful completion of pre-deployment testing at the US Joint Interoperability Test Command.

Valiant Angel will enable armed forces to access, retrieve and store massive amounts of still and video imagery, including full-motion video and wide-air surveillance projects.

The system will help to access huge digital data sets delivered by manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft over existing networks, using only a laptop computer and a 56KB modem.

Commanders will be able to discuss these video clips by using instant messaging software and embed their chat history in the video stream for other users.

Valiant Angel will also provide alerts to the user when the specific intelligence searched for becomes available.

The US Joint Forces Command Valiant Angel project head Col Skip Krakie said the system was fast-tracked for fielding in response to a tasking from the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance task force.

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The US Joint Forces Command, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the army and the air force have jointly developed the new system, based on commercially available technology used by the TV and motion-picture industry.

In Afghanistan, the system will undergo a 60-day field operational assessment, following which the remaining equipment will be delivered in July and August.