In July, MARSS announced that it had won a new $2million contract for the supply and installation of an expeditionary version of NIDAR command and control system, NiDAR X (eXpeditionary) to be fitted on a flotilla of 11m Hurricane RIB fast patrol and interceptor vessels for an undisclosed special forces unit. The contract includes the complete sensor package.
NiDAR X provides a shared situational awareness picture between each of the craft, transforming the flotilla into a fully networked wide-area surveillance system. Completely sensor agnostic, the system can integrate multiple sensors from each of the craft, including: cameras, radar, sonar (optional) plus Automatic Identification System (AIS), digital radio, as well as tracker and transponder inputs to detect, identify and monitor unknown and known air, surface and underwater objects. The detailed threat and targeting information gathered and processed by the system is provided to the helmsman and other operators via innovative head up displays.
Rob Balloch, Vice President Sales for MARSS, commented: “The latest generation of Zodiac Hurrican RIBs are incredibly fast, flexible and manoeuvrable platforms, able to respond at high speed to all sorts of threats. With the addition of these high-performance sensors and NiDAR, this flotilla of RIBs becomes a fully integrated tactical network able to monitor, detect and respond to threats over an area of some 200 nautical miles.”
NiDAR X is very flexible and can be installed on virtually any platform capable of carrying surveillance equipment. As such, the flotilla can either act independently as a high speed, high mobility surveillance/interdiction force, or via a high bandwidth digital radio system, share data with, or be controlled by, a command centre on a mothership or on land. NiDAR X can integrate and share the data of all available surveillance assets including tactical ground vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, patrol vehicles, craft, unmanned aerial vehicles, ruggedised tablets, body worn cameras and even smart glasses.
The expeditionary command and control system can be installed to upgrade any fleet of small vehicles, whether land, sea or air, thus becoming a force multiplier that can give small platforms big platform capabilities.
MARSS see a whole range of other scenarios where this system can be deployed, including: providing command and control for a fleet of vehicles to secure critical infrastructure, borders, an international event, sports meeting or conference. It also allows RIBs or fast watercraft to be temporarily deployed to protect a warship in a foreign port.
Dr. Alix Valenti