Representatives from Metravib have told MONch that the company will install its PILAR-V acoustic gunshot detection system onboard new armoured vehicles that will equip the Armeé de Terre (French Army). The company’s PILAR family of acoustic gunshot detection systems were initially used during the French involvement supporting the NATO and UN led interventions during the Balkans Wars of the 1990s, in particular providing the detection and geolocation of Bosnian Serb snipers attacking civilians in the so-called ‘Sniper Alley’ district of downtown Sarajevo during UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force) operations in the city.

Metravib also told MONch that it has developed an acoustic gunshot detection system which can be carried by individual soldiers known as Pearl, which provides an intuitive means of seeing the origin of a shot by using light emitting diodes to direct the user towards its origin. As well as detecting supersonic ammunition, Metravib’s products can detect subsonic ammunition such as 7.62mm x 35mm 300 AAC Blackout, detecting both muzzle blast and the sound of the ammunition.

Products such as the PILAR-V can be networked into a vehicle’s Battle Management System (BMS) to display the position of the shooter onboard the vehicle’s map to allow the direction of fire. This can be done across a 360 degree radius, with the GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates of the shooter also being displayed. Alongside detecting conventional ammunition from small arms and light weapons, the PILAR-V can detect mortar and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade), and identify the type of weapon which has fired the shot based on the acoustic signature of the blast. In terms of ranges, company officials state that the 7.62mm x 39mm ammunition of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle can be detected at ranges of between 300 metres/m (985 feet) to 500m (1,640 feet) with 0.50 calibre ammunition detectable at ranges of between 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) to two kilometres (1.2 miles).

Metravib stated that the PILAR-V will equip the French Army’s new Nexter/Thales/Arquus GRIFFON six-wheel drive armoured personnel carrier and JAGUAR six-wheel drive reconnaissance vehicle. Production of the acoustic detection systems for these vehicles will commence this summer with in excess of 500 to be constructed. When installed, the PILAR-V will be networked with the French Army’s Atos SICS (Systéme Information Combat du Scorpion/Scorpion Combat Information System).

Thomas Withington


The PILAR-V acoustic gunshot detection system will outfit two of the new French armoured vehicles being procured as part of the force’s Scorpion programme. (Photo: Thomas Withington)

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