U.S. Army to buy more sniper-rinders from QinetiQ.

In late October, the U.S. Army announced it had selected…

In late October, the U.S. Army announced it had selected QinetiQ North America to provide more soldier-wearable gunshot detection systems to troops in Afghanistan.

On Oct. 29, the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command awarded a $35 million contract to QinetiQ North America to purchase Soldier Worn Acoustic Targeting Systems (SWATS), according to Army spokeswoman Alayne Conway. The contact will allow the Army to field 13,500 more of the systems.

QinetiQ beat out Raytheon-subsidiary BBN’s Boomerang Warrior X, an adaptation of the company’s vehicle-mounted Boomerang system.

The QinetiQ and BBN systems work similarly, with a wrist display that provides a clock location for the shooter after the gunshot is detected by an acoustic sensor worn on the soldier’s shoulder.

QinetiQ’s vehicle, fixed-site and soldier kits all use the same sensor, allowing the soldier to interchange them, Mike Halas, business development manager at QinetiQ North America, said.

After an operation, the soldier can take the sensor out of the SWATS container, put it on the truck accessory and drive back to base, Halas said.

In response to soldier feedback, QinetiQ also lightened SWATS, which now weighs less than a pound, Halas said.

Source: Kate Brannen for Defense News.

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