Project Achilles, the South African National Defence Force’s project to equip the SA Air Force’s Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) with image and video interpretation and exploitation tools, is due to be completed in January 2019.
Project Achilles was launched in 2004 to ensure that JARIC remained up to date with the latest technology. The main roles of JARIC are exploitation of imagery from diverse imagery sources within and outside the military with the specific purpose of producing image intelligence for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), supplying tactical geo-spatial information and general intelligence training.
Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime (Denel ISM) is working with contractors like Airbus Defence and Space to provide components like the latter’s ACTINT (ACTionable INTelligence). ACTINT consist of image interpretation and exploitation software, data management software and workflow management software.
Dr Dawie Roos, Executive Manager Operations of Denel ISM, told defenceWeb that there are three main components of Project Achilles. The Military Image Interpretation Computer System (MIICS), the Tactical Image Exploitation System (TIES) and the Military Image and Exploitation Capability (MIIC) Training facility.
The South African Air Force acquired the Thales Optronics Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod (DJRP) capability for the Gripen fleet. DJRP ground stations are housed in equipped vehicles as part of the TIES system, to utilize data from the Gripen DJRP for the purpose of image and video interpretation and exploitation by JARIC.
Ismail Dockrat, CEO of Denel ISM, told Defence Web that Achilles has been a very important project for Denel ISM as it is the first new programme executed by the Denel division. He said Achilles has allowed Denel ISM to demonstrate that it can programme manage, system integrate, manage procurement and manage interface. “We have a very happy customer and happy supplier and case study for what we can do in the future,” he said.