Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS is developing a counter-laser system to protect ships of the Canadian Navy against new types of asymmetric threats. Under the designation LOCATES (= Laser Optical Countermeasures and Surveilllance Against Threat Environment Scenarios), the Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), Valcartier, Quebec, awarded Cassidian a contract to apply new technologies to detect and counter laser-based threats in harbours and littoral waters.
The program is the answer to increasing threats by laser designators and laser-guided weapons which are widely distributed and easy to operate. Navy ships are particularly vulnerable in a littoral environment where attacks are difficult to be detected without sufficient pre-warning time, Cassidian says in a statement.
Therefore, LOCATES aims at the development of a detection and tracking capability together with a reliable laser countermeasure system. A prototype system shall be developed and field tested by 2013. In a close cooperation between Cassidian and DRDC, the programme will include technologies currently under development with the Canadian research and development agency. “EADS has a longstanding relationship with Canada and especially with the Canadian Research Community,” said Pierre Delestrade, President and CEO of EADS Canada. “Together with the DRDC, EADS’ defence and security division Cassidian is focused on providing the Canadian Forces with the state-of-the-art technologies they will need to face future threats,” he added.
“The Canadian Navy’s mission is continuously evolving, and accordingly requires cutting-edge technologies to detect and protect Naval platforms from asymmetric threats,” said Simon Jacques, Cassidian Head of Canadian Sales. “Cassidian is proud to further our long-term collaboration with the DRDC, and leverage our know-how and expertise, to develop future laser detection and counter innovations. Technologies developed in partnership with the DRDC-Valcartier will not only satisfy the Canadian Navy’s littoral requirements, but also those of allied Navies throughout the world.”
Cassidian capitalises on a wide-ranging experience in the field of platform self-protection in the electro-optic spectrum. The company has developed laser warning devices for ships, aircraft and land vehicles which are in operation with several NATO armed forces. Its MILDS missile launch detection system, with more than 6000 units sold, is a standard missile warner for helicopters and widebody aircraft on a global scale.