A North African country has ordered long-range Hawkeye VS Land Cruiser mounted mobile surveillance systems to monitor and protect its borders.
The systems were ordered from Chess Dynamics in a multi-million pound contract by an unspecified North African customer, the company said. Chess Dynamics will initially provide 14 systems, which will be integrated onto all-terrain Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles. These will undergo extensive testing before deployment on border surveillance and intelligence gathering duties. Further batches will be delivered over the coming months following the initial training and deployment.
The Hawkeye VS system combines electro-optical sensors, including a thermal imaging and high resolution colour TV cameras, with a laser range finder and a Blighter Revolution 360 radar mounted on a pneumatic mast. The mast can raise the sensors 3 metres above the vehicle.
“We have developed the Hawkeye VS to provide defence and security forces with a highly mobile system which can quickly provide surveillance once it arrives in the operational area, plugging the gap on porous, ill-defined borders and giving a strong deterrent to illegal cross border activity,” said Graham Beall, Managing Director of Chess Dynamics.
“We see a tremendous potential for Hawkeye VS across not only Africa but in many parts of the world where borders are ill-defined or mobile surveillance systems are required”, he added.
The system starts operating when the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) Doppler fastscan radar detects a target, which could be as small as a single walking person 7 km away, over a full 360 degree sector using a rotary positioner. Information from the radar is then passed by built-in tracker software to the cameras.
The cameras, which work in day or night conditions, slew-to-cue. The Thermal Imager recognises a person at a distance of over 2 kilometres while the high resolution TV camera provides a range of greater than 5 kilometres in daytime. The operator is then able to monitor the selected target and direct further assets to intercept and manage the situation.
The system operator sits in the rear seat of the vehicle with two 15 inch flat panel colour displays providing mapping, radar and EO imagery. The system can be controlled either by the built-in automatic software video tracker or via joystick, tracker ball and touch screen according to the user’s preference. In both cases the system locks onto the selected objects to control the head and follow objects. Images can be recorded for evidence and later analysis.
For the North African customer Hawkeye VS is being fitted to the Toyota Land Cruisers by Polish system integrators Germaz.
The UK-based Chess Dynamics is an aerospace and defence subsystem supplier that provides design, development and manufacturing solutions for land, maritime and airborne applications. The company specialises in precision stabilised and non-stabilised platforms, directors and positioners for electro-optic, radar, communication, security and surveillance systems, inclusive of thermal and daylight cameras and special sensors. The company has supplied several hundred of the core Cobra directors to the British Army for route survey and reconnaissance armoured vehicles during the past six years.