Terma has introduced a new network-based command and tactical aid designed to provide real-time situational awareness for small boat teams engaged in boarding and interdiction operations.
Known as C-Raid, the system allows multiple units to interoperate via data communication links exchanging track data and messages so as to establish a common tactical picture. Compared to traditional voice communication, this net-enabled architecture significantly enhances command and control by allowing even the smallest units to access, and contribute to, the tactical picture.
The C-Raid system has been designed by Terma to meet the emerging needs of navies, special forces, coast guards and maritime security agencies for a multi-user system that can compile and maintain a common operational picture. It is particularly aimed at improving the conduct of missions - such as maritime interdiction, boarding operations and search and rescue - involving the employment of small boats under the command of a larger vessels or shore-based headquarters.
The use of rigid-hull inflatable boats, high speed interceptors and inshore patrol vessels for force protection, access-denial and boarding operations is becoming more and more commonplace as a both criminal and terrorist groups have sought to exploit the seas for illicit purposes. These range from illegal fishing, smuggling and human trafficking to piracy and maritime terrorism.
However, small boats have hitherto been forced to rely on onboard navigation systems and simple voice communications. This means they are unable to see the full tactical picture, leaving them unable to interoperate with other units, and disadvantaged in their ability to safely and efficiently execute their missions.
C-Raid system addresses this shortfall by providing the commander with automatic, real-time updates of maritime activity received from a variety of navigation, positional and position-tracking sensors (such as AIS, ARPA and full motion EO/IR video) so as to afford greater clarity in the tactical picture and thus improve decision-making. For example, in the case of an anti-smuggling operation, the command is able to direct pursuit vessels to an optimal position so as to intercept and apprehend the smuggler.
Each participating unit is equipped with a compact, ruggedized PC-based command and control system displaying a common operational picture with all tracks in the area of operations. Each track represents a maritime unit and its present speed and course as well as history path. Even in extreme weather conditions, the operator will be able to use an intuitive, touch input display to address the relevant tracking and surveillance information shared between deployed units. Human errors are reduced due to easy on-screen commands and integrated blue force tracking, which allows operators to clearly distinguish between own forces and potential threats.
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