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Photos: Eye in the sky to spot 'friendly fire'

High-tech sensors to help armed forces save lives...
By Nick Heath, Contributor on
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1 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNET

High-tech sensors to help armed forces save lives...

UK troops on the ground are to get an eye in the sky that will help save lives by reducing 'friendly fire' and the number of air attacks.

From 2012 the Land Environment Air Picture Provision programme (Leapp) will pull together information from a range of land- and sea-based sensors to paint an up-to-the-minute picture of local aircraft, missile and even artillery movements, as seen here.

Photo credit: MoD

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2 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNET

A soldier operates one of the specialist vehicles that control the system. Vehicles are fitted with five radar units and four control nodes and backed up by air picture trailers.

It will reduce friendly fire by allowing ground troops to avoid hot zones where allied aircraft are operating, help soldiers evade hostile aircraft and direct air missile systems.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Baroness Taylor, said in a statement: "Leapp is a new, world-class system. It will improve commanders' ability to plan and strike effectively and help prevent 'friendly fire' incidents. Battles of the future will benefit significantly from this system."

Photo credit: MoD

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3 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Defence engineering company Lockheed Martin UK INSYS, will supply the system and vehicles, seen here, as part of an £100m deal that will safeguard about 100 jobs - mainly tech-related - across the UK.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "It will build up a picture of what is going on in the air. It is particularly useful in terms of planning air defence and to protect yourself from air strikes. Also if you have got friendly aircraft up there and want to co-ordinate their activity with other partners, you can build up a picture to help do that."

Photo credit: MoD

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