The British Army has invested £102 million in a high-end surveillance system which allows frontline soldiers to detect and engage enemy targets in seconds.
Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) – which currently supports over 500 jobs across the UK – will deliver a state-of-the-art ‘sensor to shooter’ system creating an additional 40 highly-skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs split across Bristol and Sandwich, East Kent.
Utilising state-of-the-art thermal sight technology, the Dismounted Joint Fires Integrator (DJFI) will enhance soldiers’ ability to find and identify targets on the Battlefield. It then provides the crucial targeting information necessary to fire more quickly and accurately than ever before.
““Our commitment to equipping and supporting our Armed Forces has never faltered and I am delighted that we have been able to continue to secure state-of-the art equipment for the British Army”
Using specialist software on a tablet, information gathered by the DJFI is sent digitally to an artillery system or aircraft to instantly engage the target, while the soldier operating the system remains hidden.
Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “This contract with Elbit Systems UK not only delivers the very latest in battlefield technology to our frontline soldiers, but also invests in the British defence industry, sustaining more than 500 jobs across the UK.”
ESUK has also confirmed all five subcontractors will also be UK-based. Additional jobs are expected to be sustained elsewhere through the UK supply chain between now and 2026.
DJFI will deliver six distinct Fires Integration equipment suites – each tailored to specific battlefield mission roles – to be combined with existing hardware and software. The technology is designed to be integrated and used alongside similar equipment used by allied forces, meaning the UK can play a pivotal role in joint overseas operations.
Major General Darren Crook, Director of the Land Equipment Operating Centre for Defence Equipment & Support, the procurement arm of the MOD, said: “Our commitment to equipping and supporting our Armed Forces has never faltered and I am delighted that we have been able to continue to secure state-of-the art equipment for the British Army.”
Colonel Sheldon, Assistant Head of the Army Joint Effects Delivery team: said: “DJFI will enable rapid and highly accurate target engagements. In addition to being fielded across the Army to our fire support teams and joint terminal attack controllers, DJFI will also deliver capability to 3 Commando Brigade, the RAF Regiment and our special forces. This is a key system that will contribute directly to modernising our forces to face future threats.”