£100m IT contract aims to avoid friendly fire

£100m IT contract aims to avoid friendly fire

Ministry of Defence signs a multimillion-pound deal to improve awareness of ground troops

The Ministry of Defence has awarded a £100m contract to develop a system for providing ground troops with enhanced situational awareness, helping to reduce the chances of friendly fire incidents.

A Lockheed Martin-led consortium, Team Athena, will provide the Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) program, with delivery due to start in 2010.

Ground commanders will have near real-time "decision-quality" data, allowing them to co-ordinate, plan and strike effectively.

“LEAPP is a significant step forward in the arena of network-enabled capability," said Steve Wyatt, joint sensor and engagement networks integrated project team leader.

"By effective fusing of the right data and ensuring it is presented rapidly and in the right usable format to the people who really need it, LEAPP provides a step-change in the level of situational awareness.”

The system will transform battle operations, said Stephen Ball, managing director Lockheed Martin UK INSYS.

“LEAPP draws together information from a variety of sources to provide troops on the ground with a precise and timely picture of what is going on in the air, " he said.

"By sharing this information quickly, securely and accurately, LEAPP will have huge implications for the way future battles are fought.”