At the 6th French defense procurement agency (DGA) Innovation Forum held last week near Paris, SOFRESUD, a company involved in Naval Defense and Maritime Surveillance, unveiled a naval pointer of new generation. This pointer named “Intuitive Pointing Device” (IPD) supplements the capabilities of complex automated systems typically found aboard vessels. Such systems can have difficulty to detect fast and stealthy targets with a low radar cross-section (RCS) and low-level surface or ground-based targets. Specifically designed for asymmetric threats, IPD further increases ship survivability.
In a context of rising multiple threats and asymmetric scenarios at sea, there is more than ever a need to effectively deal with fast moving targets at close range. This capability to treat surging weak signals at short notice becomes of the upmost importance for ship protection. And yet, residual threat is not treated effectively using traditional naval target designators mounted on a fixed pole at the bridge since it offers limited horizontal and air coverage as well as insufficient negative elevation to watchkeepers. In the end, remote weapon systems also need an accurate designation to efficiently settle on time this type of situation.
The new IPD naval pointer was designed for very fast acquisition purpose in littoral warfare and integrates the outstanding performance of human eye detection (the famous Mk1 eyeball) to provide instantaneous pre-designation of any incoming air, land or surface threats only perceived by bridge crew or lookouts.Thus, the IPD pointer is the sole hand-held naval pointer in the world. Operated manually and intuitively through reflex action in close-in defense context, the agility of the IPD plays a decisive role in minimizing the sensor-to-shooter cycle while efficiently dealing with multiple and asymmetric threats (e.g. aerial drone, swarm of suicide boats, floating or USV-borne IEDs…).
Ships equipped with IPD are able to get faster designation of this kind of threat, giving crew precious extra-time to initiate a response plan. The accurate optic designations consists of imagery and 3D coordinates of weak hostile signals approaching or threatening the ship and instantaneously feeds the Remote Weapon Systems (RWS), Fire Control System and Combat Management Systems. Ultimately, the equipment is able to quickly queue multiple incoming targets in a saturation attack context. Incidentally, the pointer has no false alarm rates and can not be subject to jamming in high intensity conflict environments.