Urgent Delivery of Slate Kits for VAB Armored Carrier
Under an urgent operational requirement, at the end of November 2011, Renault Trucks Defense supplied 80 SLATE (Acoustic Sniper Localization System) kits to the French defense procurement agency (DGA) for integration with TOP 12.7 versions of the VAB armored personnel carrier in Afghanistan.
The SLATE system consists of a PILARw acoustic antenna for detecting gunshots, produced by 01dB-Metravib, which is connected to the KONGSBERG TOP 12.7 (PROTECTOR M151) remote control weapon system and an interface for the crew.
When integrated into the VAB, this assembly allows very fast response times against sniper type of attack. As soon as a gunshot is detected, the VAB’s crew can decide to cue the turret automatically in the direction of the danger. The target can be identified and fire returned immediately.
New functionalities have been developed in partnership with the DGA and the end-users (French Army Technical Department (STAT)) to enhance the protection of troops: the sensitivity of SLATE allows the threat level to be determined by indicating whether the weapon used is small or medium caliber. At the same time, the SLATE system stores the geographical location of the attacking shooters in memory, even after the VAB has moved.
The VAB can therefore move into cover when engaged. Thanks to the added reach provided by the armament of the TOP 12.7 weapon station (a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm grenade launcher), the crew can move away from the threat while retaining the option of neutralizing targets from a safe distance.
Ultimately, the SLATE system could be connected to information and command systems to improve the sharing of information gathered at tactical level.