IAI Demonstrates Unique Passive Gunfire Detection System – Othello-P to European Defence Forces

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has recently demonstrated its new unique Othello-P passive gunfire detection system to some European defence forces.

According to Israel Lupa, executive vice president and chief technology officer of ELTA, the IAI subsidiary, the Othello –P is a high performance gunfire detection system ( GDS) that uses extended SWIR optical and acoustic sensors with integrated AI processing.

“This very unique system was born in our innovation centre.  This centre tries to see what will be needed in the future combat zone in all aspects. The ideas brought up by our staff and the Israeli start-ups that we host are amazing and many of them have been turned into operational systems,” he added.

According to Lupa, the Othello-P operates in both stationary and On-The-Move configurations, with installation on all-terrain vehicles, Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV), Main Battle Tanks (MBT) and autonomous unmanned platforms. A man-pack version has been implemented for infantry and Special Forces operations, as well.

The IAI official added that the fusion of the electro-optics (EO) technology and acoustics sensors provides the troops in the field more accurate and versatile solutions for present and future challenges. The Othello-P is a light weight, low power, unique passive solution with 360-degree coverage enabling very short and accurate sensor-to-shooter loop closing, thus providing protection and neutralization of threats in the area.

“This unique system detects the flash, blast and shock wave of the projectile. This combination gives the soldiers a detection and localisation of the fire source that no other GDS can supply,” said Lupa and pointed out that the system dramatically shortens the  sensor to shooter time.

IAI says that the system can operate day and night and in urban areas. “Such an area creates major hurdles to existing systems because they are very noisy. We solved this major problem.”

Lupa said that the system is capable of detecting an AKR 47 fire from a distance of 400 meters in day time and in longer distances at night. An RPG launch according to the IAI official can be detected from 2 km. Each sensor of the system covers 180 degrees but a combat vehicle can be equipped with two systems so to achieve full coverage.

IAI says that in addition to the warning given to the fighters in the battle field, the data is transferred to higher echelons of command so that in case there are multiple fire sources,  other forces can be ordered to use the system’s data to hit the enemy fire sources.

According to ELTA, the enemy’s fire comes today not only from a 360 degrees on the ground but also from the air and from the underground.