One of the more intriguing products on display at the DSEi was Ultra Electronics’ Rifle-Mounted Gunfire Locator (RMGL).
RMGL is designed to detect and localise the source of incoming high velocity gunfire – the operator can see where incoming fire is coming from and return fire accordingly. “Our gunfire locator is better than other detection systems because it uses frequency-phase processing rather than simply measuring the time of arrival of the sound,” said Ultra’s communications manager Tom Caster.
While the RMGL hasn’t hit production volumes yet, it is currently in theatre for evaluation and units are in production. Ultra Electronics expects to begin selling units in January or February 2012. Speaking to the company on the first day of DSEi, it said it had already received interest from a several potential customers.
Manufacturing its products almost entirely in the US and UK, Ultra Electronics makes a strong to contribution to the strength of UK defence industry supply chains and exports.
What makes the UK’s defence sector so strong is the fact so many companies plough so much of their cash into R&D,” said Caster. “We are no exception!”.
Defence spending is being cut and this has the potential to hit firms like Ultra severely.
However, despite the push for a leaner department, and with Defence Secretary Liam Fox saying earlier this week that he wanted “to run the MoD like a business”, the general feeling among those at DSEi who The Manufacturer spoke to was that this sentiment was popular.
One industry source said: “A lot of people in the industry are anticipating the MoD White Paper due later this year. While there have been cuts, ongoing global military operations demonstrate that the MoD needs value for money, while procuring the best technology for one of the most advanced armies in the world.”