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Raytheon UK launches laser-based IED detection system

24 Jul 2013

"Soteria" can confirm and diagnose threats from a safe distance to maximise protection of troops and vehicles.

Raytheon UK has launched a laser-based stand-off Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Detection and Confirmation technology, called Soteria, as a vehicle-mounted system.

The underlying technology has been developed in the UK alongside Laser Optical Engineering,a spin out company of the UK’s Loughborough University.

At the launch of Soteria, Raytheon executives gave a presentation showing that IEDs are the leading killer of Allied warfighters and civilians in current conflicts worldwide.

In 2010, 16,554 IEDs were cleared or detonated (representing a 9% YOY increase); in 2011, IEDs killed or wounded 7,800 Allied troops; and between 2005 and 2010, 21,000 civilians were killed and 68,000 wounded by IEDs.

IED use is increasing and the military expects that these improvised bombs will continue to be a major problem in current and future conflict zones. The initial detection of IEDs is the biggest technical challenge facing the MoD in current operations.

Bob Delorge, CEO of Raytheon UK, commented, “Soteria is a world leading technology that demonstrates the power of innovation that can be harnessed in the UK. The system can be applied to a wide range of scenarios including minefield clearance, which remains a significant menace in various world regions, as well as in other operations such as disaster relief."

Soteria, which utilizes innovative optical processing technology, offers the following capabilities: a “high probability” of IED detection with a low false positive rate; detection of high, medium, low and zero metal content IEDs; easy to disseminate imagery with assisted target recognition (so a low training burden); a simple user interface (with “one touch” scanning); and day and night operability.


At the London launch event last week, Raytheon also revealed details of its “SafeRoute” concept, which consists of an unmanned ground vehicle fitted with the Soteria counter-IED technology for autonomous route-clearing operations.

Raytheon’s force protection engineering section lead John Jackaman described the adapted UGV as being capable of identifying high, low and zero metal content IEDs. He told the gathering, “IED use is increasing and will continue to be a major problem in current and future conflict zones."

Raytheon UK is a subsidiary of Raytheon Company. It is a prime contractor and major supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence and has developed strong capabilities in mission systems integration in defense, national security and commercial markets. Raytheon UK also designs, develops and manufactures a range of high-technology electronic systems and software at UK facilities in Harlow, Glenrothes, Uxbridge, Waddington and Broughton.

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