Thales has been working closely with the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver a new ‘game changing’ surveillance system to protect troops against the threat of biological attacks.
The MOD signed into service the first of six Thales Biological Surveillance and Collector Systems (BSCS) at a ceremony at Williams Formula 1.
The BSCS system is designed to protect UK’s deployed forces overseas from biological attack by detecting incoming attacking particles in the air through specialised sensors and evaluating equipment.
Developed by Thales in partnership with Dstl, DE&S and involving a significant UK supply chain, BSCS builds upon lessons learnt from previous systems and deployed operations.
The system can also be used in civil situations. BSCS’s export variant - called ‘Spinnaker’ - can be used to protect civil areas such as sporting stadia, and large public spaces. It can be used to protect major national sporting events, critical national infrastructure and large scale public gatherings.
Thales has built and led a partnership of 26 organisations to develop the system, 18 of which have been UK SMEs. Technical partners, including Williams Advanced Engineering, have been selected from all over the UK to build this leading edge technical solution.
Air Commodore David Lee who was responsible for the delivery of this capability into service said “BSCS is a critical capability for our deployed forces in an uncertain world. Asymmetric Warfare has presented CBRN challenges, the most recent of which being the chemical attacks in Syria - the biological threat to our forces is no less critical.
“The integrated project team of DE&S, Thales, Dstl and the RAF Regiment have worked extremely hard over the last two years to develop this world-leading and unique system which has now reached its Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
Wing Commander Chez Davies, officer commanding 20 Wing RAF Regiment, the unit that will operate BSCS, said “The capability is designed to maximise the probability of detection at locations with a high concentration of UK Defence personnel.
“The superb degree of confidence provided by BSCS is game changing and will allow commanders to take action in a timely manner to maximise the protection of our people.”
Gareth Williams, Vice President of Thales UK’s Security business, said: “We are delighted to have delivered the first of 6 systems to the UK MOD which have a world class detection capability.
“Our team has developed this leading edge biological surveillance capability through excellent cooperation with the experts at Dstl and DE&S and technical partners such as Williams. Working together with a strong UK supply chain - including SMEs - has been key to its success.”
“The BSCS system has also been designed for civil applications such as the protection of major sporting events and large scale public gatherings and I look forward to seeing it develop a strong export pedigree in due course.”