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NightConqueror Thermal Imager to Be Installed on U.S. Navy's Fastest Ship

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September 13, 2005

NightConqueror Thermal Imager to Be Installed on U.S. Navy's Fastest Ship

NightConqueror Thermal Imager to Be Installed on U.S. Navy's Fastest Ship

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September 14, 2005 Thermal imaging goes way beyond infrared imaging in most situations and it's not surprising that the US Navy will be using advanced thermal imaging in its next generation of warship. The fastest ship in the US Navy is the Sea Fighter FSF-1, which can operate at speeds greater than 50 knots and has a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles. The Sea Fighter is currently being fitted with an advanced NightConqueror thermal imager. The produces unmatched high-resolution thermal imagery for 24-hour observation in degraded weather conditions (smoke and obscurants). Sea Fighter, previously known as Littoral Surface Craft Experimental or "X-Craft," will be used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion system efficiency of high-speed vessels. Sea Fighter will also serve as a test bed for developmental mission packages and as a risk reduction experimental vessel for the Littoral Combat Ship and Deepwater Program concepts of operation development at sea.

The Vistar 350 is a day/night surveillance system that allows enhanced visibility from a wide range of craft, either sea going or for inland waters. The system is ideally suited for new generations of ships, such as High Speed Surface Craft and Patrol Craft, and is small enough to be fitted onboard ships of 10 meters in length. In addition, the system can be fitted with automatic target tracking or it can be linked to the radar to follow the Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA) selected targets or the Electronic Bearing Line (EBL).

According to the Office of Naval Research, which developed Sea Fighter with L-3 Titan as the ship's prime contractor, this high-speed aluminum catamaran will test a variety of technologies that will allow the U.S. Navy to operate more effectively in littoral waters. Sea Fighter, previously known as Littoral Surface Craft Experimental or "X-Craft," will be used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion system efficiency of high-speed vessels. Sea Fighter will also serve as a test bed for developmental mission packages and as a risk reduction experimental vessel for the Littoral Combat Ship and Deepwater Program concepts of operation development at sea. The ship is 262 feet in length and displaces 1400 tons (at full load), with a beam of 72 feet and a navigational draft of 11.5 feet.

L-3 CE's NightConqueror high-performance imager has been selected as the imager of choice for new systems and as an upgrade to many existing legacy programs for the U.S. military. Additional systems are being produced for land attack vehicles, the world's next-generation submarines and surface fleets, advanced airborne reconnaissance pods and the latest fighter aircraft.

Vistar is a small privately owned UK company dedicated to the design and manufacture of electro-mechanical and optical systems for professional marine, static and vehicle applications.

L-3 Cincinnati Electronics designs and produces mission-critical electronics for the aviation, infrared sensing, global positioning and space electronics markets.

L-3 Titan is a leading provider of high-end technical support and products for comprehensive national security solutions. These include information and communications systems solutions to the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and other United States federal government customers.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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