New intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition (ISTAR) imagery ground control stations are to enter service with two armed forces in the Middle East in the next 12 months following the award of contracts worth over £2.5m to a team from Marshall Land Systems, part of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, and UTC Aerospace Systems.

Working together, the two companies are developing a system which is being fitted into a Marshall shelter and then mounted on the back of a military utility vehicle. Fitted inside the shelter will be ISTAR imagery interpretation equipment from UTC Aerospace Systems. The units will provide the customers with a highly mobile solution, which is able to keep up with deployable command centres wherever they go. In the case of one of the contracts, there will also be trailer-mounted generating equipment to give the system its own integral power source.

"This contract is an excellent example of two companies working closely together in partnership with the customer and designing a system which is fit-for-purpose," said Ray Cutting, managing director of Marshall Land Systems.

He added: "Our experience of providing similar solutions to customers across the world, including the UK Ministry of Defence, and our reputation for providing value for money were factors in our selection for these contracts."

Over the coming months, UTC Aerospace Systems and Marshall Land Systems in partnership with the customers will finalise the design, and ensure the systems are fully EMC compliant and provide a high-quality climatic work environment before undergoing full mobility, electronic and role trials. The systems will enter service with the customers at the beginning of 2014.