Lockheed Martin and partner Itochu have been awarded a contract for the delivery of 19 AbleSentry systems to the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) to help provide the first line of defence against devastating aerosol weapon attacks.

The systems, delivered under the $22.4m contract, will provide the MoD with an early warning of incoming chemical, biological or radiological attacks.

Daniel Heller, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors business new ventures vice president, said the system’s ability to provide information on the location and speed of the threat, gives commanders the advanced warning they need to make decisions to safeguard troops in the battlefield.

An advanced version of Lockheed’s Biological Aerosol Warning System (BAWS) and Enhanced Biological Aerosol Warning System (EBAWS), the AbleSentry system features additional chemical and radiological detection capabilities, while utilising the same footprint.

The threat detection system is designed for use on the tactical battlefield and contains a sophisticated detection algorithm, which is used by an array of networked sensors to provide a high probability of threat detection in remote locations.

The networked sensors eliminate the possibility of a single sensor causing a system-wide alarm, thereby minimising the potential for false alarms.

In addition to the detection capability, each remote sensor is capable of measuring wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity and providing location data. It also collects an air sample for subsequent biological agent confirmation and identification.

AbleSentry is easy to deploy, operate and maintain and also reduces the need for additional training for those already familiar with BAWS or EBAWS.

A total of 24 BAWS and EBAWS systems have been delivered by the company to the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces (JGSDF) since 2005.