General Dynamics UK (GDUK) is part of the General Dynamics Corporation (GD) and is one of the UK’s leading defence companies, and an important supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). With increasing revenue totalling $32bn (2018) as the successful providers of defence platforms across Land, Sea and Air GD are pioneers in the industry.
GDUK are supplying the AJAX (formerly Scout) AFV to the British Army.
AJAX is a highly-agile, tracked, medium-weight armoured fighting vehicle, providing British troops with state-of-the-art best-in-class protection. GDUK are responsible for bringing together all the individual products and systems to install onto the finished vehicle.
Prior to Outacom® the Vitavox full military specification Public Address system, there was no way for the Commander inside the vehicle to communicate with the civilian population without opening the access hatch and then exposing themselves to danger.
The AJAX family of vehicles will be deployed in a wide variety of situations, including travelling through occupied territory and interacting with the local population.
Reducing risk and protecting personnel is therefore of critical importance.
Building upon Vitavox’s experience with communications systems in military environments we developed Outacom - The Tactical Vehicle Public-Address System. This was designed, tested and delivered to GDUK and is their required solution for the AJAX vehicles to keep personnel under cover, whilst giving them this Public Address communication capability. Also, with a range of 300 metres and the ability to output both microphone and pre-recorded messages, this is a new enhanced and valued additional benefit.
The Outacom system is made up from two rugged loudspeakers, a programable integrated control unit, noise cancelling military microphone and securing brackets. Additional functionality in AJAX includes listening capability, which allows two-way conversations whilst remaining safe inside the vehicle.
The Outacom PA system is being fully integrated with AJAX’s electronic and communication systems minimising duplication of equipment and for speed use whilst maintaining security protocols.
Outacom will help save soldier lives by keeping personnel behind cover, inside the vehicle when communicating with the outside world. AFV Commanders need no longer expose their head to interact with civilians or the potential enemy. Civilian lives will be saved by civilians being informed what is the safest course of action for them to take given current circumstances.
The 300 metre range and the ability to output pre-recorded messages in the local language expands this civilian communication capability. In certain circumstances it will also be a useful method to communicate with friendly dismounted soldiers.
With Outacom installed, verbal communication becomes safer and can be included in escalation of force potentially, not only informing local civilians, but also communicating alternatives to combat. De-escalation of potential conflict is not only desirable, but now more attainable and with reduced risk.
The PA system meets or exceeds all Def Stan, MIL-SPEC and IP requirements to ensure it survives the harsh environments it will encounter in the field.