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USN eyes SPEIR EO/IR system acquisition

US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is to begin evaluating bids for the development of an open architecture shipborne electro-optical/infrared system (EO/IR) designed to provide passive surveillance, detection, and cueing in support of ship self-defence.

Industry proposals for the Shipboard Panoramic Electro-Optic/Infrared (SPEIR) system were required by 19 July. The US Navy (USN) plans to initially fit the system on Aegis platforms (DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, CG-47 Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers, and FFG-62 Constellation-class frigates).

The SPEIR programme is designed to provide US surface combatants with the ability to passively find, fix, track, and target current and emerging threats. Taking a modular and incremental approach to capitalise on continued advances in EO/IR technology, the intention is that SPEIR will leverage proven mature technology to field an integrated wide field-of-view (WFOV) and narrow field-of-view (NFOV) detection and cueing capability for anti-ship cruise missile defence, anti-fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft, counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS), and force protection applications.

Current plans call for SPEIR Block I to deliver an initial capability from Fiscal Year (FY) 2026 to meet an urgent C-UAS operational need. The Block I system architecture will comprise a passive WFOV capability with a 360° FOV sensor, and a laser rangefinding capability that will provide 3D target tracking, identification, and threat assessment. Block I will have limited integration with shipboard combat systems to exchange target track data and disseminate motion imagery.

A request for proposals for SPEIR engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) was released in May. A contract award is planned for early FY 2022.

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