July 25, 2023 – Ottawa – KWESST Micro Systems has filed a U.S. patent application for the core module of its next-generation Battlefield Laser Detection System, branded “BLaDE”, and will make the BLaDE module available as a plug-and-play offering to third-party OEMs for incorporation into their new and legacy electro-optical systems on armored vehicles.
Lasers, including Light Detection And Ranging (“LIDAR”) are a growing threat in the modern battlespace. Historically, legacy laser detection systems are essentially defensive in nature. They typically consist of sensor pods on armored vehicles that detect lasers from precision-guided munitions and then activate smoke on the vehicle to disrupt the laser targeting of the incoming munition. LIDAR systems are prevalent in war zones today, including the Ukraine, to detect targets through obstructions like camouflage netting and foliage, increasing the vulnerability of ground forces and assets to attack from precision munitions.
In a leap ahead, KWESST’s next-generation patent-pending BLaDE not only detects lasers, including LIDAR, but also discriminates whether they are friend or foe, and identifies the kind of laser right down to make and model. It also pinpoints the source of the laser so friendly forces can target it. Crucially, the BLDS is optimized to sense all known laser threats on the battlefield today and process counter-measures faster than current laser warning receivers. These advances in technical capability constitute the scope of the patent filing.
This breakthrough capability changes laser detection from defense to offence. “We’re excited to announce this patent filing and availability of the core (“BLaDE”) module to OEMs at this time,” said David Luxton, Executive Chairman at KWESST. “It provides an entirely new level of protection and counter-measure against the threat of lasers in the modern battlefield, and its availability as a plug-and-play module for third-party OEMs means accelerated market roll-out, especially for rapid upgrade on armored vehicles currently equipped with dated legacy laser detection systems, or none at all.”
“We are already in discussions with one armored vehicle program office in a NATO country and the OEM supplier of those armored vehicles to upgrade their laser detection capability,” said Luxton. “We will now be reaching out to other armored vehicle and electro-optical pod OEMs to offer our core, proprietary plug-and-play BLaDE module under a Technology License and Supply Agreement. With more than 1,000,000 armored vehicles in NATO, including more than 12,000 main battle tanks, we view this as a significant growth opportunity.”