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Lockheed Martin Offers RuBee Solution for Monitoring Munitions
The tags and readers, provided by Visible Assets Inc., can be used to identify and track a variety of sensitive items, including fused ordnances, firearms, night-vision goggles and flak jackets.
Feb 28, 2014—
Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) division has begun marketing a solution for government agencies that can detect the movement and, in some cases, condition and operation of weapons and ammunition. Lockheed Martin IS&GS is offering the solution, known as the RuBee Sensitive Item Warehouse system—manufactured and previously sold by Visible Assets Inc. (VAI)—for its customers at several U.S. and international government agencies. Lockheed Martin will provide installation, integration and enterprise-level management of the technology, as part of the company's Global C4ISR portfolio of products. (C4ISR is a military term, derived from the words "Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.")
Lockheed Martin is currently in discussions with an armory that services the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to install the technology at that armory and thereby track the movements of weapons, with the goal of expanding the system to other armories throughout the DOE. Four DOE sites have been utilizing the RuBee-based weapons-tracking solution provided by VAI, including one deployed in Texas in 2011 (see Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant Adopts RuBee RFID to Track Tools, Chemicals). Lockheed Martin is conducting a pilot for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and expects to complete that deployment later this year, according to David Weber, Lockheed Martin IS&GS' business-development manager for C4ISR. For the DOD deployment, Lockheed is serving as the prime contractor, with VAI acting as the subcontractor. The intention, Weber says, will be to expand the solution's use, thereby managing the complete arsenal of weapons for the DOD customer, which has asked to remain unnamed.
For weapons, in most cases, tags are either incorporated into a standard grip or attached on a barrel. Tagging the weapons enables them to be identified not only by a smart rack, but also by a VAI pRap handheld reader or a RuBee DoorGuard or GateReader.
With the weapons shot counter (WSC) functionality, the technology also comes with an accelerometer linked to the munitions item's tag. That sensor enables the system to track the number of times the weapon is used, and to determine the barrel temperature based on that data.
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