UK Ministry of Defence Case Study


Project Firestorm

The UK Ministry of Defence selected the GRiDCASE 1510 as the End User Device (EUD) for the FireStorm system used by the UK Forward Air Controllers and Forward Artillery Observers to accurately direct Aircraft and Artillery to their targets.

The FireStorm system allows these specially trained soldiers to communicate effectively with Aircraft overhead and call in the location of enemy targets for precision airstrikes.

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Firestorm Exercise

Firestorm System Being Used During an Exercise

Project Background

DE&S Artillery Systems have successfully updated a vital suite of equipment that allows specially trained soldiers to call in the location of enemy targets for airstrikes. The FireStorm system was originally delivered as an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) to provide an improved target locating capability for Operations Herrick in Afghanistan and Telic in Iraq.

It allowed Forward Air Controllers, who provide a vital link between air and ground forces, to call in air support from fast jets, attack helicopters and unmanned aerial systems. DE&S has worked alongside GRiD Defence Systems, to update the End User Device under the FireStorm Obsolescence Programme which was completed both on time and within budget – all units are now in receipt of the latest EUD – The GRiDCASE 1510.

Rugged 5.6" Laptop

Project Requirements

The EUD required the ability to survive the harshest environments whilst being able to easily integrate with the existing FireStorm system. This demanded that the unit was to remain operational in extreme conditions, including both high and low temperatures and being submerged.

As the FireStorm system was already deployed and the overall procurement was part of an Obsolescence Upgrade, it was essential that the new device was easily integrated into the system and compatible with the existing cabling. This involved matching the connector and pinout requirements of the EUD and the in-service system, something GRiD does as standard for all of its customers.

Due to the long life of the FireStorm system, the EUD not only had to survive for long periods of time in harsh environments but also had to be supportable for the life of the programme.

Why GRiD?

GRiD was selected to supply the GRiDCASE 1510, a fully rugged and customisable Hand-held 5.6” Laptop Computer, qualified to DEF STAN 00-35 for use in Harsh Environments and DEF STAN 59-411 for EMC.

The GRiDCASE 1510 has both a Touchscreen and Thumbstick allowing pinpoint accuracy of targets on a map. It is fully sealed to IP68 which enables it to be submersed and remain unaffected by water and dust.

As with the rest of the GRiD product range, the GRiDCASE 1510 is configurable to include the exact connectors and interfaces required to easily integrate into existing systems. Not only was GRiD able to offer this modular flexibility, it was also able to offer a long product lifespan (the GRiDCASE 1510 still receives regular updates 8 years after its release).

GRiD was also selected for its ability to support products for the life of the FireStorm Programme which is now extended to 2026. This is achieved by GRiD having full control of the product, designing its own electronics and only using long-life components such as Intel® Embedded Processors.

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GRiD manufacture a range of rugged military hardware which is configured to suit the needs of individual project demands.

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