Optical Warfare Takes Step Toward Reality with Navy CESARS Contracts

Optical Warfare Takes Step Toward Reality with Navy CESARS Contracts image
March 9, 2016 | Source: John Keller, Military & Aerospace Electronics

We've been talking about the notion of optical warfare now for nearly 20 years, yet while most topics on optical warfare largely have been theoretical, a couple of new programs are making this emerging discipline a lot more real.

The latest developments revolve around a U.S. Navy research program called Combined EO/IR Surveillance and Response System -- or CESARS for short. This initiative seeks to develop an electro-optical shipboard defense system to protect surface warships from missiles, fast attack boats, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and other optically guided threats.

The CESARS program has two parts, and research contractors are lined up for both of them. We'll know by the end of this decade how promising the enabling technologies those contractors are developing will be.

The first part of the CESARS program is the Shipboard Panoramic EO/IR Cueing and Surveillance System -- better-known as SPECSS -- while the other part is the Multispectral EO/IR Countermeasures for Advanced Threats project, or MEIRCAT.