Flexnet – An essential force multiplier

Most Western armies have two principal missions, being the defense of NATO territory and contribution to peace support operations. With the resurgence of conflicts between states, homeland security issues, and terrorism, our ability to react and anticipate in a proper and timely manner is more challenged than ever.

Experiences in recent and current conflicts, and fast technological developments bring lessons and consequently problems which must be mitigated. To accomplish combat missions successfully, creating a clear situational awareness is not an option, and equipping modern armed forces with as many sensing capabilities as possible is therefore critical. They are essential for early warning, to detect enemy attacks and their preparations, to take defensive measures, to initiate counterattacks, and to protect friendly forces and assets. This is particularly accurate for western armies, which face a lack of personnel and military means to cover extended combat areas, the scale of what we are currently seeing in the Ukrainian conflict.

To meet the dynamic and complex challenges of contemporary battlefields, military forces have seen their roles evolve. With some of their main objectives being counter-mobility operations, force protection, and securing of critical infrastructure, they must rely on intelligent, autonomous, and most importantly field-proven systems, able to reduce their operational burden. Developed by Bertin Exensor, the Flexnet Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) system fits perfectly into this context.

The Flexnet UGS system consists of three technological pillars: the sensor toolbox, the self-healing, silent Mesh network, and the easy-to-use Command and Control interface (C2 application). Flexnet main sensing capabilities and components are the following:

  • Mini Mk3 – Seismic & Acoustic Sensor: The Mini Mk3 sensor is a wireless, seismic, and acoustic sensor used to detect and classify human activity.
  • PIR – Passive Infrared Sensor: The PIR detects infrared radiation emitted by an object moving across the sensor’s field of view, to provide the traveling direction.
  • Scout Mk3 – Intelligent Camera: The Scout Mk3 is an intelligent motion camera providing high quality pictures and videos during both day and night.
  • Surveyor – Vehicle Type Identification sensor: The Surveyor sensor integrates seismic, acoustic, and magnetic sensors able to identify military vehicles by type, from light wheeled to heavy tracked.
  • Next, Flexnet has the capability to integrate other sensors such as small radars, CBRN sensors, UAV’s, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth detectors and PTZ cameras.

All Flexnet sensors enable local processing, passive and autonomous sensing, integrated GPS, battery for autonomy, and radio node for communication. The system communicates in a mesh radio network and route data back to the C2 system. Thanks to dedicated extender Gateways, Flexnet can cover large areas and long-distance communications.

The Flexnet UGS system is highly relevant for force protection. To fully focus on their mission, soldiers on operations need to rest assured that approaching threats will be detected and identified before any harm is done. Offering 24/7 monitoring over any terrain, Flexnet can be deployed to cover flanks and/or back and detect threats or targets out of ear and eyeshot.

Counter-mobility is also one the many applications the system is suited for, due to its scalability. When Flexnet is being coupled with effectors (remote mines, horizontal effect weapon systems), it is very well suited for Ground-Based Area Access Denial (GAAD). By providing early warning and information on the incoming threat through detection, classification, and identification, Flexnet allows the operator to make the final decision and remotely activate effectors.

With Flexnet, Bertin Exensor provides a game-changing capability for the armed forces. Enhancing situational awareness, providing threat detection, intelligence gathering and reducing the sensor to shooter time, Flexnet got you covered in most situations. Being a considerable Force Multiplier Flexnet saves lives and contributes to successfully accomplished missions.