2008 Press Releases

BBN Technologies Awarded $74M to Provide Over 8,000 Life-Saving Boomerang Shooter Detection Systems to US Army

—BBN Technologies, an advanced technology solutions firm, today announced that it has been awarded a $73,845,000 contract by the US Army Project Manager Robotics and Unmanned Sensors (PM RUS) to deliver 8,131 Boomerang Systems, spare parts, and training services over the next six months.

The Boomerang system immediately alerts US forces to the occurrence of hostile incoming fire and pinpoints the location of the enemy shooter. The Boomerang systems for this contract will be manufactured at Kimchuk, Inc., a contract manufacturing and engineering firm based in Danbury, Connecticut.

A spokesperson for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) stated: "Senator Kennedy is delighted that BBN Technologies has been awarded this contract. Sniper detection is indispensable in keeping our brave men and women in uniform safe in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Senator is proud that BBN Technologies' Boomerang systems have again been selected by the Army to carry out this mission. He looks forward to continuing to work with BBN Technologies and the Army to see that our troops have the best possible equipment to meet their needs."

"The Boomerang system allows our Armed Forces to provide better protection for our men and women on the battlefield," said Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT). "This contract recognizes the important contribution the skilled workers at Kimchuk's Danbury facility can offer towards the safety of our troops in harm's way. By rapidly manufacturing and delivering these systems to our brave men and women in uniform, Kimchuk will help save countless lives."

"Our soldiers are required to make split second decisions, based on established rules of engagement, when confronted with hostile sniper fire," said LTC Terrence Howard, US Army Project Manager Robotics and Unmanned Sensors. "They deserve a capability that will tell them two things: was a shot fired and was it fired at me. We are excited about this opportunity to put a proven product in the hands of our deserving warfighters."

Original prototypes were designed, developed, and delivered to Iraq in just 66 days under a 2004 Rapid Reaction Initiative funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Positive feedback led to further urgent requirements from US forces (Army and Marines), which were then procured, fielded, and sustained by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF) and US Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) in 2006.

Starting in 2004, BBN initiated a spiral development upgrade program that incorporated significant user feedback, resulting in hardening of the system, improved urban performance, integration with various electro-optical/infrared and remote weapons systems, and integration with Cursor on Target and FBCB2. Additional fixed site protection requirements are expected shortly.

Mark Sherman, vice president and general manager, Boomerang, BBN Technologies, said, "Boomerang is a life-saving technology and we are fully committed to supplying these systems in an accelerated fashion to support the Army's operational needs. The messages we get from our troops in the field convince me that Boomerang is making a real difference, and I couldn't be more proud of the agile team at BBN that has made this possible."

BBN is currently applying its shooter detection technology for man-wearable and helicopter applications. Field testing for both systems is successfully underway and BBN expects to deliver operational units of each later this year for evaluation by the military.

Tad Elmer, president and CEO, BBN Technologies, said, "This contract marks a significant success in our growth strategy, which features leveraging the substantial intellectual property and technologies we create here to produce needed, advanced, repeatable solutions such as Boomerang. Not only is BBN continuing to conduct world class R&D, but we are now on target to generate over 25 percent of our 2008 revenue from product sales, a percentage that is growing very rapidly."

About BBN Technologies
BBN Technologies is a legendary R&D organization that leverages its substantial intellectual property portfolio to produce advanced, repeatable solutions such as the Boomerang shooter detection system. With expertise spanning information security, speech and language processing, networking, distributed systems, and sensing and control systems, BBN scientists and engineers have amassed a substantial collection of innovations and patented solutions. BBN now employs approximately 700 people in seven locations in the US: Cambridge, Massachusetts (headquarters); Arlington, Virginia; Columbia, Maryland; Middletown, Rhode Island; San Diego, California; St. Louis Park, Minnesota; and O’Fallon, Illinois. For more information, visit www.bbn.com.