U.S. Navy begins testing on mobile meteorological system

By Ryan Maass   |   Jan. 29, 2016 at 3:50 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy began acceptance testing of the next-generation Meteorological Mobile Facility.

The metrological system, also referred to as METMR(R) NEXGEN, is designed to provide coalition warfighters with weather information to better plan tactical battlefield decisions. Following testing, the system will be delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.

The METMF(R) NEXGEN is equipped with tactical weather sensors, which are used to provide data on the risks weather conditions may pose to deployed personnel and their equipment. Weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain and dust storms can affect the travel routes of both friendly and enemy forces.

"The challenge for PEO C4I/PMW 120 is to provide our Navy and Marine Corps customers with equipment that helps them quickly determine, in a dynamic combat environment, if Mother Nature is a friend, a foe or a neutral bystander," meteorology and oceanography capabilities lead Tom Piwowar said in a statement.

The previous system, known as METMF(R), was used in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to a lesser extent in Afghanistan. METMF(R) is currently used in Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations in Kuwait.

"The primary differences between our previous system, METMF(R) and the METMF(R) NEXGEN have to do with mobility, scalability, ease of setup, size and its first in self-power capability," U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jack Morgan explained. "Both the new and old systems offer a unique capability in otherwise data-sparse areas by providing organic weather satellite, Doppler weather radar, upper air sensing and remote and local weather observation collection capabilities."

The Navy expects to ship the METMF(R) NEXGEN to the Marine Corps Reserves in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

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