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Automated weapons maintenance and tracking system highlighted

An automated system that monitors the movement of weapons and munitions in an armory as well as their condition has been tested by the Navy in a pilot program.

By Richard Tomkins

DENVER, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A new weapons maintenance system that remotely manages, diagnoses and tracks weapons and munitions has been pilot program tested by the U.S. Navy.

The system -- RuBee Weapon Shot Counter -- was developed by Lockheed Martin and Visible Assets Inc. It automates the weapons and munitions tracking process and holds the promise of saving the Navy millions of dollars.

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The system operates on the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing identification tags on weapons and munitions to be read through metals, liquids and other materials that can block the identification signals.

The tags are just 0.77 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.45 inches in size.

"Most processes for tracking ammunition and scheduling maintenance for weapons are time consuming and manually intensive," said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR for Lockheed Martin. "We worked with select Navy expeditionary forces to demonstrate that the RuBee system could not only increase the accuracy of their inventories, but also reduce costs, improve safety and maximize asset security."

Lockheed said that during the multi-phased pilot program, RuBee tags were embedded in select Naval assets to track weapon performance and diagnostic data, including identification of weapon performance anomalies, such as gas port erosion and cracked bolts, before they led to potential weapon failure.

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RuBee-enabled weapons can be automatically located and identified as they enter or exit a defined perimeter or armory, said Lockheed Martin.

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