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DARPA funds countermeasures research

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has contracted BBN Technologies to continue development of a small arms countermeasure for helicopters.

U.S. company BBN was awarded $1.4 million in new funding from DARPA to demonstrate that its Boomerang shooter technology can be integrated into Blackhawk helicopters.

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With the loud operation of a helicopter in flight, troops are often vulnerable to ground fire. Originally designed to help protect the U.S. military's ground vehicles from enemy fire in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Boomerang system acoustically detects the firing of small arms, giving troops a chance to react to the incoming threat.

"The goal here is to give helicopter crews the same critical seconds that our Boomerang shooter detection system provides for troops on the ground, because those seconds can save lives by giving them time to respond appropriately," Tad Elmer, BBN chief executive officer and president, said in a statement.

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