Military tactical operations and deployment of troops are becoming more and more complex as armed conflicts escalate to new heights. There is an ever increasing need for the precise location of troops and military units on battlefields who have to move quickly and effectively in order to conduct undisrupted military operations on foreign ground.

It is to meet the demanding requirements of army topographers and artillery troops on the field that iXblue, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of innovative navigation and positioning solutions, has developed a revolutionary Gun Laying and Topographic System named GLTS Theodolite. Based on the combat-proven concept of the traditional artillery theodolite, iXblue’s GLTS Theodolite ensures continuous military operations by offering reliable, accurate and uninterrupted positioning information thanks to its integrated compact Inertial Navigation System (INS).

A light-weight and deployable system capable of rapidly gathering data for GIS

As military forces conduct operations in increasingly demanding environments, the need for accurate and reliable topographical information is becoming indispensable. The use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by most armies around the world has made military decision making more efficient as those systems provide valuable information about the geographical elements of an identified area. Military forces thus need to find the most up-to-date geographical information in those GIS in order to safely and efficiently conduct their operations.

Forces on the field are thus in serious need of light-weight and deployable acquisition modules capable of acquiring geo-referenced information at very short notice in order to have a good understanding of all the geographical elements of the environment they are progressing in during their military operations. iXblue’s GLTS Theodolite was thus developed to respond to this specific need and offers armed forces a mobile and flexible solution to efficiently and rapidly elaborate topography referenced points on the battlefield. Its light-weight (less than 40kg) and integrated INS makes it ideal for any survey operation requiring a deployable system that can travel in a vehicle or be mounted on the floor and be ready to use within a few seconds (<15s).

An integrated INS for artillery continuous deployment in GNSS-denied environments

Military operations have been made more efficient thanks to the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Although they have transformed the way military operations are conducted, enabling real-time and almost continuous situational awareness by providing precise positioning information, recent years have seen the rise of a growing concern about the dependence of military forces on GPS. Indeed, its availability cannot be assured at all times and many factors can lead to the disruption of satellite transmissions, on which the GPS rely. RF interferences, geographical constraints or signal jamming by third parties are all factors that poses a major threat to military operations worldwide. This frequent loss of signal is thus a major concern for artillery units who are now relying on INS to replace GPS as the main navigation devices. Indeed, they offer a robust, reliable and accurate solution to military vehicles and deployed units that need continuous and precise navigation and positioning information for artillery. 


Moreover, artillery topography units are also rediscovering topography methods and now use them to generate topography battery reference points for battery deployment. Thanks to the GLTS Theodolite integrated INS, missions conducted by military topographers are dramatically sped up, making battery deployment free of the constraints linked to the creation of battery reference points, even in case of total GNSS-loss. 

Benefiting from the strong expertise of iXblue in the design and manufacturing of state-of-the-art Fiber-Optic Gyroscopes (FOG), the GLTS Theodolite’s Advans INS, operating in numerous defense programs across Europe, South America and the Middle East, is indeed made insensitive to changes in temperatures or magnetic disturbances and is resistant to extreme shocks and vibrations. Thanks to its genuine strap-down and solid-state design, it is exempt of all the physical drawbacks that can affect other existing technologies and provides unrivaled longevity and reliability, as well as very low power consumption. Thanks to its integrated INS, iXblue’s GLTS Theodolite thus provides reliable, accurate and uninterrupted positioning information, ensuring continuous military operations for all army forces on the battleground.

A single cost-efficient solution to digitize old artillery launchers 

Finally, the major technological advances that have been taking place in the world have allowed increased digitized warfare to support command and control and to provide real-time battlefield intelligence. In order to meet the 21st century challenges, countries worldwide have to modernize their military forces and upgrade their systems, equipment and weapons. New artillery launchers such as howitzers, mortars and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) are thus now equipped with their own INS that provide precise positioning of each units, making them ready for immediate use. 

However, digitizing old artillery launchers can prove to be difficult. Units might be too old, or it might be technically impossible to integrate an INS. Another reason is that armed forces can also be tied down by budget constraints. Thanks to iXblue’s GLTS Theodolite, compatible with any kind of weapon, it is now possible for armed forces to digitize their artillery launcher units by using a single cost-efficient system. Indeed, the GLTS Theodolite, thanks to the constant knowledge of its position, can perform accurate gun orientation and positioning at very short notice, even in non-prepared battery positions, with a precision close to that of INS-equipped units, at a much lesser cost.

iXblue’s GLTS Theodolite thus offers a performant and reliable tool to conduct various missions such as rapidly and efficiently elaborating topography referenced points on the battlefield, maintaining gun position accuracy and high-tempo of operation in GNSS-denied environments, as well as controlling gun laying or performing accurate gun orientation and positioning in a reduced timeframe, while digitizing old artillery launchers units. Easy to integrate on any vehicle and to connect to GIS, the GLTS Theodolite offers a very flexible, mobile and cost-effective revolutionary solution to army topographers and artillery troops needing a reliable and efficient tool for their operations.