The Minerva Team, led by Leonardo UK in collaboration with Dstl and QinetiQ, is advancing the development of the Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS) programme for the British Army.

The initiative is set to enhance the protection capabilities of the Army’s fleet, encompassing tanks and armoured personnel carriers, against a spectrum of threats, both current and emergent.

Richard Muir, Vice President of Sales Integrated Sensing and Protection at Leonardo UK, expressed enthusiasm about the project’s progression, stating, “We are excited to be working with Dstl and QinetiQ in leading the Minerva Team on this latest phase of the UK Modular Integrated Protection System programme. MIPS will be a life-saving technology that will also provide the UK with operational independence for a critical British Army capability.

Echoing this sentiment, Jamie MacKenzie, Head of Business Development for UK Defence at QinetiQ, remarked, “QinetiQ is delighted that Dstl has selected the Engineering Delivery Partnership for this critical next phase of research. Specifically, phase II of the MIPS programme will demonstrate a significant advancement in the future-proofing of capability for the British Army in this critical area of protection systems.

The project, dubbed Team Minerva, is tasked with advancing the UK systems architecture standard, allowing for the configuration of Active Protection Systems (APS) across various armoured vehicle types.

This will involve addressing a broad spectrum of threats, including Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), Anti-Tank Guided Weapons (ATGWs), and Small Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS).

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
5 days ago

There are already a number of systems out there. I know for a fact that Rhienmetall have a system that is capable of being fitted to the RMMV vehicle fleet.

farouk
farouk
5 days ago

As a question to everybody, does anybody else have very little faith in the powers that be who run the MOD? So regards MIPS, the MOD have been funding research into this very field for over 8 years and they are still f-ing talking about it. FFS 2016: July 2016, the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory placed a £7.6 million contract with QinetiQ to evaluate the MUSS system for armoured vehicles, particularly the Challenger 2 main battle tank 2017: Under the British £10 million Icarus technology demonstration program, the company will focus on the implementation of a ‘UK Sovereign’… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by farouk
Marked
Marked
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

It’s just an excuse to cover a passing of tax payers money to whichever industry fat cat has garnered favour with our government. There is no intent for it to ever actually lead to a worthwhile end product. Corruption hiding in plain sight

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Sadly that does seem to be the priority in a whole range of contracts and programmes. I guess it mirrors similar priorities in politicians personal career development so comes naturally to them once in positions of power. Explains why so much investment ends up in so little end product so often.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Sadly, I have decided that this is true. The priority is the fat cats in industry. The sooner this is highlighted, the better.

Coll
Coll
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Also, has anybody seen the prototype? I can only find a vague image from 1.5 years ago on UKDJ and the same image is on the army website of the system.

Last edited 5 days ago by Coll
Louis
Louis
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

These things take time, Trophy development began in the early 1990s and was only ready for fielding in 2011.

Last edited 5 days ago by Louis
farouk
farouk
5 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Louis, Trophy was ready to be deployed early 00s, but the cost put the Israeli Government off, and then in 2006, Lebanon happened and that soon changed everybody’s mind and it was given the go ahead for production and deployment with the first active system on line in 2010. Interestingly it was Iron fist which was the front runner, but the IDF went with Trophy. (Iron fist has the ability to take out tank projectiles and can be fitted without cutting into the tank, however it is limited to 2 rounds , Trophy has 3) But the point is taken… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

2006 should have been a wake up call for all armies…Isreal a well trained well equipped modern military had 54 damaged MBTs with 20 complete losses over 1 months fighting against what was essentially an irregular force….they developed active protection and the next time they had the same type of conflict against the same type of enemy ( Hamas in Gaza the next time two years later ) but with active protection systems they lost no MBTs..and shot down a lot of anti tank missiles…..the fact the British army, MOD and HMG in General ignored this is a bit shite.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

But sadly predictable, too often in Britain (other places no doubt too) the Raison d’être of any programme becomes prioritised around the participants and their connections, or indirect industrial considerations rather than the quality, timeliness and usefulness of the actual system which complacency convinces will never be tested in real combat no doubt fuelled by the end of the Cold War and presumption that only low level conflicts against non peer adversaries were at all likely. Similar scenarios occurred in the late 30s when we were churning out 100s of Fairey Battles even when we realised they weren’t what we… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Indeed, but with the lesson around MBTs it was clear..even a none peer enemy irregular force, if equipped by state actors out to get you and in the right setting could shred your MBT force if it did not have an active protection system….from 2010 onward, every western MBT force should have had active protection systems…it’s not like the IDF were tactically incompetent or had bad MBTs….in 2006 and suddenly changes in 2008 the only different was the active protection system….even the end of history idiots should have got that message.

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Probably the same reason that suddenly Royal Navy after decades of despising naval guns when BAE bought Bofors and the 5″ US industry then suddenly an UK frigate have 3 guns in prominence..

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Can’t help thinking that we did this R&D and evaluation better (quicker and cheaper) in the days of RARDE.

Mark F
Mark F
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Spot on there Graham. Back then RARDE and other such organisations were given money to try stuff out. No shareholders to satisfy, no massive bonus incentives for individual members of the organisation etc.
I spent 5 years at Chertsey before I left the Army and used to see some really weird and wonderful stuff as I wandered around site.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark F

I was an SO2 for 2 years at RARDE Chertsey in 1990-91 in the division responsible for Unmanned Vehicles and Robotics – the work we were doing was 15 years ahead of civvy R&D and we had a smaller budget and fewer staff than a civvy company would. Many innovations and innovative design (too many to mention) can be traced back to RARDE work – be it vehs at Chertsey, weapons at Fort Halstead, Sigs and Radar at Malvern or Sapper kit at Christchurch. Testing of new-to-service kit was superbly well done too, quick, effective and at low cost to… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

So what happened?

Last edited 3 days ago by AlexS
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

What happened to RARDE? It was sharpened up, pet projects were banned, some expensive-to-run facilties were decommissioned, Design Authority status was lost to the OEM and it became DERA then DRA (or vice versa). Still HMG owned and operated.

Then it was split into dstl and QinetiQ – the former being small and HMG owned…and the latter being commercially run.

The Chertsey site where I was was sold by MoD and became a film studio – Longcross Studios.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Tragic mate, BLOODY TRAGIC.
Blair sold off DERA I recall. At least we retained the most sensitive bits through DSTL. Not in your field though.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago

It was very strong US pressure that made us create in-house dstl – otherwise the whole of DERA would have been rebranded as commercial QinetiQ.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I guess that having the technology developed makes production much easier if it’s needed quickly.
Just now the funds for production probably aren’t available unfortunately.
Everything is so expensive for defence related kit so somethings need to be on the back burner.
Got to wonder if making new vehicles with this tech incorporated and selling/gifting the used vehicles would be a better idea than upgrading 20-50 year old vehicles. Imagine trying to upgrade a 30 year old Vauxhall Astra compared with getting a new one.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I would expect the Army/MoD to have done a serious rethink of not only the requirement for APS following the experiences of the ongoing Ukraine War, but also the threat! It showed that when the Ukrainian War kicked off, both Javelin and NLAW were near enough unstoppable. Even against the latest Russian jammers and countermeasures. Following the near absence of Russian SHORAD amongst the front lines. Drones like the TB2, dropping unpowered guided bombs easily targeted the Russian tanks upper deck and top of the turret. Leading Russian tanks to be fitted with hastily designed cope cages. Following on from… Read more »

Marked
Marked
5 days ago

And after millions upon millions spent nothing will come remotely close to service.

Wouldn’t do to just buy something that works though…

Coll
Coll
5 days ago

I said this before, and I’ll say it again from just under 1.5 years ago. “And there’s me thinking that Project Icarus had flown too close to the sun.”

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 days ago

It’s that force field picture again….warp speed mr Scottie and raise the shields Chekhov.

Jack
Jack
5 days ago

Another money burning exercise that will (possibly) produce a product that already exists but at a higher cost.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Well that’s my confusion here, all the talk of sovereign capability but in the end we are effectively buying a long existing product but concealed within a whole range of UK project names that add what precisely? Opportunity to hide added benefits to interested parties under the guise of supposed added capability? Is the veneer of great British ‘invention’ and innovation simply there to fool the public that great British achievements are being made here for the sake of National pride under the guise of ‘World leading’ monikers they so love?

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Some of it is the needed. Cultural difference etc need someone that talks same language so to speak, some is testing to adapt, but as you say it fast can be a an exercise in takin a cut adding a small benefit that do not justifies the cost.

Frank
Frank
5 days ago

I think the Russian version uses two tennis rackets and a butterfly net.

Yes
Yes
5 days ago

So, implement something Russians started using 50 years ago?
Bravo on the timely implementation.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
5 days ago
Reply to  Yes

Well we see how good Russian stuff is in Ukraine. Not very good. I will need to look but can’t think I’ve seen an active protection system actually working as intended on the battlefield videos.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Yes

Well the Drozd system was nothing like these..it was an active protection that used a radar trigger to basically set of a load of claymore mines..that had the unfortunate side effect of killing all the troops the tank was supporting…it was also rubbish..in the end it was only ever fitted to 250 t55s before being withdrawn. They development the arena system as a concept in the late 1990s but it never went into production……they are now looking at actually producing Arena M…the only people to have actually seriously equipped its armoured force was Israel..the U.S. have only just taken it… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Jonathan
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
8 minutes ago

Thank god for that.
Finally!!!!
About bloody time too!!!!
I can only applaud this massively overdue programme to prepare our armoured fleet for APS fitting.
£450 million well spent as long as it’s followed up by an APS system fit.
Don’t want any more FFBNW fiascos