Northrop Grumman has demonstrated Vehicle Active Protection System technologies against Anti-Tank Guided Munitions during a US Army exercise.
The month-long government sponsored exercise was developed to demonstrate and test soft-kill capability against real world threats.
Using its Passive Infrared Cueing Sensors system, Northrop Grumman say the system successfully generated threat warning of inbound ATGMs and provided a cue for the soft kill countermeasure system (SKCM).
“The Northrop Grumman SKCM system, known as the Multifunction Electro-Optical System (MEOS), successfully countered the ATGM and defeated it in real-time.
The MEOS identified and countered all types of threats fired at its APS system, making this the fourth consecutive time the system has performed well in field tests to defeat threats.”
“This solution is an example of leveraging significant investment in aircraft protection to rapidly provide similar capabilities to ground vehicles,” said Mike Meaney, vice president, advanced missions, Northrop Grumman.
“We look forward to working with the Army to deploy an affordable end-to-end Vehicle APS system that can defeat a variety of anti-tank guided munitions.”
Back in 2017, we reported that Leonardo was selected by the UK Government to lead a team of UK companies for project Icarus.
Under a Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) called ‘Icarus’, the team will develop and demonstrate a way to affordably integrate technologies in the Active Protection System category, preparing them for deployment across the Army’s fleet of land vehicles.
According to Leonardo:
“The project is responding to an operational environment where armour by itself will not be sufficient to defend against the capabilities of future weapon systems, in particular threats such as Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and Anti-Tank Guided Weapons (ATGW).
In order to counter this growing threat, a number of Active Protection Systems (APS) technologies have been developed by industry and are available as off-the-shelf solutions to supplement the physical protection that is offered by an armoured vehicle.”
These APS technologies generally fall into either of two categories: ‘soft’ APS solutions that are focused on early threat detection and which attempt to disrupt, decoy or spoof the incoming threat and ‘hard’ APS systems that seek to defeat the incoming weapon system by physically intercepting it, known in military terminology as a ‘kinetic effect’.
Whilst these APS technologies are currently available and will continue to be developed by industry, it is clear that no single solution is suited to every threat scenario or indeed all threats.