NWI - Naval Warfare

Rheinmetall successfully demo’s MASS with Elta NavGuard

21st March 2014 - 13:33 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Rheinmetall announced on 21 March that in cooperation with the German armed forces and IAI Elta it had successfully tested the Multi Ammunition Softkill System (MASS) and NavGuard ship protection systems.

According to the company trials took place under the aegis of the German Navy in Howachter Bay in the Baltic at the end of October 2013. Also taking part in the trials was 2 Company, 92 Mechanised Infantry Battalion, a German Army unit based in Munster.

The trials were based on an asymmetric warfare scenario with the objective of protecting naval units from the threat posed by land-based forces armed with passive guided missiles. As part of their gunnery training, the mechanised infantry played the part of the aggressors. Operating in Todendorf Major Training Area, they fired Milan antitank missiles at the German Navy mine warfare ship HL 352 Auerbach in Hohwachter Bay.

In order to defend itself from this type of threat, the ship was equipped with Rheinmetall’s MASS naval countermeasure system, specifically the MASS Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) version. MASS ISS features various sensors for detecting radar, laser and electro-optical threats. The latest additional component is the Elta NavGuard radar detection system, which actively warns the crew of incoming rockets and guided missiles.

‘In this scenario the mission entailed detecting the passive Milan guided missile with NavGuard immediately after launch, and engaging it with MASS. The countermeasures initiated by MASS were then supposed to cause the incoming missile to crash,’ the company said in a statement.

The challenge was two-fold: assuring reliable detection of the passively guided, very small missile, and accomplishing this in an extremely short period of time. Only 14 seconds were available for detecting the incoming missile, sounding the alarm, triggering the MASS countermeasures and bringing down the Milan.

‘No fewer than five times, NavGuard flawlessly detected the incoming projectiles in extremely short order, which were then successfully engaged by MASS. These excellent results are a further milestone in the use of modern technology to combat asymmetric threats,’ the company added.

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