LWI - Land Warfare

US Army's TARDEC talks APS

18th December 2017 - 03:12 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Specialists from the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) have spoken on how the US Army is tackling the IED challenge for its armoured vehicle fleet at the Future Ground Combat Vehicle Summit.

Col. Kevin Vanyo, program manager for Emerging Capabilities at TARDEC, highlighted the fact that simply up-armouring with armour plating passive protection systems is no longer the answer, pointing out that the Abrams tank today is so heavy, transporting it is a problem and many bridges are not strong enough to support its weight.

With weapons becoming more potent, the army is pursing hard and soft kill active protection systems (APS) under its Modular Active Protection System (MAPS) programme; the former of which includes sensors that can detect signatures from weapons and then interfere with those weapons using electro-magnetic countermeasures, while hard kill refers to physical countermeasures such as blast or projectiles that destroy or divert incoming fire.

MAPS is a framework for a modular, open-systems architecture – a framework that consists of the controller software and hardware that will allow the APS to function once it is developed.

The army is pursing three variants of MAPS: Trophy APS for use on the Abrams, Iron Curtain APS for use on the Stryker, and Iron Fist APS for use on the Bradley.

It is hoped that Trophy APS will be fielded by 2020, while a decision on the other two variants will be made during the second quarter of fiscal year 2018.

Work right now involves testing various systems that can be fielded once MAPS has matured. The current challenge is understanding the signal that APS produces and if that signal might interfere with other vehicle software, or provide its own signature that could be picked up by enemy sensors.

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