QinetiQ to evaluate APS for Dstl
QinetiQ has been awarded a £7.6 million contract by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to evaluate an active protection system (APS) for armoured vehicles under Project Medusa, it was announced on 5 July.
QinetiQ will work with several sub-contractors, including Airbus Defence and Space, which has been contracted to supply a number of systems based on the Multi-function Self-protection System (MUSS) for evaluation. The technical assessments will quantify the system’s performance against a range of weapon systems.
For these assessments, BAE Systems will integrate MUSS on a Challenger 2 main battle tank to demonstrate potential future capability. Textron and Frazer-Nash are also key contributors for the Medusa team.
The Medusa Technical Assessment Programme is part of the DSTL's ongoing research into APS, alongside efforts to develop open architecture for future modular capability. The APS will sense threats and provide a 'soft' or 'hard' response to defeat them before they strike the vehicle.
The soft response will be based on obscuring or jamming the guidance mechanism of the threat, and the hard response will involve physical interception of the threat.
Andy Brownlow, head of business development, land systems at QinetiQ, said: ‘Our focus on Medusa is to assess capability, provide independent guidance and impart QinetiQ’s knowledge and experience across platform survivability, related sensor and effector technologies as well as the vehicle architecture domains to ensure we successfully deliver the potential game-changing improvements in capability for the armed forces.’
Brig Ian Gibb, head of combat capability at army headquarters, Andover, said: ‘The development of an effective APS would provide a hugely significant step change in the survivability of our platforms, particularly as we are reaching the technological limits of what passive armour can achieve.
'Initially, this capability is likely to have utility across all of our major battle-winning equipment programmes - Ajax, Warrior, Challenger 2 and the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle. But elements of APS should have applications across other platforms and systems too. We look forward to continuing to work alongside DSTL in this key project.’
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