APS-AJAX

Andrew White in London – The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) now knows its requirements regarding Active Protection Systems (APS) for tactical ground vehicles.

Addressing delegates at the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability conference in London on 13 November, Colonel Nick Cowey, assistant head of Ground Manoeuvre for Combat Capabilities, British Army, described ground force perspectives for APS technology to support current and future operations.

Cowey explained that these include the investigation of next-generation APS technology and mission suites on board “legacy and future UK armoured vehicle platforms” in order to satisfy the MoD’s broader survivability strategy to enhance the operational effectiveness of tactical units.

Cowey called for ‘de-risking’ of APS technology to equip the British Army’s existing inventory of armoured vehicles as well as future platforms including the General Dynamics’ Ajax armoured fighting vehicle (AFV).

Similar sentiments were shared by Tom Newbery with the Active Protection Research Technical Authority, Platform Survivability Group, at the UK MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). Discussing the research and procurement of “active integrated protection systems” for the British Army’s AFV fleet, Newbery highlighted ongoing efforts currently being conducted by DSTL including the Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS).

DSTL is working with an industry consortium led by Leonardo to develop the Icarus Technology Demonstrator in support of MIPS electronic architecture to enable ‘best of breed’ APS sensors and countermeasures to defeat a wide range of current and future battlefield weapon threats.

Any solution, Newbery highlighted, must feature a “hybridised and modularised” capability with open architecture to facilitate a variety of plug-and-play sensors and effectors to protect AFVs across the battlefield.

The Icarus programme is due to run through to November 2020, featuring additional industry participation from Roke Manor Research; SCISYS; BAE Systems; Lockheed Martin; Ultra Electronics; and Vetronics Research Centre, Abstract Solutions.

by Andrew White