Land Platforms

ADS achieves ‘world-first’ functionally safe APS

22 January 2018

ADS – the distributed hard-kill active protection system (APS) developed by Germany’s ADS Gesellschaft für aktive Schutzsysteme mbH, a subsidiary of Rheinmetall – has been developed to IEC61508 Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3), the highest safety critical standard currently achievable for an APS.

IEC61508 (‘Functional Safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic safety-related Systems’) is an international standard, established by the International Electrotechnical Commission, designed to assess the safe performance of airbags, braking systems, or any other aspect of a system of systems in vehicles, aircraft, process control, and other sectors.

An ADS APS-equipped Leopard 2A MBT configured for top attack protection. (ADS)An ADS APS-equipped Leopard 2A MBT configured for top attack protection. (ADS)

IEC61508 SIL3 accreditation is independently assessed and verified by the Bundeswehr’s selected safety auditors technisch-mathematische studiengesellschaft (tms) using the Bundeswehr’s assessment methodology for weapon system safety. ADS is understood to be the first APS system that has been built to this standard. “ADS is the world’s first APS developer to apply safety-critical design principles to APS development to deliver predictable safe system performance,” an ADS spokesperson said. The ADS IEC61508/SIL3 certified build standard is applied to the ADS-Gen3 solution.

In evolved development since 1996, ADS-Gen3 is a near-field modular hard-kill APS architecture comprising a distributed directed high-explosive countermeasure (CM) package, a low power two-tone continuous wave radar pre-warner radar array, a dual infrared/electro-optic (IR/EO) sensor suite and a central processing component.

The total weight of the system is given as between 70 kg and 1,800 kg (eg, main battle tank with top and side protection) depending on the platform application, while configuration/distribution of the sensor/CM array depends on the coverage/defensive capacity required. Power consumption is stated as <750 W.

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