While the US Army continues onward with plans to equip land vehicles with currently available Active Protection Systems (APS), it is also pressing forward with the development of a longer-term Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) to shoot down incoming threats.
On 29 October, the army’s Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) announced that it had completed a series of four virtual soft-kill demonstrations using MAPS base kit components with “various combinations of vendor-supplied sensors and countermeasures”.
“Through this series of tests, we were able to validate the ability of the MAC [Modular APS Controller] to control various sensors and countermeasures that comply with the MAF [the Modular APS Framework],” said Bill Beyer, the MAPS Virtual Demonstrator lead. “The tests also proved that using a controller built on government- and industry-approved open standards and common interfaces allows integration of disparate components into a full system.”
During the four virtual soft-kill tests, Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) said that the MAC controlled a “unique configuration of sensors and countermeasures” during each test series.
“Each of these demonstrator efforts focused on a different aspect of modularity. The first two tests focused on soft-kill countermeasure modularity while the third and fourth demonstrators showcased cueing sensor modularity,” TARDEC said. “These demonstrations emphasise how, with minimal configuration changes, subsystems that are MAF-compliant can be integrated with one another to accommodate specific platform and mission needs.”
Moving forward, TARDEC is planning to conduct a fifth demonstrator to test “cueing sensor modularity” and determine if the sensors and effectors are adaptable across a range of APS subsystems. Then in December, the service will begin testing MAPS hard-kill capabilities through virtual demonstrations.
Down the road, the service will do further demonstrations where it will layer “a hard-kill on a soft-kill defeat system onto the same platform”, according to Colonel Glenn Dean, the army’s project manager for Stryker Brigade Combat Team and APS acquisition.
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