C4iSR: Land

US Army seeking APS technology for Bradley vehicles

12 December 2018

US soldiers exit an M2 Bradley fighting vehicle during live-fire qualifications in Bulgaria in 2017. The US Army is looking to equip Bradley vehicles with an APS. Source: US Army

Once again the US army is looking for new active protection systems (APSs) to equip on its family of M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. Whether this is a positive or negative for IMI Systems' Iron Fist remains unclear.

On 11 December, the service issued a draft request for proposal in the form of a "market survey" for APSs with a technology readiness level (TRL) 6.

"This APS shall have been proven and characterised on the Bradley Family of Vehicles [FOV]," the service wrote in a short notice. "This will be accomplished through the procurement of a B-Kit, consisting of the system and countermeasures."

Industry has until 18 December to respond.

Recently, the service has been evaluating three APSs: Rafael's Trophy on the Abrams main battle tank (MBT), IMI Systems' Iron Fist on the M2 Bradley, and Artis' Iron Curtain on the Stryker infantry combat vehicle.

In June Leonardo DRS (Rafael's US-based partner) was awarded USD193 million to integrate the capability on Abrams MBTs. Artis' Iron Curtain system, however, was cut due to a lack of maturity.

IMI Systems' Iron Fist is now uncertain, and the company and an army spokeswoman did not immediately respond to Jane's request for information.

Colonel Glenn Dean, project manager for Stryker Brigade Combat Team and APS acquisition, told reporters in August that IMI's Iron Fist technology was still participating in Phase I live-fire and automotive characterisation testing due to an eight-month delay caused by funding gaps, inclement weather, and integration challenges. At the time, he noted that the findings would be turned over to the Army Requirements Oversight Council in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 for a decision on how to proceed.

He also explained that the M2 Bradley is a "very difficult platform to install on".

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