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DSEI 2021: Leonardo leads UK industry team trialling new high-tech protection for AFVs

Leonardo is leading a UK industry team that is trialling the MIPS standardised architecture for protecting AFVs. (Leonardo)

A UK industry team led by Leonardo is trialling the Modular Integration Protection System (MIPS) standardised architecture for protecting armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), which it presented at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2021 exhibition, which was held in London on 14–17 September.

The system was demonstrated at the UK Ministry of Defence's Shoeburyness range in Essex in July as part of the Project Icarus technology demonstrator programme led by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), which launched the programme to address the rapidly evolving threat of weapons like rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank guided weapons. Abstract Solutions, CGI, Frazer-Nash, Lockheed Martin UK, RBSL, Roke, and Ultra Electronics are also part of the effort.

During the trial, weapons such as RPGs and missiles were fired at short range at MIPS, for which commercial off-the-shelf and surrogate sensors and countermeasures were adapted for integration into the system. Leonardo reported that the trial successfully tested the ability of the MIPS sense, control, and reaction sequence to respond to threats within extremely short timeframes.

The company expects this demonstration of MIPS technology to lead to the next phase of the contract, followed by the demonstration of a prototype in an operational environment, fqualificationm, and then entry into service.

Leonardo also sees room for growth, with contract amendments placed to deliver counter-unmanned aerial vehicle and counter-ISTAR capabilities.

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