“Active Protection Systems have been in the design and development stages since the early 1950s, but none have successfully made the transition from development to integration on a platform.”
This is true within the United States. There are several countries overseas that have fielded very effective systems including the Russians, our Allie in South Korea, and some others are discussed in this report. The system that has captured the imagination of the US Army & Marine Corps is the Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (also known as ASPRO-A, Israel Defense Forces designation מעיל רוח) for the Merkava Tank, and its Armored Personnel carrier version, the Namer IFV. This report is based primarily on the Joint US Army/Marine program to piggyback on, and future efforts to, further improve that configuration. The best Israeli APS model for armored protection is Iron Fist that first creates an umbrella of sensors that detect and counter with soft measures, as the determination is made to use the hard measure if soft measures are ineffective. That active Iron Fist system’s hard kill measure is a rock solid reliable protection system (APS). This is where the follow-on to the Trophy NDI will go as the development of this system matures in the future.
The resultant US construct that comes out of this Non-Developmental Item (NDI) test should result in a standard modification to any armored vehicle coming out of rebuild at the various repair and upgrade activities performed by Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Ohio, and other activities involved in the rebuild of the M2/M3 Bradley IFV by Red River Army Depot in Texas, Lima, Ohio; York, PA; Aiken, SC; and Elgin, OK, and the M109A7 Paladin PIM program. However, the thinnest armored vehicle with many lives in it that should receive this defensive system is the M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV). However, amphibious vehicles will provide unique problems due to weight limitations that enable buoyancy like the Stryker and the Marine Corps LAVs.
Featured Image – DoD