With both Land 400 and Land 907 Phase 2 looking at active protection systems (APS) as part of the sensor and effector complements, gains for both Rafael’s Trophy and ADS’ APS technologies are timely.
The two systems effectively are active defence systems in that they detect and defeat incoming missile or rocket threats to the platform. Trophy, which is fitted on Israeli Merkava tanks and Namer IFVs and has been purchased by the US (with four brigades now to be fitted with the system), has a launcher based hard kill system. As ADM has reported previously, this system utilises four phased array radars and a hard kill countermeasure to detect and detonate threats before they hit the vehicle.
In January at the International Armoured Vehicles 2018 in London, England Yiftach Kleinman, Head of Vehicle Protection Suites at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems commented that “Trophy has proven itself time and time again as a life-saver and is the only operational, combat-proven APS in the world.
“Installed on over 3 brigades of the Israel Defense Forces Merkava MBTs and Namer IFVs, and since 2016 in a process of being installed on the advanced combat fleet of the IDF, Rafael presents Trophy as a corner stone for a suite that will provide a comprehensive approach for today’s theater challenges.”
ADM understands that Australia is keen to get their hands on 2-3 Trophy systems for testing here in country but Rafael will be flat out delivering on the massive US order.
In January this year, ADS announced it has achieved a world first; the highest safety and predictable systems performance standard assessment for an APS, IEC61508 SIL 3 (Safety Integrity Level) for its’ ADS-Gen3, independently assessed by auditing firm TMS using the Bundeswehr’s assessment methodology for weaponry safety.
After seven years of risk-assessed design, development and system testing, ADS has delivered consistent APS defensive performance, independently assessed as succeeding in at least 999 of 1000 defensive responses, and potentially as high as 9,999 in 10,000 defensive actions. The distributed system (rather than a launcher based response) means that multiple targets can be simultaneously engaged on the same side of the platform, according to an ADS spokesperson.
The new standard looks at the functional safety of the system, as distinct from NATO – STANAG 4686 which looks at performance levels of Defence Aids Suites (DAS) for armoured vehicles.
“APS crew and dismounted infantry need the same confidence that an autonomous piece of weaponry has been designed with their safety in mind, alongside the performance objectives laid out by the Stanag 4686,” according to an ADS spokesperson. “Safe design goes beyond just an ability to destroy an incoming missile. It forces the developer to consider risk mitigation not only to the vehicle and tank crew, but anyone nearby.”
ADM understands that any addition of an APS or DAS to the ADF’s order of battle would require a significant change in TTPs to accommodate the technology safely.
This article first appeared in the March 2018 edition of ADM.