Northrop Grumman Corp. recently demonstrated the effectiveness of its vehicle-protection technologies against advanced anti-tank guided munitions (ATGM) systems during a U.S. government-sponsored soft-kill “rodeo” late last year in Huntsville, Ala. Northrop’s Vehicle Active Protection System was deployed onboard an M1A1 Abrams tank (see figure) on a live-fire range during a month-long demonstration of testing soft-kill capability against real-world threats, including ATGM systems. The demonstrations were sponsored by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC).
During the demo, Northrop Grumman used its passive-infrared (IR) cueing sensors system to issue threat warnings of inbound ATGMs, providing a cue for the tank’s onboard soft-kill countermeasures (SKCM) system. The protection system, known as the multifunction electro-optical system (MEOS), countered the ATGM and defeated it in real time. The MEOS, an adaption of airborne-system protection technology, identified and countered all types of threats fired at its APS system.
“This solution is an example of leveraging significant investment in aircraft protection to rapidly provide similar capabilities to ground vehicles,” said Mike Meaney, vice president, advanced missions, Northrop Grumman. “We look forward to working with the Army to deploy an affordable end-to-end Vehicle APS system that can defeat a variety of anti-tank guided munitions.”