Airbus has been awarded a contract by QinetiQ to deliver the self-protection systems based on MUSS (Multifunctional self-protection system).
The systems will be evaluated in the frame of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) “Medusa” programme launched on behalf of the UK MoD to analyse an Active Protection System (APS) for armoured vehicles, Airbus Electronics and Border Security (EBS) said in a statement Wednesday.
The technical assessments will quantify how well the system performs against a range of weapon systems, and will also include a BAE Systems integration of the MUSS system onto a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank to demonstrate potential future capability.
Thomas Müller, CEO Airbus DS EBS said: “The MUSS system is integrated in the serial production of the German Infantry Fighting Vehicle PUMA and may serve tomorrow to improve the survivability of UK battle-winning equipment programmes such as Ajax, Warrior, Challenger 2 and the future UK Mechanised Infantry Vehicle”.
MUSS drastically reduces the likelihood of a hit by antitank guided missiles or laser-guided ammunition and is the only operational protection system worldwide for ground vehicles. It achieves a level of protection which is not possible for the same total weight with passive armour. The warning sensors detect approaching missiles and laser beams aimed at the vehicle. The central unit activates an infrared jammer which interferes with missiles’ guidance systems and/or initiates the use of pyrotechnic countermeasures.
The missile warning sensor is based on the MILDS AN/AAR-60 missile warning system for helicopters and aircraft, with 8,000 units sold the most widely used warning sensor worldwide.
Dstl has been investigating APS for a number of years, and considers them an important part of a future survivability capability for keeping pace with new threats.