The Lockheed Martin-built extended area protection and survivability (EAPS) system has successfully tracked rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) targets during a series of tests at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.
Conducted in collaboration with the US Army Research Development & Engineering Command/Aviation Missile Research Development & Engineering Center (RDECOM/AMRDEC), the tests demonstrated the system's ability in tracking trajectory duration of the targets launched from tactical ranges.
AMRDEC EAPS programme director Loretta Painter said: "The data collected is being analysed so that the programme learns as much as possible and we can incorporate improvements and changes where needed."
The target track information needed to perform a full target engagement sequence, including issuance of a launch command, followed by a simulated EAPS missile fly-out and intercept was provided by EAPS fire control sensors during the tests.
Weighing around 3kg, the 1m-long EAPS round is an agile, miniature hit-to-kill interceptor system designed to meet AMRDEC's average unit production cost goal at specified quantities.
EAPS supports multiple launchers and fire control sensors and defeats targets through body-to-body impact at tactical ranges, providing soldiers with greater protection and increased flexibility over legacy and temporary systems.
The test series supports the forthcoming EAPS integrated demonstration flight tests, comprising of a non-targeted test flight in May followed by several guided flights against tactical targets in late 2012.
EAPS is an advanced technology demonstrator (ATO-D) programme; it is aimed at the development of inner tier gun based air defence technologies to help bridge the gap between the initial counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) capability, as well as the objective enhanced area air defence system (EAADS) capability for protection from RAM threats.