The US Army is developing improved active protection systems (APS) with hard-kill and soft-kill measures for vehicle armour.

APS is being developed under the Modular Active Protection System (MAPS) programme to increase the survivability of the vehicles and personnel inside.

US Army Tank Automotive Research Development, and Engineering Center Emerging Capabilities programme manager colonel Kevin Vanyo said: “MAPS is a framework for a modular, open-systems architecture. It is not an active protection system.”

The MAPS framework includes controller software and hardware that will allow the APS to function once it is developed.

“Trophy APS is expected to be fielded by 2020 and a decision regarding Iron Curtain APS and Iron Fist APS will be made in 2018.”

Soft-kill measures of APS include sensors that are capable of detecting signatures from weapons and then interfere with those weapons using electromagnetic countermeasures. Hard-kill refers to physical countermeasures such as blasts or projectiles that destroy or divert incoming fire.

The army is currently developing Trophy APS for use on the Abrams vehicle, Iron Curtain APS for the Stryker vehicle, and Iron Fist APS for the Bradley vehicle.

Trophy APS is expected to be fielded by 2020 and a decision regarding the other two variants will be made in 2018.

Personnel at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal are developing an APS. They are testing various systems that can be fielded once MAPS has matured.

Engineers from across the army and other service laboratories along with industry support are involved in APS development.