The UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced new funding by the British Army to scale up the Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS) open architecture standard.    

Under the investment worth £15m over three years, Dstl will focus on building and validating a flexible and modular Active Protection System (APS) at high maturity Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL 7).

Apart from ensuring operational advantages, the APS will also allow for the increased survivability of Army vehicles.

The latest funding is the follow-on phase of the Icarus Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) validated last year.

The Icarus TDP demonstrated the MIPS standard to TRL 5.

The new phase of MIPS will help the UK modernise its capabilities through to 2040.

These include advanced sensors for fast signal processing, improved information processing, including artificial intelligence (AI), updated effectors to counter a wide range of threats, and improved high-speed directors.

Advances in electronic infrastructure component technologies for industrial robotic and autonomous systems are also part of the plan.

The modular framework of the MIPS systems will enable the Army to procure them at pace, support the systems through their life, and integrate them into mission systems.

UK Defence Procurement Minister Alec Shelbrooke said: “Our Armed Forces keep us safe around the clock and its incumbent upon us to do all we can to protect them and adapt to future threats.

“This is an important step forward in researching the latest technology to improve protection for armoured vehicles, helping them prevent and repel attacks from the ground and air.”

The British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers successfully demonstrated full operating capability of the Interim Combined Arms Virtual Simulation (Deployable) (ICAVS(D)) during a training event.

Developed by Elbit Systems UK and procured by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the ICAVS(D) was designed as a pathfinder project for the Army’s Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP).

The ICAVS(D) leverages Defence Virtual Simulation software to offer tactical combined arms training for both regular and reserve soldiers.

Four ICAVS(D) units are currently available to be deployed across the UK and overseas.