Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security (EBS) has been contracted by QinetiQ to supply self-protection systems for armoured vehicles.

Under the contract, EBS will deliver self-protection systems based on its multifunctional self-protection system (MUSS).

The systems will undergo assessment as part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Medusa programme that was launched on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to analyse an active protection system (APS) for armoured vehicles.

The technical assessments will evaluate the system's performance against a range of weapon systems.

This analysis involves a BAE Systems integration of the MUSS system onto a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank to demonstrate potential future capability, EBS said in a statement.

“The MUSS system is currently the most advanced APS available on the market."

Airbus DS EBS CEO Thomas Müller said: “The MUSS system is currently the most advanced APS available on the market.

“It is today 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.”

Said to be a Softkill APS, MUSS reduces the likelihood of a hit by antitank guided missiles or laser-guided ammunition as it defeats threats before they strike a vehicle.

The system's warning sensors detect approaching missiles and laser beams aimed at the vehicle, while its central unit activates an infrared jammer that interferes with missiles’ guidance systems and/or initiates the use of pyrotechnic countermeasures, according to the company.

The missile warning sensor is based on the MILDS AN/AAR-60 missile warning system for helicopters and aircraft.

Dstl has been investigating APS for a number of years.

Image: Airbus DS EBS’ MUSS self-protection system under the Medusa programme will be integrated in a Challenger 2 MBT. Photo: courtesy of BAE Land Systems.