Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security (EBS), future HENSOLDT, has been awarded a contract by QinetiQ Ltd. to deliver the self-protection systems based on EBS’ 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.
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 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”.
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, which with 8,000 units sold is 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.
A Softkill Active Protection System like MUSS defeats threats before they strike a vehicle, by sensing them and providing a ‘soft’ response based on jamming or obscuration of the guidance mechanism with no risk of collateral damages. Moreover, MUSS is a discrete solution, which has no significant influence on the vehicle radiation as it features only passive sensors and an infrared Jammer with short activation time, not detectable either in visible or in thermal image spectrum.
EBS is the new sensor house, a leading global provider of premium electronics in the areas of protection, reconnaissance and surveillance. The enterprise equips armed forces and security organisations around the world on the basis of a 100-year tradition and experience gained from renowned technological predecessors such as Dasa, Aérospatiale-Matra, Telefunken, Dornier and Zeiss.
EBS employs some 4,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €1 billion per year. EBS is a 100% subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space. Airbus Group has signed a share purchase agreement with the investment company KKR in order to transfer ownership of initially 74.9% of the EBS shares to KKR.
The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and employee consultation, and is expected to be put into effect in the first quarter of 2017. Thereafter, the company will appear under the brand name “Hensoldt” following the tradition of a German pioneer of sensor technology whose name stands for the combination of excellence, innovation and efficiency.
Photo: Airbus DS EBS’ MUSS self-protection system under the “Medusa” programme will be integrated in a Challenger 2 MBT