The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and QinetiQ have completed trials to assess a system to protect combat vehicles and their occupants.
The trials, named Medusa Technical Assessment Programme (TAP), which has been running for the last 3.5 years was completed in October 2019.
As part of the overall Dstl Active Integrated Protection Systems Research Project under the Land Systems research program, Dstl contracted QinetiQ Ltd to conduct Medusa TAP, assessing a commercial-off-the-shelf soft kill Active Protection System (APS). The Hensoldt MUSS system was selected and evaluated by QinetiQ supported by a team of industrial and MOD partners (QinetiQ, Hensoldt, BAE Systems, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Textron ESL).
The performance and utility of the system were evaluated with respect to subsystem and system performance, system integration, human factors integration as well as its safety, security, and legality, and the operational impacts associated with the use and deployment of such a system.
The integration assessment included the installation of a MUSS system to a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT), coupled with assessment by the Army to understand the benefits and challenges associated with such equipment across the Defence Lines of Development (DLODs).
The laboratory testing and trialing of the system culminated in a full end-end system evaluation during missile live-fire trials held in Woomera, South Australia during October 2018. This was conducted as part of the AUS/UK bi-lateral partnership between Dstl and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, and also supported by the Anglo-German MOU held with German defense procurement agency BAAINBw.
According to a Qinetiq statement, Medusa has provided vital insights into the capabilities, benefits, and limitations of such equipment, and will be used to inform the future direction for both APS research and evaluation activities, and support to potential future acquisition programs.
As part of the British Army’s future APS strategy, the Leonardo-led Icarus program is developing an open modular architecture specification for active protection as a cross-fleet capability, with a view to publishing the Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS) standard as a NATO Standardisation Agreement (STANAG). Soft kill subsystems and technologies will form a key part of this future modular and scalable approach to land active protection.
Medusa has demonstrated an effective and productive partnership between industrial partners and MOD and has effectively utilized IRC agreements to deliver a successful and mutually beneficial package of work, noted the Qinetiq statement.