Military

Modular system stops anti-tank rockets

Modular system stops anti-tank...
MAPS is a collection of sensors and "soft" countermeasures that detect missiles and and then deflect them from their target
MAPS is a collection of sensors and "soft" countermeasures that detect missiles and and then deflect them from their target
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MAPS is a collection of sensors and "soft" countermeasures that detect missiles and and then deflect them from their target
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MAPS is a collection of sensors and "soft" countermeasures that detect missiles and and then deflect them from their target
MAPS base unit
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MAPS base unit
The MAPS system
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The MAPS system
MAPS infographic
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MAPS infographic
MAPS modularity infographic
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MAPS modularity infographic
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In a recent US Army live fire exercise, an automatic countermeasure system successfully deflected 15 out of 15 anti-tank guided missile attacks. The Lockheed Martin Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) detected the incoming missiles during the Army's six-week "rodeo" at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and deflected them off target by jamming their guidance signals.

Ever since the first tank was fielded during the First World War, there has been a perpetual arms race between tanks and anti-tank weapons. Every time a better class of armor was developed, a better bullet, shell, rocket or missile was invented. As a result, main battle tanks went from weighing 28 tons and carrying steel plates to 70-ton monsters with angled composite Chobham armor.

But armor isn't the only way that modern tanks are protected. In recent years, passive defenses have been augmented by active ones like MAPS, which counter incoming threats before they reach target.

MAPS infographic
MAPS infographic

According to Lockheed, MAPS has been in production since 2014 and is a collection of sensors and "soft" countermeasures that detect missiles and and then deflect them from their target. How this is done is the selling point, because MAPS is a modular, open-architecture system that allows it to not only be reconfigured for specific platforms and missions, but to also accept modules developed by third parties.

MAPS is a distributed system consisting of a base kit made up of a controller, user interface, power management distribution system, network switch, and application software for controlling and directing sensors and countermeasures. This allows it to be installed on current vehicles, and also to support future vehicle protection systems.

The MAPS system
The MAPS system

In the recent rodeo, the Army integrated three new countermeasures and a cueing sensor into MAPS. In addition, Lockheed led efforts to integrate an Ariel Photonics countermeasure into the MAPS framework, and worked with BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman to support the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center with equipment integration.

"The success of the Army's testing shows the effectiveness of an active protection system that can rapidly refresh with new components to meet specific mission and platform requirements," says Michael Williamson, vice president of Sensors & Global Sustainment at Lockheed Martin.

The video below explains how MAPS works.

Source: Lockheed Martin

Modular Active Protection Systems: Ahead of the Threat Curve

7 comments
guzmanchinky
Can it deflect a bullet from another tank?
Bionic88
What is going on with that picture? Is it supposed to make it Star Wars-ish, therefore futuristic...don't they know Star Wars happened "A long time ago...."
SiteGuy
There's just one teensy little problem with MAPS. It's based on a solution which deflects the incoming projectile electronically. That's all well and good when dealing with third-generation anti-tank weaponry, which is wireless (utilizing laser ranging, electro-optic imaging, radar, etc.) and are vulnerable to a flexible electronic countermeasure system like this. However, MAPs would be completely useless—and totally vulnerable—to first- and second-generation wire-guided anti-tank weapons. An example of wire-guided missiles is the U.S. Army's now-obsolete Dragon M47 shoulder-fired anti-tank missile. So that means that enemies could acquire obsolete weapons and successfully circumvent MAPS with potentially deadly results. Other countries like Israel have successfully developed and deployed systems that physically destroy the incoming target (i.e. the Trophy APS). This drawback of MAPS is a huge vulnerability—let's hope Lockheed Martin has a pending solution.
EZ
Right, let's hope they fix it right. All this weaponry is just a way to keep the munitions pot boiling. All BS. We need to stop this insane arms race and focus on the saving the plane--not blowing it up. Bunch of greedy idiots.
jim34
Rockets are unguided. This does not protect against rockets.
Robert Walther
Nothing new here. Just get MAPS that show where the enemy does not have weapons. (;>)
ljaques
I hope these ECM boxes do well for their specific warfare elements. Um, Bionic88, that's a picture of a tank between highway bridges with a night sky and a couple rockets coming down toward it. What's Starwarish about it? I think the dome aura is an artist's rendering of the electronic shield given by the boxes. LOL