Army rapid development office starting new kinetic APS project

April 11, 2019 at 12:53 PM

The Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, now aligned with Futures Command, is seeking industry feedback on a new project to develop a kinetic energy active protection system for next-generation combat vehicles.

The RCCTO, recently restructured to focus on hypersonic, directed energy and space technologies, on April 10 updated an industry notice to add the latest opportunity for a kinetic energy APS that can defeat medium- and large-caliber threats, as well as fuzed threats.

The notice states current vehicle armors have added too much weight for ground systems to be transported by ship, rotary wing or cargo aircraft or even driven safely on roads because of rollover risk, leaving no room for additional defenses.

While previously “constrained by limited sensing and computation speeds,” the Army is aware of several companies, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other government organizations, that “have been working to address the major technical challenges of tracking and engaging chemical energy and kinetic energy threats.”

“The primary opportunity and purpose of this effort is to integrate these subsystems into a protection system,” the notice states. “In this way, one could have a dramatically lighter vehicle protected against more lethal threats.”

The service desires a system that would be compatible with the Next Generation Combat Vehicle family -- which includes the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, Robotic Combat Vehicle, Mobile Protected Firepower and Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle -- and comply with the service's planned Modular APS plug-and-play system, or MAPS.