Saturday, December 18, 2010


BONN, Germany - In about two years, a system could be ready for serial production that can actively defend vehicles from anti-tank rockets and guided missile.
In November, German company Diehl BGT Defence successfully demonstrated its Mutual Active Protection System (MAPS) at a two-day test campaign at the Federal Armed Forces Technical Center WTD 91 in Meppen.
MAPS was mounted on a Fuchs armored transport vehicle and defeated incoming anti-tank rockets and guided missiles, including advanced models with tandem warheads.
MAPS is a German-Israeli research project, and the Bundeswehr has financed about 25 percent of the development of the MAPS demonstrator on the Fuchs.
In total, the German military spent about 20 million euros ($26.44 million) since 1996 to develop a concept for a launcher-based active protection system. In 2006, Diehl BGT presented a prototype. Mounted on a Leopard 2 main battle tank, it defeated an incoming Milan-type anti-tank missile.
The system includes active and passive radar and infrared sensors, and a computer controls the four-tube launcher. It is loaded with blast grenade effector cartridges. During the demonstration, the interceptors destroyed all anti-tank weapons at a safe distance from the defended vehicle.
In addition to effective vehicle protection, MAPS also localizes the enemy's firing positions, enabling rapid and precise counterstrikes by the armored vehicle.
The demonstration at the facility in Meppen was witnessed by representatives of the Bundeswehr and military officials of allied armed forces, and national and international industry representatives.
According to Diehl BGT, MAPS has been successfully tested three times this year and could be ready for serial production in about two years. A decision about the procurement of such a system has not yet been made, a German Defense Department spokesman said.

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