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Active Protection System (APS) for tanks

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I've been meaning to ask for a while, is the Arena APS effective against top attack weapons like Javelin?  Conventional wisdom in the west says no, but the fragmentation rings appear to extend over the upper surfaces of the vehicle to me.

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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I've been meaning to ask for a while, is the Arena APS effective against top attack weapons like Javelin?  Conventional wisdom in the west says no, but the fragmentation rings appear to extend over the upper surfaces of the vehicle to me.

Depends on the angle. 

T-80_Arena_KAZT_Active_Protection_System.png

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15 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

Systems like Trophy, Iron Fist, AVePS etc. also cannot shot straight upwards.

Any plans to change that? Or as long as russian doesnt has top-attack missiles no point in doing it?

 

Could you put some AMAP ADS on top of the roof?
Also would it make sense against bomblets or bombs?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Willy Brandt said:

Any plans to change that? Or as long as russian doesnt has top-attack missiles no point in doing it?

 

Could you put some AMAP ADS on top of the roof?
Also would it make sense against bomblets or bombs?

Bomblets can be countered by NERA/MERA/ERA on turret roof. I think Trophy can engage targets at rather high angles relatively to many other APS.

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AFAIK the current launcher-based active protection system with the highest elevation is SAAB's LEDS-150 (up to 65°). Italy developed an APS similar to AWiSS/AVePS and Iron Fist during the early 2000s, which was called Scudo. It was limited to 30° elevation in the current mock-ups, although they wanted to extend the elevation to 45°.

 

The MUSS softkill APS used on the Puma has an elevation of up to 70°. Iron Fist uses RADA's CHR radar panels, which have a tracking cone of 90° in elevation and 120° in azumith from the radar's axis. This means it is limited to +45° elevation (slightly more if the radar panels are mounted on a sloped surface).

 

This makes modern vehicles with APS still vulnerable to top-attack ammunitions like SMArt 155, KSTAM, BONUS or other weapons fired by artillery or mortars; they cannot be defeated by most/all APS types.

 

SMArt155_function.jpg

 

The ADS active protection system has special up-wards facing countermeasures and sensor units, although the elevation will also be limited. It would in theory be possible to fit additional ones onto the roof...

JUkaixE.png

 

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12 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Systems like Trophy, Iron Fist, AVePS etc. also cannot shot straight upwards.

Rotating systems can defeat top attack munitions and for that they dont need to shoot straight up.

Even in the extreme case that a certain missile will fly a few dozen meters above the target and will sharply turn 90°, and head straight downwards (note: only the Spike II so far is marketed as capable of countering APS, yet has a dive angle of "only" 70°), the launchers don't need to aim straight up. They can just rotate so that they face the center of the vehicle, and shoot when the missile enters their range. This effectively leaves no dead zone, and is a merit of APS with rotating launchers.

 

The only requirement for that is to either have the radars cover the top (which is definitely possible), or develop algorithms that would allow estimating the point of interception in the absence of continuous tracking.

 

So with sufficient top armor, the Abrams can defeat intercepted artillery shells.

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10 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Rotating systems can defeat top attack munitions and for that they dont need to shoot straight up.

Even in the extreme case that a certain missile will fly a few dozen meters above the target and will sharply turn 90°, and head straight downwards (note: only the Spike II so far is marketed as capable of countering APS, yet has a dive angle of "only" 70°), the launchers don't need to aim straight up. They can just rotate so that they face the center of the vehicle, and shoot when the missile enters their range. This effectively leaves no dead zone, and is a merit of APS with rotating launchers.

 

The only requirement for that is to either have the radars cover the top (which is definitely possible), or develop algorithms that would allow estimating the point of interception in the absence of continuous tracking.

 

So with sufficient top armor, the Abrams can defeat intercepted artillery shells.

 

This is just a typical comment from you... "current systems are perfect!!!".

 

Weapons like SMArt 155, BONUS, etc. will strike the tank's roof armor from a nearly vertical angle; the EFP warhead will detonate 50 to 150 metres above the vehicle and strike downwards. There is no way for Trophy or other APS to deal with that. Even dumb artillery/mortar sheels can be easily fitted witha  nose section for course-correction/guidance and strike tanks from nearly vertical angles, way above the maximum elevation of current APS.

 

c9a1579cf9a84ea3b1d247740e6f73407c50864.

 

Javelin and Hellfire (and pretty much all top-attack ATGMs launched from helicopters) will most likely have no issue with currently existing systems.

figf-6.gif

(FM 3-21.71 Appendix F, Javelin Employment).

 

400px-Javelin_flight_profiles.jpg

 

hellfire-trajectory1.gif

AGM-114A Hellfire trajectories.

 

Then there is a big question in functionality of sensors and software. APS are designed to ignore ATGMs/RPGs which would not impact on the vehicle, because otherwise valuable countermeasures are lost. This is a general problem of APS vs top-attack weapons, but it could also mean overfly top-attack systems such as TOW-2B and BILL-2 won't be engaged by them.

 

Your theory about "rotating systems defeat[ing] top attack munitions" because "they dont need to shoot straight up" is wrong for a multitude of reasons. First of all, these system don't know where the top-attack weapons are, because the radar coverage of current system doesn't include the upper sections of the hemisphere. How should the APS intercept a threat that it cannot see? Aside of this issue, not all launchers can be elevated so far, because the

There are also issues with the detection range required to spot most types of top-attack missiles and the interception distance required for the APS to properly work. Trophy's launchers cannot be turned enough to cover the roof (thanks to their location and the fixed blast shields), while Iron Fist/AVePS and similar systems require greater standoff to not damage the system when the HE warhead explodes.

 

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9 hours ago, SH_MM said:

This is just a typical comment from you... "current systems are perfect!!!".

 

Lesson #1 kids, if you want to be absolutely sure you win an argument, dismiss the other person's argument by saying his comment was "typical". It eliminates all validity he had.

Ad Hominem beats all.

Yeah, seriously though, if you want to have a civilized discussion based on mutual respect, that is NOT the way to do it. I'll agree to forget about this if you also agree to stop throwing this sort of comments into every post you make.

 

9 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Weapons like SMArt 155, BONUS, etc. will strike the tank's roof armor from a nearly vertical angle; the EFP warhead will detonate 50 to 150 metres above the vehicle and strike downwards. There is no way for Trophy or other APS to deal with that. Even dumb artillery/mortar sheels can be easily fitted witha  nose section for course-correction/guidance and strike tanks from nearly vertical angles, way above the maximum elevation of current APS.

 

SMArt 155 and BONUS are unique in a way that they can detonate far above the target as they do not utilize a HEAT warhead (unlike, say, the M712 Copperhead for example). They are not the subject of my argument of the ability to defeat artillery shells. I spoke of conventionally armed artillery shells (HE filler). I also don't think, however, that APS should evolve to defeat this specific threat. Instead, have multiple layers of APS, one of which would be destined to defeat primarily artillery threats (laser based, which within a few years will be feasible).

Against simple HE shells, ordinary APS, if programmed correctly, should be effective to at least a certain extent. 

 

9 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Then there is a big question in functionality of sensors and software. APS are designed to ignore ATGMs/RPGs which would not impact on the vehicle, because otherwise valuable countermeasures are lost. This is a general problem of APS vs top-attack weapons, but it could also mean overfly top-attack systems such as TOW-2B and BILL-2 won't be engaged by them.

 

Yes, they are designed to ignore certain non-threatening things, but it's not that simple. APS, through the 3D identification function of their respective radar systems, can classify the type of missile, and possibly sub-type based on trajectory for example. This is all the work of programming, and not limited by the physical attributes of the whole APS system. 

If, for example, an APS detects and identifies a Fagot type missile, and see it veers off course and misses the vehicle, info it has in a possible database may prevent it from perceiving it as a possible threat (of top-attack). It will just perceive it as a missed projectile since it cannot possibly dive for a top attack. But if it identifies a Javelin, for example, it will know it is capable of top-attack engagement. Same goes for BGM-71F Tow-2B. The shape of the missile, as well as its trajectory and speed allow for classification of it and thus notion of whether it is capable of top-attack.

 

And if it is capable of top-attack, the APS could be programmed to engage if the missile passes at a certain point/area. Intentionally missing to merely deplete the APS would be idiotic to say the least. 

 

And classification of missiles is nothing fictional. It exists, and it's in use in operational APS, and other types of missile defense systems. 

 

9 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Your theory about "rotating systems defeat[ing] top attack munitions" because "they dont need to shoot straight up" is wrong for a multitude of reasons. First of all, these system don't know where the top-attack weapons are, because the radar coverage of current system doesn't include the upper sections of the hemisphere. How should the APS intercept a threat that it cannot see?

 

They can, or at least some systems can. Here's an excerpt from the EL/M-2133 radar from IAI in use on the Trophy system. Seems pretty clear to me that it can. And if they can, other radar manufacturing defense companies can. And if everyone relevant can, then it's just a matter of requirements from the user. 

6wGN4eQvTGmoQn6VqLtlWw.png

 

9 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Aside of this issue, not all launchers can be elevated so far, because the There are also issues with the detection range required to spot most types of top-attack missiles and the interception distance required for the APS to properly work. Trophy's launchers cannot be turned enough to cover the roof (thanks to their location and the fixed blast shields), while Iron Fist/AVePS and similar systems require greater standoff to not damage the system when the HE warhead explodes.

 

I don't know whether the AVePS uses a fragment-free warhead or not, but I know the Iron Fist doesn't, and has a directed blast. Other similar systems who use fragmentation grenades should also have directed blasts. So when firing at a top-attack missile, the blast and fragmentation should go sideways, and not cause any harm to the vehicle. And to shield of residual damage, all that is required is some light physical protection. Most if not all external equipment should be ruggedized to protect from bullets and fragments. That's not much different than when firing horizontally or close to horizontal (though if the warhead uses fragments, it may well pose a serious threat to nearby infantry). Regarding the Trophy, last time I got a tour in Rafael's museum and saw the internals of the autoloader, I got the impression that its elevation capabilities are quite extensive. Extensive enough to perhaps fire over the blast shield if required. Now, unless we're talking about a very extreme case of a missile taking a VERY steep dive at considerable height, such operation shouldn't even be required. 

 

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