Tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are the mainstay of armored or maneuver warfare.
Still, soldiers who ride them into battle face a barrage of threats ranging from challenging terrain to complex adversarial threat environments. With this in mind, BAE Systems has tapped into our extensive aircraft survivability experience to develop next-generation technologies to protect enduring and future ground combat vehicle fleets by enhancing their survivability, increasing their maneuverability, and enabling increased autonomous functionality.
The evolution of armored warfare
Armored vehicles first rolled out during World War I. They were designed for trench warfare on European battlefields. Tanks were used to break enemy defenses by surviving artillery bombardments and machine-gun fire, and to pass through barbed wire in a way infantry units could not. Armored personnel carriers were developed to transport and protect the infantry accompanying tanks.
By World War II, tanks and personnel carriers were upgraded to have greater speed, more protective armor, and upgraded shooting power. For many years, thicker armor was the main protection for ground vehicles against new weapons. But as explosives evolved, soldiers on the battlefield needed more sophisticated layers of protection. This led to innovations in active protection systems (APS), which could detect, track and defeat incoming threats. As a leader in delivering radio-frequency and optical electronic warfare systems for combat aircraft, BAE Systems is uniquely positioned to adapt those capabilities and provide them as integrated vehicle protection systems (VPS) – improving ground vehicle lethality, freedom of maneuver, and survivability.
Detecting and defeating threats
For threat detection, BAE Systems’ 360 MVP™ Sensor serves as the eyes of the company’s integrated VPS suite, with cameras designed for combat vehicle situational awareness and threat detection.
One of our 360 MVP cameras provides spherical coverage with nominal horizontal and vertical fields of view. This superior field of view, our best-in-class resolution, and our higher than standard frame rate enable a variety of advanced capabilities with fewer total cameras per platform. In addition to vehicle protection functionality, our cameras enable superior driving safety, automatic threat detection via 360 degree situational awareness, and growth to more advanced autonomous capabilities as processing and machine vision software capacity improves.
For combat vehicles, just adding video with such a wide vertical field of view significantly improves driving safety due to much closer ground-intercept. The high resolution also lends itself to detecting potential threats much farther away from vehicles than other systems, enabling autonomous cueing for the crew, remote weapons system operation, and formation notification of potential threats. The edge processing we provide with the camera allows for modular processor upgrades as our commercial provider improves their GPUs, and it enables advanced capabilities without overburdening the vehicle networks.
When it comes to defeating threats, our advanced TERRA RAVEN™ countermeasure system defends ground vehicles against guided missiles using infrared countermeasure technology.
TERRA RAVEN is compliant with the U.S. Army’s Modular Active Protection System (MAPS) program and is designed to integrate directly with threat detection and countermeasure cueing systems, including the 360 MVP Sensor. The 360 MVP Sensor can cue TERRA RAVEN to quickly and efficiently defeat threats.
As part of a layered vehicle defense system, TERRA RAVEN uses non-kinetic, infrared countermeasures to shield ground vehicles from anti-tank missiles, improving survivability via a critical outer layer of protection. The system is lightweight, modular, and scalable, and provides armored forces with efficient vehicle protection in a small, cost-efficient package. It is specifically designed for capability growth to address future threats as they emerge.
BAE Systems’ integrated VPS suite is moving aircraft survivability equipment to combat vehicle fleets. With decades of experience designing, delivering, and sustaining electronic warfare systems, the company has a deep understanding of the evolving battlespace and the solutions warfighters need to address emerging threats, and ultimately, return home safely.