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IAAPS - Integrated Army Active Protection System

FCS vehicles were to be fielded with the Integrated Army Active Protection System (IAAPS), a device designed to offer both "hard" active defense by physically intercepting incoming projectiles and "soft" active defense through the use of electronic countermeasures.

For Stryker, AP technologies were to be implemented as a stand-alone AP system that would protect the Stryker vehicles from current threats. While the application of the short-range systems would be for eventual fielding on MGV, FCS planned to accelerate the effort to develop the short-range protection and a conduct a "spiral" development to provide an AP kit for fielding on Stryker vehicles in the 2008 timeframe. This FCS spiral effort was supported by PM Stryker and it was an integral part of PM Stryker's plan for fielding AP technology.

US forces must be able to deploy quickly and survive once they arrive on a rapidly changing, continuously fluid battlefield. APS combines the advantages of armor and mobility by protecting fighting vehicles from enemy fire without overburdening them. FCS' APS initiative exploits emerging and mature technologies, incrementally delivering APS solutions to suit both Current Force operational requirements and Future Force capability needs. By delivering key FCS technologies, including active protection to the Current Force, the Army fills a critical operational gap now, and supports FCS program maturation through the continuous improvement of its system designs based on early testing and operational use.

Future Combat Systems was developing a fully integrated hit avoidance suite to provide protection to the Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs). The MGVs are components of the FCS Unit of Action (UA) and are being developed in accordance with the FCS SDD schedule. The intent was to provide the best, balanced protection to the UA. Concepts do not address the entire spectrum of threats at all ranges. Some technologies are designed specifically to defeat very close range launch of small portable munitions that compliment a long-range system designed to defeat large platform launched threats.

All design options are open for the AP components in the hit avoidance suite, to include multiple systems for short-range and long-range protection or a single system that could provide protection at all ranges. There would be an initial concentration on technologies to defeat the very close range launch of small munitions.

This program integrates and demonstrates advanced survivability equipment and computer programs for hemispherical protection of ground combat vehicles. Detailed trade studies of all survivability technologies conducted under this program support Department of the Army selection and approval of an optimized suite of survivability equipment for ground vehicle application.

System Description

The APS comprises systems that sense incoming threats and employ countermeasures to physically intercept and defeat them. APS was a hit-avoidance system providing defense against threat munitions by intercepting the threat munitions prior to them making physical contact with the platform. Conceptually, an APS can improve survivability by defeating incoming anti-tank guided missiles, RPGs, tank-fired high-explosive antitank missiles, tank-fired kinetic energy rounds, indirect fire - including bomblets and mortars - and guided top-attack threats. APS does not totally supplant armor. Vehicle armor must still provide protection against threats that cannot be addressed by the APS. These threats include small arms, mines and explosive fragments, including the residual shrapnel effects resulting from an active protection engagement.

A generic APS comprises a sensor subsystem, a countermeasure subsystem and data processing. A typical sensor subsystem includes a threat warner, or cueing sensor, and a tracking sensor. The threat warner identifies a threat and then, through data processing, hands it over to the tracking sensor. The tracking sensor then determines the incoming threat's size, shape and vector. Data processing uses this tracking data to determine the appropriate countermeasure, calculate the firing solution and deploy the countermeasure. The countermeasure physically intercepts the incoming threat and typically consists of an interceptor launcher and interceptor munition.

The objective full-spectrum FCS APS would employ a full suite of hit-avoidance sensors and countermeasures. The accelerated short-range APS would employ a more limited set, focused on short-range, current threats. A typical short-range APS, with respect to the system's primary elements, was defined as: Threat warners; Tracking sensors, such as tracking radar; Data processors; Interceptor launchers; Interceptor munitions; and Countermeasure warheads. Future threats and the Future Force's combined requirements for mobility, transportability and protection have made it clear that armor alone can no longer fulfill Army platform protection needs. At the same time, lessons from ongoing operations make it clear that Current Force vehicles are not as well protected as they could be for urban and nonconventional operations. Consequently, Program Manager Unit of Action (PM UA) was developing an integrated hit-avoidance suite to provide protection to Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs). This hit-avoidance suite would work in concert with other networked survivability measures to protect the Future Combat Systems (FCS) UA during full-spectrum operations.

Program Plans

Boeing, as Lead System Integrator (LSI) for the FCS program, conducted a market survey to identify potential suppliers of active protection (AP) technologies for application to MGV and for accelerated development and application to Stryker. For MGV, AP technologies would be major building blocks of a fully integrated hit avoidance suite; the hit avoidance suite would also include passive sensors and countermeasures and leverage other on-board and off-board sensors to best protect the MGVs.

This Request for Information (RFI) pertained to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) development on the Future Combat System (FCS), program. The development of the MGVs and their subsystems are managed by Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), each including U.S. Army, Lead Systems Integrator (Boeing/SAIC), United Defense LP (UDLP), and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) representation.

The Integrated Survivability ATD program integrates selected survivability technologies from several different Army RDE centers to address FCS platform threats. The FCS Ground Combat Vehicle Integrated Survivability ATD includes passive/active threat sensors, electronic warfare countermeasures, CE/KE active protection, advanced armors, signature management, a commander's decision aid, vehicle interface provisions, and soldier-machine interface provisions.

As of 2004, PM UA judged APS technology to be capable of defeating certain short-range threats such as RPGs with minimal added development. Meanwhile, insurgents armed with RPGs presented a known threat to Current Forces operating in Southwest and Central Asia. Therefore, at the end of FY04, PM UA and Program Executive Officer Ground Combat Systems (GCS) initiated a coordinated effort to accelerate and provide the Stryker platform with a short-range Army APS solution - a subset of the FCS APS and the FCS hit-avoidance suite - based on capability needs identified in both the FCS Operational Requirements Document (ORD) and the Stryker ORD.

This coordinated development effort was being led by PM UA, with PM Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) in support. It was based on a unified APS acquisition strategy for both Current and Future Forces, tailored to address current short-range threats while focusing on the full-spectrum future threat environment. The driving force behind PM UA's APS development effort was the set of capability needs identified for the FCS-equipped Future Force. Simultaneously, Current Force APS capability needs derive from the survivability requirements of current Army combat vehicle systems such as the Stryker.

While the PMs for both FCS and Stryker have identified active protection as the technical solution that best meets their requirements, no APS solution was likely to be optimally suited for all platforms. Consequently, PM UA has prioritized FCS requirements over Stryker requirements. While this approach may not provide the optimal APS solution to Stryker, PM UA was committed that the solution provided would satisfy Stryker's essential requirements, with minimal sacrifice in cost, performance or technical characteristics.

To jump-start doctrine development for the short-range system, PM SBCT sponsored an integration experiment that began in 2005, even before the MGV's system maturation work begins. This concept demonstration, integrating and testing Redstone Arsenal's Close-In APS prototype system, generated early lessons learned and user feedback that would be used to adjust the concept architecture, as well as provide a basis for initiating training support development.

Stryker was not the only Current Force platform to which APS could be applied. Other Army programs have survivability requirements that could also be met by an APS solution, and other programs have expressed interest in the APS acquisition that FCS and Stryker are pursuing. However, as of 2005, the FCS ORD provided the primary documentation for the Army's comprehensive future APS requirements, while survivability requirements in the Stryker ORD provide the basis for fielding a short-range incremental capability to the Current Force.

The FCS program has adopted an evolutionary acquisition strategy consisting of technology insertions, and the APS strategy was consistent with this approach. APS's first increment consists of a short-range hard-kill APS that can be integrated onto Current Force GCS to defeat current short-range, manportable threats. The second increment was a full-spectrum APS that would be an integral element of the FCS Increment 1 MGV hit-avoidance suite, designed to defeat a variety of both short- and long-range threats. Therefore, the short-range APS was a subset of the full-spectrum APS, with interim components added as necessary to make it operate independently on the Stryker platform. As APS technologies mature, they would be incorporated into the fullspectrum design to make the objective APS more capable and suitable.

The two acquisition strategy objectives for the APS provided to Stryker are to seize an opportunity to transfer useful FCS capabilities to the Current Force while reducing risk with regard to integrating and proving out new technologies, and to achieve commonality among the Army's APS solutions for the Current Force's combat vehicles and the Future Force's MGVs.

The first objective centers on fielding the APS capabilities prior to the first MGV increment, proving their value to the Army's warfighters, while simultaneously identifying the interrelationships between APS and warfighting tactics, techniques and procedures. The plan for the APS spin-out to Stryker was to award a system maturation contract in early 2006 and enter initial production in 2010 followed by full production in 2011.

The second objective seeks to minimize wasteful duplication in system development, production, training and support costs. This objective establishes the full-spectrum APS as an upgrade to the short-range system, rather than as a replacement. Conceptually, the fullspectrum effort subsumes the shortrange effort, rolling them both together into the threshold FCS APS solution.

Both APS program aspects - short-range and full-spectrum - are aggressive in terms of both schedule and technology. The accelerated short-range APS timeline was driven by a Stryker program requirement to field add-on armor to all Stryker units in the field. The full-spectrum APS schedule parallels the FCS MGV Increment 1 project schedule, which forecasts an initial operational capability consisting of fielding to elements of an FCS UA by the end of 2014.

APS was managed through the FCS Program's Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD)-based distributed management structure, with a government management structure overseeing the efforts of a defense industry Lead Systems Integrator (LSI). Structurally, APS was a responsibility of the Hit-Avoidance Integrated Product Team (IPT), reporting to the MGV IPT within PM UA and the LSI. The Hit-Avoidance IPT would directly coordinate with other FCS IPTs in pursuit of a fully integrated hit-avoidance suite.

The Hit-Avoidance IPT - chaired by PM UA, PM SBCT and FCS LSI representatives - provides functional leadership for APS acquisition. PM UA and the LSI are permanent team leaders, while PM SBCT's leadership was limited to issues dealing with the short-range APS, and would revert to simple membership once Stryker's short-range APS was fielded. In addition to these three organizations, any other vested organizations are welcome to participate as team members using the IPPD model.

Test and Evaluation (T&E) was a key component in controlling APS acquisition. Testing would begin early in the short-range APS maturation and continue through full-spectrum system development and demonstration, eventually transitioning to follow-on testing to validate the performance of future technology insertions.

The short-range APS would start testing very early, almost immediately after an award was made. Postaward testing would be conducted to gauge the chosen contractor's precise technological readiness status. This information would enable PM UA to accurately validate the adequacy of the initial cost and schedule baselines. Following the accelerated testing to qualify APS on Stryker, the full-spectrum APS acquisition effort would follow a test program that was closely synchronized with the FCS MGV development program. A sequence of individual systems and component testing would be followed by integrated testing on the MGV platform.

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