The annual report issued by Pentagon’s Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, or DOT&E, has revealed the Stryker combat vehicles’ Active Protection System (APS ) issues. It was initially suggested that Stryker combat vehicles will receive new active defense systems to increase platform survivability in the near future.
Army commanders intend to use Stryker vehicles equipped with APS to disrupt and destroy enemy military forces, to control land areas including populations and resources, and to conduct combat operations to protect U.S. national interests while increasing protection to the vehicle and its crew.
According to the report, the U.S. Army evaluated three different solutions for Stryker APS: Iron Curtain, Advanced Modular Armor Protection – Active Defense System, and the Trophy Medium Variant system. Each vendor had unique technical solutions with different countermeasures mechanisms.
These APS technologies intend to improve the survivability of ground combat vehicles against anti-tank guided missiles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and recoilless rifle threats by using a kinetic “hard kill” mechanism to intercept and disrupt/defeat the incoming threat.
In the fiscal year 2018, the Army completed Phase I Iron Curtain APS testing on the Stryker. And in FY19, the Army pursued and tested two additional Stryker APS solutions: Advanced Modular Armor Protection – Active Defense System by UBT/Rheinmetall and the Trophy Light system by DRS/Rafael.
The Army has not selected any of these solutions due to the demonstrated performance and systems maturity.
According to The Drive, the Army has been actively working to add active protection systems to all of its major armored vehicle platforms, such as the Bradley, the M1 Abrams tank, and the Stryker family of wheeled vehicles, in recent years. The ever-growing threat of anti-tank guided missiles, as well as advanced shoulder-fired infantry anti-tank weapons, is the primary driver behind these efforts. The service is particularly concerned about how vulnerable these vehicles might be to these types of weapons in major conflict as a “great power” competitor, such as Russia.