Britain’s biggest defense company BAE Systems has given further details on the capabilities of its upgraded Challenger 2 main battle tanks as part of Medusa project.
The Technical Assessment Programme (TAP) by UK Defence Science and Technology Laborartory (Dstl), designated Project ‘Medusa’, is to evaluate soft-kill active protection system solutions based on the Hensoldt Multifunctional Self-Protection System (MUSS): a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) system that integrates missile and laser warning sensors with a directional electro-optical jammer.
The project is to develop an understanding of how a high-maturity system can be integrated into an existing UK vehicle fleet – in this case the Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) – and its affect on the platform and the crew.
According to a bulletin released by the BAE Systems, the programme has now completed its Operational Impacts Assessment stage.
Also added that was conducted a demonstration of Dstl’s Medusa package – in which was installed an Active Integrated Protection System (AIPS) on to a Challenger 2 main battle tank.
“Members of Army HQ, DE&S and the MOD joined other agencies and companies for static and dynamic demonstrations of the system, which included simulated laser and missile attack,” said in the BAE’s bulletin. “The demonstration day was the latest stage in our work to help Dstl understand the potential benefits and challenges associated with using AIPS to improve protection and survivability of UK armoured vehicles.”
When fitted to a vehicle, the system detects laser range finders and anti-tank guided missiles. It can then either inform the crew or react with counter measures including obscurants and Electro Optical (EO) counter measures.
The development of an effective Active Protection System, as part of Project Medusa, would provide a hugely significant step change in the survivability of UK tanks fleet.
The UK needs to upgrade its fleet of Challenger 2 tanks to be able to compete with a new generation of highly dangerous Russian tanks.