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Active Protective System For Army Future Force

The Active Protective System will help to better protect soldiers travelling in vehicles such as the Stryker (pictured).
by Sgt. Ken Hall
Washington DC (SPX) May 04, 2006
The United States Army remains committed to providing Soldiers with the best protection technology can provide, according to Maj. Gen. Charles A. Cartwright, program manager for the Future Combat Systems.

As evidence of this goal, the Army's effort to develop better protection for their mounted Soldiers moved forward in March as the Raytheon Company was contracted to develop the Active Protective System for the Army's Future Combat Systems program.

Designed as an augmentation to current vehicle armor, the APS is an explosive ballistic countermeasure capability that will dramatically increase vehicle survivability against the spectrum of aerial ballistic threats. The APS is an operationalization of 'hit avoidance' technologies that sense incoming threats and employ countermeasures to physically intercept, defeat or deflect them, increasing the survivability of light-to-medium-weight vehicles.

"This is a significant step forward in the FCS program, which remains on coast and on schedule," says Cartwright. He expects the APS sub-system components to begin current force integration and qualification by the end of 2008.

The estimated $70 million contract will require the APS technology to work with all other relevant systems within FCS. Real-world lessons learned from the Global War on Terrorism are being integrated into the development of FCS, a Soldier-centric, network-enabled program.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker says that FCS is the Army's key modernization program, and is both the surest and fastest way to provide Soldiers additional tools to address the global missions they have been assigned.

"With FCS, the Army takes advantage of the best-of-industry technologies as soon as they are developed and puts them into the hands of Soldiers in the field," he said. "This latest approach will get capabilities to our Soldiers sooner, strengthening the current force, while laying groundwork for the force of the future."

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