The Hit Avoidance Program for FCS Manned Ground Vehicles
By Mike Hanlon
April 24, 2006
April 25, 2006 It makes sense on the battlefield to avoid getting hit, but the degree of science being employed to enable this for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs) is extraordinary. BAE Systems leads the hit avoidance integrated product team for FCS MGVs, and with support from MGV teammate General Dynamics, is responsible for integrating the Raytheon-developed hard-kill Active Protection Subsystem (APS) with soft-kill countermeasures, obscurants (jammers and decoys), and decision aid software into the overall protection system. An APS comprises a sensor subsystem (threat warner and tracking sensor), countermeasure subsystem and rapid data processing capability. The threat warner identifies a threat then the tracking sensor determines the threat’s size, shape and direction. The software then decides an appropriate countermeasure and deploys the countermeasure which physically intercepts it, all, obviously, in a big hurry. The layered hit avoidance suite will enable full-spectrum survivability against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, top attack munitions and tank-fired kinetic energy (KE) rounds.
BAE Systems, as part of the FCS One Team, is teamed with General Dynamics to develop and field a family of transportable, deployable, lethal, and survivable Manned Ground Vehicles. The next generation of combat vehicles will provide the majority of the firepower in the FCS-equipped Brigade Combat Teams and will be critical nodes in the overarching network that allows future soldiers to effectively complete their missions. The two companies have formed integrated design teams to develop and demonstrate the family of eight manned ground vehicles featuring a common platform design with common components and subsystems, such as hit avoidance, with unique mission modules and all the variants linked together by networked battle command. Under the FCS MGV contracts, BAE Systems has responsibility for five of the eight MGV variants: Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C); Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV); Medical Vehicle (MV); Non-Line of Sight Mortar (NLOS-M), and FCS Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle (FRMV).