Lawmakers want answers on US Army plans to outfit vehicles with drone protection

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers want answers from the U.S. Army on the service’s plan to outfit fight vehicles with protection systems able to countering unmanned aircraft systems, in accordance to the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee fiscal 2022 protection authorization invoice markup launched July 28.

The Army has been struggling for many years to set up lively protection programs onto its Abrams tanks, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Stryker fight vehicles.

While it has been in a position to area an interim system on its Abrams tanks, the Army has fallen behind with an interim system installation for Bradley. The effort to equip Strykers with APS is on the backburner as a result of it was decided there is no such thing as a system appropriate for the platform.

The Army can also be working toward an integrated vehicle protection system suite for its fight vehicles.

Under a contract with a $30 million ceiling, awarded at the beginning of the year, Lockheed Martin started integrating and formally testing its open-architecture processor designed to management the Army’s future fight automobile protection system. Lockheed’s efforts will run via 2023 with integration work on Bradley, Abrams and Stryker and the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle (AMPV).

The APS capabilities evaluated for fight vehicles within the fleet are able to deflecting assaults from direct hearth programs like missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and medium and small arms projectiles, however the Army has not made it clear if there are future plans to consider programs able to countering UAS threats.

“The committee has constantly supported the Army’s efforts to establish, develop, combine and check numerous lively and passive automobile protection programs (VPS) that will enhance armored automobile survivability and defend crew and passengers,” the subcommittee lawmakers write within the report.

In current years, Congress has injected funding for APS. For instance, it included an additional $16 million in FY21 to conduct authorities testing of the Iron Fist-Light Decoupled (IFLD) section 2 system on a Bradley to support an urgent material release.

According to FY22 Army finances justification paperwork, that testing was anticipated to start within the third quarter of FY21 and wrap up within the fourth quarter of FY22.

Yet “the committee is unclear, nonetheless, as to VPS analysis or growth efforts associated to potential threats from [UAS],” the report states.

The committee would direct the Army’s acquisition chief to transient the HASC no later than January 28, 2022, on plans “associated to VPS towards UAS threats.”

An evaluation of present and future UAS threats to armored vehicles could be required as a part of the briefing in addition to what the Army’s analysis, growth, check and analysis technique is to establish and consider current or available counter-UAS VPS applied sciences, in accordance to the markup.

The acquisition chief will even be required to transient the committee on what the efforts may cost from analysis via procurement throughout a five-year program finances cycle, the report provides.

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