Some protection measures are being tested for Challenger 2, but of course their adoption remains an open question:
Challenger 2 trialled with ROSY, Iron Fist APS
Rheinmetall’s ROSY rapid obscurant system has been demonstrated on a British Army Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT), Jane’s has learned, with components of Israeli Military Industries’ (IMI) Iron Fist hard-kill active protection system (APS) also understood to have been integrated.
Undergoing live firing trials in June, the ROSY system was used as a demonstrative rapid blooming obscurant for integration assessment and concept development. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) procured one ROSY system for the purposes of examining how such an obscurant could be integrated onto the Challenger 2 as part of a soft-kill protection system, and potentially as part of the MBT’s Life Extension Project (LEP).
Beyond ROSY, the Medusa Technical Assessment Programme (TAP) is continuing to develop an understanding of how APS technologies could be integrated onto the Challenger 2, with the soft-kill Multifunction Self-Protection System (MUSS), manufactured by Hensoldt, undergoing integration work through the three-year TAP running from May 2016 to May 2019. This cross defence lines of development (DLOD) effort will culminate in live-fire testing and also lead to the development of relevant tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the system’s use.
Jane’s understands that a separate hard-kill APS study is also underway, run through a Defence, Equipment, & Support (DE&S) Framework Agreement for Technical Support (FATS) contract seeking to provide evidence for a potential larger procurement of such a system. This programme has seen funds invested from British Army Headquarters and there is collaboration with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group. The project will also develop safety case and installation evaluations for the system.
Representatives of IMI, speaking at the SMi Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability conference in London, shared photographs of the Challenger 2 fitted with the company’s heavy version of the Iron Fist, which comprises a pair of pedestal-mounted launchers for hard-kill effectors linked to radar and volumetric infrared sensors.