Icarus: enhancing survivability of British Army Vehicles
Providing the best protection for our armed forces is of paramount importance to the Ministry of Defence and the UK industry that supports it. The exploitation of the latest scientific innovation plays a key role in achieving this objective.
The UK Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) ‘Icarus’ Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) announced by the Defence Secretary at DSEi 2017, seeks to find a way to maximise the protection of British Army vehicles against current and future weapons in constantly evolving operational environments.
Depsite advances in both armour and mobility, the survivability of any vehicle is enhanced greatly if it can first reduce the chances of it being targeted by threats such as Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and Anti-Tank Guided Weapons (ATGW).
Dstl has commissioned Leonardo to lead a team of UK companies and academic inistitutions, to develop and demonstrate a solution that will affordably integrate ‘best of breed’ technologies in a category known as ‘Active Protection Systems’ (APS).
APS technologies generally fall into either of two categories: ‘soft’ APS solutions that are focused on early threat detection and which attempt to disrupt, decoy or spoof the incoming threat and ‘hard’ APS systems that seek to defeat the incoming weapon system by physically intecepting it, known in military terminology as a ‘kinetic effect’.
The Leonardo team brings together a range of UK experts in their respective fields as well as representation from UK academia that can draw upon previous UK investment in related technical areas. Team members working to deliver the Icarus TDP are BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin UK, Ultra Electronics, Frazer-Nash, Vetronics Research Centre, Abstract Solutions, Roke Manor Research and SCISYS.
One of the primary objectives of the team is to develop and demonstrate a UK sovereign Modular, Integrated Protection System (MIPS) Electronic Architecture (EA) that enables “best of breed” APS sensors and countermeasures to be selected, integrated and deployed across the Army’s fleet of land vehicles in order to defeat the wide range of battlefield weapon threats present in varying operational environments. Leonardo was chosen as the lead due, in part, to our experience in the field of ‘open-systems’ integration such as our instrumental role in the development of the UK’s Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) standard and the related NATO-GVA (N-GVA) standard.
Under the Icarus TDP, and in conjunction with Dstl, the Leonardo team will establish and cultivate an UK industry APS Community of Interest (CoI). The purpose of this CoI initiative is to look beyond the extant team and encourage further engagement with UK industry to ensure that the very best APS technologies available – now and in the future – are considered within the MIPS EA.
Join the UK Active Protection Community of Interest & Action (UKACIA) working group
We are inviting people to join the UKACIA working group, which will nominally meet twice per year, one day duration, in southern UK location(s). It has the following objectives:
- Identify industry stakeholders with expertise/technology elements for Active Protection Systems.
- Add technical direction to the Icarus TDP.
- Build an effective communication network so that industry partners can report on applicable technical developments within their organisations and can be kept up to date with Authority research activities in this area.
- Ensure that MIPS solutions are acceptable to, and seen as best practice by, potential adopters.
If you fall into any of the following categories, we would encourage you to join the group: Icarus Delivery Team; APS Product Supply Chain, MOD Departments; Academic Bodies; Legislative Organisations.
- Receive updates on MOD’s thinking and approach to the future acquisition, deployment, and sustainment of active protection capability across the British Army vehicle fleet.
- Have opportunities to learn about and influence the future development and adoption of APS and equipment in the British Army via review and critique of the evolving MIPS Standard.
- Receive briefings on progress of the Icarus programme.
- Have the opportunity to offer the supply of equipment and services to support the Icarus demonstration of MIPS Architecture capability, subject to compliance with performance and security requirements
- Completed applications should be sent to: UKAPSCommunity@leonardocompany.com
- All applications will be reviewed and membership granted subject to agreement of MOD and Leonardo
- Please complete your application by 15 December 2017, in advance of the first forum to be convened Q1 2018.
Meet us at the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability Conference
We'll be attending the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability Conference from 14-16 November in London, where our Capability Manager, Guy Davies, will be presenting the Icarus TDP on Wednesday 15 November. We look forward to meeting you there.
This page will be updated regularly with the latest information on the progress of the team.