By: Kim Cobb, U.S. Army CCDC GVSC
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — U.S. Army engineers representing the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) and Product Manager Vehicle Protection Systems (PdM VPS) teams recently hosted a successful MAPS leadership event at U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal.
The centerpiece of the event was a layered protection demonstration that showcased the effectiveness of MAPS’ two key components — the Modular Active Protection Systems Framework (MAF) and the safety-compliant Modular Active Protection Systems Base Kit — in real time. The MAPS layered test demonstrated integration of two different APS defeat modalities produced by two disparate vendors. While this is not the first time a multi-modality APS capability has been demonstrated, this was a significant milestone because it was the first time the capability has been provided by two separate vendors and coordinated via a safe and secure government-developed central controller.
MAPS is a multi-year U.S. Army CCDC program led by GVSC and worked in collaboration with the acquisition community and industry. MAPS products are the Army’s long-term solution to standardizing the way any active protection system or future vehicle protection system is fielded. It incorporates an architecture, technical and non-technical standards, and the steps required to become compliant.
The MAF and MAPS Base Kit facilitate the system’s modular nature by integrating various sensor packages, hard-kill and soft-kill defeat mechanisms, and processing capabilities. The latest version of the MAF, known as “MAF 1.5,” and the MAPS Base Kit recently transitioned to the Army’s acquisition community.
The range test was the final major milestone event for the MAPS Layered Demonstration activity, as well as the FY 15-19 MAPS program. The project demonstrated a “layered” (multiple countermeasure) MAF-compliant system installed on a combat platform and controlled by the MAPS Base Kit. The key demonstration took place on a Redstone Test Center (RTC) test range. The MAF-compliant configuration demonstrated the MAPS Base Kit’s ability to enable two different types of countermeasures (hard-kill and soft-kill) to defeat threats, and also to communicate critical information to the warfighter via the platform’s data network.
“The significance of MAPS is its modular and open approach, which supports the continued development and fielding of technologies that will be used to enable ongoing protection against current and future threats in demanding environments,” said Wayne Beutler, associate director for Ground Vehicle Survivability and Protection. “The MAPS Framework gives us a distinct advantage by allowing us to adapt much more quickly to defeat evolving future threats.”
“I’m very pleased with the success of the MAPS program as demonstrated by this range event coupled with the virtual Capstone Demonstration back in July,” said Al Grein, executive director, Research and Technology Integration, GVSC. “The range demonstration confirmed system function using the same MAPS Base Kit with MAF-compliant hard kill and soft kill systems that were demonstrated during the lab capstone event. It is very rewarding to see conclusive evidence that the hard work many people have put into making MAPS a reality over the past five years has been well worth the effort.”
Moving forward, the integrated MAPS/VPS office will continue to work together to field MAPS products on ground combat platforms.
United States industry, government and academic partners with relevant technology or experience are invited to continue to actively engage in MAPS by participating in the MAPS Community of Interest (COI). The COI provides partners with the opportunities to provide feedback and offer new ideas for consideration with regard to the MAPS Framework release. The COI also provides partners with the information needed to update or develop their APS/VPS technologies for MAF compliance. Contact the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) at Questions@NAMConsortium.org to learn how to participate in the MAPS COI.
ABOUT U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center
Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, the Ground Vehicle Systems Center is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Futures Command’s Combat Capabilities Development Command.