Lockheed Martin’s open-architecture MAPS base kit has proven itself in Army live-fire demonstrations and is ready to move into platform integration and testing.
Lockheed Martin will soon begin supporting formal integration and testing of the U.S. Army’s combat vehicle protection system intended to keep warfighters safer and more secure from battlefield threats.
Under the terms of a recent 36-month contract, the company will provide its Modular Active Protection System (MAPS) base kit, which includes an open-architecture processor that integrates vehicle sensors and countermeasures in a common framework to detect, track and defeat rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles.
The contract award signifies the last stop before production and fielding.
“Lockheed Martin partnered with the U.S. Army in 2014 to develop MAPS as a safe and secure vehicle defense system that protects warfighters from a variety of anti-armor threats,” said David Rohall, program manager for Advanced Ground Vehicle Systems at Lockheed Martin. “Since then, the MAPS base kit has proven itself in multiple live-fire demonstrations. We’re ready to support integration and the fielding of an initial Vehicle Protection System capability.”
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will deliver five production-ready base kits with an option for up to 20, and support Army integration and testing on Abrams, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Bradley and Stryker vehicles. The contract also covers developing base kit support for vehicle protection capabilities beyond active protection, such as underbelly blast protection.
The base kit’s modularity and open-architecture support upgrades at the component level, so the MAPS system and the combat vehicles it supports can rapidly evolve to meet emerging threats. This approach promotes best-of-breed solutions, extends system life cycle and enables the Army to share upgrades across MAPS-enabled platforms—all of which reduces program risk and cost for combat vehicle stakeholders.
A Busy Year for MAPS
The last year has seen a flurry of activities preparing MAPS for platform integration. The MAPS team formally delivered the system software that will interface with VPS-equipped vehicles and their sensors and countermeasures in September 2019. And in the same timeframe, they took to the Redstone Test Center ranges in Alabama to support an Army layered protection demonstration.
“The layered defense demos showed the effectiveness of MAPS’ two key components—the MAPS framework and safety-compliant base kit—on a Bradley,” said David. “The base kit identified each incoming threat and deployed the most suitable countermeasure to defeat it.”
“In other Army testing, a MAPS-enabled active protection system actually responded faster to threats than its standalone version, thanks to the higher network speeds and greater processor power our controller offers,’ David said.
Since inception, the MAPS team has delivered over 25 base kits manufactured in a production setting to customers, and has more than 15 on order under a prior contract. In the meantime, there are more demos ahead.
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