AirShow China 2018: GL5 hard-kill APS Active Protection System for tanks


Chinese Defense Company NORINCO showcases its GL5 local-made APS (Active Protection System) for combat armored vehicle at AirShow China 2018. The Chinese system seems very similar to the Israeli-made Trophy including radar panels and launcher tubes to fire the countermeasures.


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Chinese-made GL5 APS Active Protection Systems for tanks and light combat vehicles at AirShow China 2018, Zhuhai. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The GL5 hard-kill active protection system consists of four munitions launchers, four multipurpose, millimeter-wave radars, and a control computer.

The four radar panels of the Chinese GL5 APS (Active protection System) are mounted on side and roof of combat vehicle offering 360° protection to launch countermeasures thanks to the use of four launcher tubes that are also mounted around the side of the vehicle. Each launcher system has three launcher pods able to launch HE(High Explosive)-fragmentation grenades.

Each grenade launchers are connected to a single control panel mounted inside of the vehicle. The HE-fragmentation grenades are able to intercept different types of threats including ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missile), RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades) and HEAT rounds fired from tank guns. The GL5 APS has an interception range of 10 meters (±1.5 m) away from the protected vehicle.


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Close view of the control computer of the GL5 APS (Picture source Army Recognition)


According to a video released by the Chinese Company NORINCO, the GL5 APS allows full 360° azimuth protection for the vehicle and 20° elevation, which does not allow protection against top missile attacks. The radar has a range of about 100 meters, when a threat is detected by the radar, the HE-grenade is launched towards it. The interceptor explodes very near the threat, destroying or deflecting and destabilizing it without detonating its warhead.

In the 3D video simulation published by the Chinese manufacturer NORINCO, on the slow-motion footage showing a live-fire test, a single countermeasure is launched to defeat an ATGM, but a second countermeasures can be launched to defeat a single incoming threat, in case of failure of the first grenade launched by the APS or to guarantee the destruction of the threats.

The Chinese GL5 APS can be easily integrated on main battle tank but it can also be mounted on light wheeled or tracked armored vehicles.


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