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US Army continues to test Iron Curtain APS Active Protection System

The U.S. Army continues to test new Active Protection System (APS) dubbed "Iron Curtain" designed to protect light tactical and armoured vehicles smaller than main battle tanks from anti-tank missiles and RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades) threats.

US Army continues to test Iron Curtain APS Active Protection System for combat vehicles 925 001
Artis Iron Curtain APS Active Protection System mounted on a Stryker 8x8 armored vehicle (Picture source Artis Company)

Iron Curtain is an active protection system (APS) designed by the American Company Artis. The Iron Curtain is designed to protect military vehicles and other assets by intercepting threats such as rocket-propelled grenades and other shoulder-launched missiles and rendering them inert.

The Iron Curtain anti-RPG active protection system for light tactical vehicles was tested by the DARPA (U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) mounted on light tactical vehicle Humvee (HMMWV). DARPA in November 2009 awarded Mustang Technologies a contract to integrate Iron Curtain with its Crosshairs counter-shooter system for tests on an MRAP. Cued by the corner-mounted Crosshairs' radar, an optical sensor classifies the incoming threat and selects the aimpoint. When the RPG is just inches from the vehicle, the roof-mounted countermeasure fires straight down, deflagrating the warhead before it can detonate.

The Iron Curtain system can be integrated onto any ground vehicle platform, as well as rotary winged aircraft, watercraft and fixed sites such as buildings.

In August 2016, it was announced that the Company Artis will integrate the Israeli radars from Rada Electronic Industries Ltd. into its Iron Curtain close-in active protection system (APS). The Rada radar has been validated dozens of times in live-fire tests of another hard kill system, the Israeli-developed Iron Fist by state-owned IMI Systems.

According the Artis Company website, manufacturer of the Iron Curtain APS, the system is being tested on the Stryker 8x8 armoured vehicle. The Iron Curtain has also been installed on the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle, the M-ATV, and the Humvee.

Artis began its APS work on Iron Curtain in 2004 as a DARPA project, and the system quickly succeeded during its first live-fire test in August 2004. Since that time, the system has undergone numerous government testing, and during the 2013 live-fire test — as part of the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program — the Iron Curtain system received a perfect score. Additionally, the software architecture for the Artis Iron Curtain APS has been approved via the Joint Services Weapons Safety Review process.


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