The Special Operations Forces Exhibition & Conference
6 - 8 May 2014
Lockheed Martin at SOFEX 2014
|EAPS: New forces protection solution showcased by Lockheed Martin during SOFEX 2014|
By Stylianos Kanavakis
Lockheed Martin has showcased at SOFEX 2014 its solution for the protection of critical infrastructureor staging areas, as per the requirements of the IFPC (Indirect Fires Protection Capability) programme of the US Army.
The EAPS (Extended Area Protection and Survivability) is a Miniature Hit-to-Kill interceptor, designed to defeat enemy artillery shells, rockets and mortars at distances of around four kilometres, depending on the target and the tactical situation.
EAPS during a test firing. Picture: Lockheed Martin
As a Hit-to-Kill system it carries a momentum of almost 50 Megajoules to the target. As Lockheed Martin mentioned, the advantages of this system are:
• The ability to integrate with any legacy battlefield radars, therefore minimizing the requirement for extra cost by the customer.
• The minimal potential for collateral damage.
• Its ability to detect the target with its IR head after acquiring data from the radar.
• The capability to be integrated with tactical-level C2 systems
• The provision of 360 degrees coverage.
• Low cost of ammunition.
• The ability to be easily transported in the field of operations with tactical transport aircrafts.
The missile’s length is just less than 75 cm, its radius almost 7cm and with a launch weight of close to 5 kg, the NLOS launcher brings a load of 135 interceptors. As for the price, each system costs around USD 16,000 making it extremely appealing to the potential customers.
As Army Recognition has been informed, Lockheed Martin’s plan is to start its full rate production within the next year and possibly add a rocket booster for greater radius in the future.