With issues resolved, Bradley to get Iron Fist protection system

WASHINGTON — Following a redesign of how Elbit Techniques’ Iron Fist lively safety system is included onto a Bradley infantry combating car, the U.S. Military is now making ready to area the potential to a full brigade.

The Military has labored towards offering the Bradley fleet with APS know-how since receiving a directed requirement to take action in 2016, however the service struggled with the unique system and configuration in earlier characterization testing.

“In 2018, with preliminary testing, we discovered numerous areas the place the system had some challenges,” Lt. Col. Mario Iglesias, M2A4 Bradley product supervisor, advised Protection Information in a latest interview.

The system was solely capable of counter 50% of incoming threats, Iglesias mentioned.

Israeli firm Elbit Techniques and Iron Fist’s lead integrator Basic Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Techniques made important adjustments to how the system is put in on a Bradley, they usually modified the countermeasure answer. The brand new model of the system is now referred to as Iron Fist Mild Decoupled.

The radars, optical sensors and different components of the system at the moment are mounted and tuned in several methods, Iglesias mentioned, and the cabling related to the pc {hardware} was reconfigured. The largest change was to the software program related to the power to accurately establish threats, course of info and calculate a response, he added.

“Over the past two, three years, they’ve been capable of mature it to the purpose that it’s rather more dependable, demonstrated in most up-to-date testing,” he mentioned.

The system, in rather more difficult and rigorous testing over the course of 2022, is now capable of counter threats 70% of the time, he added.

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The testing came about at each Aberdeen Proving Floor, Maryland, and White Sands Missile Vary, New Mexico, from February to September.

“We really examined the boundaries of the system,” Iglesias mentioned. “We fired much more pictures and, with out giving particulars … we made it so an excellent quantity of these pictures have been in what we name ‘an operationally related setting’ the place you’ve got different issues working; we go into areas the place there are buildings and different autos within the space.”

Moreover, Elbit was capable of not too long ago reveal in Israel — utilizing the prevailing Bradley and Iron Fist Mild Decoupled configuration — the power to counter drones whereas nonetheless sustaining the power to focus on different threats like rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided munitions.

“That was a functionality that wasn’t required as a part of our preliminary requirement, however attributable to what we see in Ukraine there was some curiosity in what we will do to guard our autos from UAVs,” Iglesias mentioned.

Whereas the Military has decided the system is nice sufficient to area a brigade set in 2025, “we don’t have the funding with a view to procure this set,” he defined.

The Military has but to resolve whether or not the system will go on extra Bradleys or different autos, in line with Iglesias. Within the meantime, the service is conducting a restricted characterization effort for the medium variant of the Trophy APS presently fielded on Abrams important battle tanks and the StrikeShield system.

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The Trophy is made by Israeli firm Rafael Superior Protection Techniques. The StrikeShield is produced by Germany’s Rheinmetall American agency Unified Enterprise Applied sciences.

“We now have obtained funding to maneuver out,” Lisa Gronowski, the Military’s product supervisor for car safety techniques, advised Protection Information in the identical interview.

To check each techniques, the Military will use a platform-agnostic rig to gather efficiency knowledge to resolve whether or not the techniques work nicely sufficient and are appropriate for fielding on floor fight platforms, Gronowski mentioned. Testing is to conclude by the top of the fiscal 12 months.

“There isn’t a continued motion or part two degree of testing as soon as that’s full,” she famous.

The Military has but to find out if there’s a answer for the Stryker fight car after the system it initially examined proved unsuitable for the car.

Whereas the Military focuses on delivering Iron Fist to 1 brigade, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester famous in his annual report launched this month that the Military intends to repeat the testing it carried out in 2022 associated to effectiveness and survivability with production-representative techniques previous to a limited-user take a look at in fiscal 2025.

The report additionally mentioned that senior noncommissioned officers, throughout a soldier touchpoint in September 2022, recommend enhancements, comparable to giving the Bradley commander “the means to pick and place safety zones in a standby mode as they load and unload dismount troopers.”

The report additionally famous a suggestion that the system alert crew members on close to misses in order that they will find and goal the origin of the incoming menace.

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