Success in modern combat is less about adding more armour and weight, and more about moving towards the increased self-protection afforded by automated integrated survivability solutions, according to Saab Grintek Defence, which spoke about soft kill technology at the recent Land Forces Africa conference.
These solutions allow for regaining the initiative through quick action and agility that minimise chances of loss and maximise chances of successful counter actions, or allow disengagement from the immediate threat situation, according to Saab Grintek Defence.
This trend moves away from adding conventional armour that tries to absorb impact, a historical trend that has been superseded by evolutions in modern threat management.
One such solution offered by Saab Grintek Defence is the Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS), consisting of an array of threat detectors that provides hemispherical threat warning against all known laser based threats. LEDS-50 provides the ideal solution for combat forces as it can deploy an array of effectors, including multispectral smoke screening, in less than 1.2 seconds after it has detected a laser threat. It is an affordable retrofit or can be included in design specifications for new equipment, according to Saab.
Furthermore, it provides visual and audio warnings, classifies the threat, as well as moving the turret and or remote weapon station (RWS) of the combat vehicle in the direction of the threat.
“The system offers up to 99 percent interruption probability against laser beamrider anti-tank threats, for example the AT-14 Kornet, and reduces the hit probability of the missile by up to 80 percent,” explained Ferreira, Product Manager, Land Self-Protection Systems, Saab Grintek Defence. “Firing this kind of ‘soft kill’ multi-spectral smoke gives users the valuable time they need to regain the initiative and effectively respond against the threat by combining tactics and effectors without being seen visually or thermally by the attacker.”
When integrated to a vehicle’s Battle Management System (BMS), the LEDS-50 analyses the enemy’s attack cycle, alerts occupants that they have been targeted, and then deploys the smoke screen or other appropriate effectors that prevents the enemy from effectively engaging the vehicle. It is also able to identify the direction of the threat, and classify it, inputting enemy information about encounters into a common situational awareness picture, adding a tactical benefit to its basic laser warning capability.
LEDS meets the requirements for the full spectrum of land and amphibious operations regardless of global theatre, and is fully NATO compliant, Saab pointed out.
When combining battle management information with GPS data, a real time picture emerges of threat presence relative to own forces, making it quicker and simpler to devise a defensive response.
“Asymmetric opponents, for example ISIS, makes use of commercial equipment like golfing or hunting lasers to boost the accuracy of their weapons,” Ferreira says. “This enhances their first round kill probability against targets that do not have laser warning and effective fast counter measures.
“At present, more than 70 percent of anti-armour threats are laser related, and this type of threat is becoming more prevalent in asymmetric warfare as was seen recently by the deployment of AT-14 Kornet and TOW anti-tank missile systems by ISIS in Iraq.”