Major improvement milestone on LEDS active protection system


29 March 2012 – As part of its continuing quest to provide customers with cutting-edge solutions, defence and security company Saab has successfully tested a third-generation High Speed Directed Launcher (HSDL-306). The directed launcher is an important sub-system of the Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS) that enables the system to guarantee hemispherical coverage and multiple shot capabilities to the installed platform.

The tests were carried out in mid-March in Centurion, South Africa, and mark an important milestone in the enhancement of Saab’s active protection offer for ground vehicles.

“The tests went very well and the evaluation showed good results. All our test objectives were met, which verifies we are on the right track and that our efforts to remain the international benchmark active protection concept have been successful,” says Cobus van der Merwe, Executive Manager Business Development for LEDS at Saab.

The tests included deployment of GALIX 13 multispectral smoke from Etienne Lacroix, France. The tests included a combination of coverage angles and different dispensing sequences.

The HSDL was mounted on a Piranha protected vehicle variant to also test integration design and monitor aspects like recoil and power consumption reduction. The primary benefits offered by this next-generation launcher are the reduction in power consumption, size and weight. It also offers future design flexibility in terms of different payload options and operational mission applications.

The HSDL-306 is a joint effort by Curtiss-Wright Antriebstechnik, of Switzerland, and the Saab business area Electronic Defence Systems.

Xhead = Land vehicle survivability enhancement

LEDS (Land Electronic Defence Systems) is Saab’s active protection system for ground vehicles. When installed in full-configuration, the LEDS system will neutralise all threats on the battlefield by means of combined active signature management, soft- and hard-kill capability. Full hemispherical coverage is provided to detect incoming threats and alert the crew. The flexibility of design makes it possible to protect vehicles across the entire scope of operations, including Military Operation in Urban Terrain (MOUT) and high-intensity conventional warfare.

Sensor options include laser warning and/or radar warning. The sensors are integrated to the system to allow timely defeat of threats by the application of layered counter munitions. Counter munitions include an advanced active signature management material that reduces the probability of detection or lock-on by an attacking system. This same material is also extremely effective in external fire suppression on the vehicle and can be deployed pre-emptively to reduce vehicle contamination in the case of biological, chemical and radiation attack. The system has the ability to detect laser beam rider missile attack at a range in excess of 5km and combines this with multispectral screening smoke to interfere with effective guidance of the missile. The hard-kill capability is a stand-off solution that destroys the attacking warheads by using controlled demolition principles, thereby resulting in minimal collateral damage and virtually no residual penetration.

One of the major benefits offered by the LEDS system is the significant contribution to life cycle cost saving to the customer. This is achieved by logistic standardisation due to the large commonality between the different LEDS’ baselines when used across the entire vehicle fleet, as well as the fact that Saab has achieved a remarkable amount of commonality between each airborne land and naval self-protection solution.