The Army Just Came Up with a Crazy New Way to Protect Its Tanks

    Kris Osborn

    Security,

    Will it work? 

    The Army is engineering new Hostile Fire Detection sensors for its fleet of armored combat vehicles to identify, track and target enemy small arms fire.

    Even if the enemy rounds being fired are from small arms fire and not necessarily an urgent or immediate threat to heavily armored combat vehicles such as an Abrams, Stryker or Bradley, there is naturally great value in quickly finding the location of incoming enemy attacks, Army weapons developers explain.

    There are a range of sensors now being explored by Army developers; infrared sensors, for example, are designed to identify the “heat” signature emerging from enemy fire and, over the years, the Army has also used focal plane array detection technology as well as acoustic sensors.

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    “We are collecting threat signature data and assessing sensors and algorithm performance,” Gene Klager, Deputy Director, Ground Combat Systems Division, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, told Warrior Maven in an interview.

    Klager’s unit, which works closely with Army acquisition to identify and at times fast-track technology to war, is part of the Army’s Communications, Electronics, Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC).

    Army senior leaders also told Warrior Maven the service will be further integrating HFD sensors this year, in preparation for more formals testing to follow in 2019.

    Enabling counterattack is a fundamental element of this, because being able to ID enemy fire would enable vehicle crews to attack targets from beneath the protection of an armored hatch.

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