A model of the Raven non-kinetic APS as displayed at the AUSA convention 2019, on the Robotic Technology Demonstrator. Photo: Defense-Update

BAE Systems unveiled its next-generation active protection system called raven today, at the US Army (AUSA) convention. Raven uses a unique, non-kinetic InfraRed (IR) countermeasure system to defeat guided missiles fired at the protected platform. Raven has already demonstrated its effectiveness against guided missiles in several tests. The system was tested and proved capable of operating in harsh battlefield conditions, against dst, smoke, and fog.

In 2018 the RAVEN Countermeasure system participated in a six-week ‘Soft Kill Rodeo’ and was selected by the Army to proceed for the next phase of testing. In that Rodeo, three countermeasure systems were challenged, redirecting anti-tank guided missiles. The Army tested the Raven again in September 2019, installing it on an M2 Bradley alongside a kinetic countermeasure system, (most likely the Iron Fist) for a layered demonstration. The system combines BAE Systems 360MVP sensors and one of two Raven laser-based effectors.[wlm_nonmember] Subscribe to access our analysis [/wlm_nonmember]

Raven non-kinetic active protection system – principles of operation. Infographics: BAE Systems

[wlm_ismember]Raven is an adaptation of BAE’s airborne Directional InfraRed CounterMeasure (DIRCM) system, using similar countermeasure principles to shield ground vehicles from guided missiles. Integrated under the Army Vehicle Protection System (VPS) vehicle defensive suites, the laser-based system is designed to defeat current threats and quickly be adapted to respond to new threatening conditions.

A model of the Raven non-kinetic APS as displayed at the AUSA Global Force convention in April 2019. At the annual AUSA convention, the system was displayed on the Robotic Technology Demonstrator. Photo: Defense-Update

The system is part of a layered defense and response approach that can be integrated into current and next-generation combat vehicles. By providing effective laser-based countermeasures, it allows kinetic countermeasures systems to conserve ammunition for battle and lessen collateral damage.

Raven is coupled with BAE Systems’ 360 MVP sensor situational awareness suite, enabling the defensive system to detect, track and engage incoming threats to armored ground vehicles. The laser effector is directed by the MVP via slew-to-cue to position the laser on target to engage the incoming threat.[/wlm_ismember]