An Innovative Turret that is able to Aim & Launch countermeasures almost instantly: ARC System
A primary requirement of any Active Protection System (APS) is the ability to rapidly respond to incoming threats, once detected. In the case of a Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack, conventional wisdom says that an APS needs to aim and launch in 100 milliseconds (one tenth of a second) or faster to defeat the most common battlefield threats. This is far too quick for conventional turrets and methods of aiming.
The additional needs of an ideal APS are…
- to reduce the fratricidal effects of APS countermeasures thru precise aiming, or use of non-lethal ordinance
- the ability to launch a swarm of (multiple) countermeasures into the path of a threat.
- the ability to launch countermeasures in multiple directions at the same time to defeat multiple, simultaneous threats.
- Immediate multi-shot capability for a depth of defensive field
- Design simplicity, robustness and a low power budget.
The Active Rotating Countermeasures (ARC) system is the only system proposal capable of meeting all of these requirements.
Rotating Turret system: Notionally depicted on VTOL aircraft and Armor
A Continuously Rotating Turret with Multiple Launch Barrels.
The fundamental concept of the Rotating Turret APS is a simple countermeasure storage sphere that rotates continuously. Ordinary electronic encoders and open-loop software keep track of the rotational position of the drum continuously. The drum carries multiple rows of individual countermeasure munitions that can be fired or launched outwardly. An algorithm matches the instantaneous direction of any of the available countermeasures with the intercept vector of an incoming threat. Any slew error induced by rotation is compensated for by the firing algorithm. Continuous rotation requires only a modest energy budget to maintain rotational velocity. Encoder feedback can compensate for variations in rotation speed due to fluctuating power, battlefield damage, vehicle movement, and other factors.
By embracing the concept of a continuously rotating turret, many problems with existing RPG defense systems are alleviated. This includes the time required to rotate a cannon, and damp it enough to aim, as well as the wide spread of shot based (box-type APS) munitions required to reliably defeat the missile.
As depicted, the faster aiming capability of the ARC system allows for a more directed munition and potential defeat further away from the vehicle.
The Turret is a Delivery System
In the ARC system, the turret is simply the delivery mechanism for whatever countermeasure munition is appropriate to the mission profile of the vehicle.
We have put forth ideas for a variety of countermeasure munitions including:
- Directed Shot-type countermeasure munitions (field-proven against RPG’s).
- Rocket-Towed Barrier countermeasure munitions. The promise of this technology is the ability to defeat simultaneous incoming threats without any potential for local fratricide.
- Offensive munitions. The ARC system is not limited to a defensive role.
Actually the system holds open the possibility of multiple and different kinds of munitions simultaneously available for deployment depending on threat classification, mission parameters, and a host of other potential considerations which would make it both safer, more effective, and more reliable than any other active protection system currently in development.
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