The Evolution of the Shield
The concept of placing a barrier in the way of a deadly projectile is not new. Yet this simple idea is extremely difficult to put into practical use in modern conflict. Erecting a barrier just in time to deflect an incoming missile is virtually impossible given the timeline. Covering a vehicle or aircraft with armored panel barriers is impractical and cumbersome.
Imagine a system that could launch a swarm of super-tough flexible barriers into the path of an incoming threat. To disrupt, deflect, and obscure. Suppose this defensive barrier swarm could be aimed and launched almost instantaneously, on a timescale of milliseconds. This is the vision behind the Rocket-Towed Barrier.
Future Active Protection Systems will be enabled by advances in sensors, software, materials, and smarter, more innovative munitions, and delivery systems.
Future APS will advance in step with sensors, software, and materials to provide the following tactical uses:
- Stopping or deflecting most types of MANPADS, missiles, top-down munitions, and glide bombs
- Stopping, deflecting or entangling drones
- Stopping, impeding, or deflecting bullets
- Obscuring or confusing the view of targets from attackers
- Defending vehicles, hovering aircraft, boats, fixed installations
- Use of AI and COTS actuators for enhanced threat interdiction such as active-guidance of towed barriers
All of the above with countermeasures that are less lethal to friendly troops than current methods.
An Innovative Barrier to Threats: RTB
- The Rocket Towed Barrier (RTB) is a drogue barrier made of Kevlar or other material which deploys behind a tow rocket.
- The RTB system utilizes existing technologies in novel and effective combinations.
- The RTB is an aerodynamically-inflated, super-tough yet compliant physical barrier.
- The RTB is conceived to present a formidable “counter-swarm” obstacle to incoming threats.
Enabling the RTB as described above is the ARC system, a continuously rotating turret that can bring a variety of ordinance to bear on incoming threats, on a millisecond timescale.
Barriers can incorporate features such as decoy IR, planar cutting charges, or percussion charges.
Unlike kinetic kill systems, the RTB/ARC does not pose a threat to people and things nearby or downrange.
An Advantage against Decoy-Type MANPAD Systems
Our RPG missile defense system is the only APS designed to counter decoy-type RPG threats (ie RPG-30). Decoy munitions rely on a precursor rocket to trigger the target’s APS, thereby leaving the target open to the main RPG munition that follows. For an existing APS the firing interval is too short for these systems to deploy an additional countermeasure. Our RTB has the benefits of sustained presence (loiters) and wide-area screening. When delivered via our ARC system, multiple RTBs are presented in rapid succession, neutralizing even multiple simultaneous threats.