WASHINGTON — BAE Systems said it successfully tested a counter-drone capability on one of the U.S. Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles in a recent live-fire event.
The counter-unmanned aircraft system prototype, developed in collaboration with Moog, showed it could detect, track, identify, and defeat or disable both stationary and moving targets on the ground and in the air in “realistic battlefield scenarios” at the Big Sandy Range in Kingman, Arizona, BAE said in a Jan. 23 statement.
The prototype demonstrated “the turret engaging with ground targets and utilizing a slew-to-cure capability to target both stationary and moving small drones with 30mm proximity rounds,” the statement noted.
The demonstration’s “positive results exemplify opportunities for future capability growth within the purpose-built modular framework of the AMPV platform,” the statement added.
BAE built the AMPV early on to be modular and flexible for future configurations, according to Bill Sheehy, the company’s AMPV program director.
BAE first unveiled the prototype at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference in October 2023. It features both the existing chassis but includes enhancements such as the firm’s External Mission Equipment Package top plate, which enables rapid integration of future technologies and capabilities, the company said in the statement.
That package on the cUAS prototype, for example, is configured with Moog’s Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform turret. The Army has already validated the integration of a maneuver short-range air defense turret for the AMPV, just one of the 30 turret systems enabled by Moog’s weapons package, the company said.
Moog’s cUAS weapon system includes Leonardo DRS’ Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar and Northrop Grumman’s XM914 30mm gun; both are components on the Stryker combat vehicle-based M-SHORAD system already fielded with the Army.
AMPV reached full-rate production in 2023. The vehicle replaces the M113 troop carrier with five variants, including versions designed to fire mortars, a command-and-control platform, and medical vehicles for evacuating or treating troops wounded on the battlefield.
BAE continues to develop new capabilities for the AMPV, anticipating the Army may want the vehicle to carry out additional missions.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.