MUSS | Hensoldt’s soft-kill solution against hard-kill systems
Defence Redefined
Published on 18/02/2022 at 18:24

The level of modern passive protection for armored vehicles has mainly been improved by providing composite multilayered armor which results in the vehicles’ weight increase, and in turn, negatively affects their maneuverability. Under such conditions, the appropriate level of protection cannot be achieved by increasing passive protection alone.

It is only possible for example to improve the level of an Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle’s protection within the given weight limitations by using an active protection system (APS) approach. 

Hensoldt’s solution to this issue is the MUSS system (Multifunctional Self-Protection System). This soft-kill system has been selected to equip the PUMA Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) against the hard-kill systems available today.

This system is designed to counter threats caused by anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and laser-guided ammunition. How the system works can be summarized as follows:

  • The scenario is continuously monitored by the MUSS passive sensor heads. It recognizes threats with their emitting radiations through the warning sensors.
  • Based on the threat messages which include direction of attack and other parameters, this is then displayed to the vehicle crew.
  • The movement information of the vehicle and the head sensors is collected by the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and supplies the Mission Control Element (MCE).
  • The appropriate type of countermeasures will be automatically selected. The countermeasures are initiated automatically or semi-automatically as selected by the vehicle crew.
  • The Jammer is able to disrupt the guidance of most of the jammable ATGMs which are currently in service. This function influences the missile in such a way that it does not reach its target, either hitting the ground or flying away.
  • Alternatively, a further countermeasure is the deployment of a special smoke grenade activated by the turnable smoke screen dispenser.

Also read: MGCS | Hensoldt’s “Game Changer” proposal for the European battle tank – VIDEO

According to the company, the advantages of this system include:

  • No significant influence on vehicle radiation
  • Passive sensors (UV-MWS and LWS)
  • IR Jammer short activation time, not detectable either in visible or in thermal image spectrum
  • Multi threat capability
  • No collateral damage (as with hard kill DAS)

Over the past eight years, more than 350 first-generation MUSS assembly kits for the first batch of the PUMA IFV have already been delivered, making the system the only active soft-kill protection system for ground vehicles in operational use that have been delivered in series.

Hensoldt is expanding the performance of its Multifunctional Self-Protection System (MUSS) for armored vehicles, in order to detect and ward off emerging threats. With the further development commissioned by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), MUSS 2.0 is to be optimized in size, weight, and the number of assemblies. At the same time, the capabilities in the area of the missile, projectile, and laser detection are to be doubled. In addition, MUSS 2.0 will be able to integrate a system of active countermeasures (hard-kill) for optimal protection of the vehicle carrier.

Also read: Netherlands | Modernization of MBTs fleet with “Iron Fist” APS and COAPS – VIDEO





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