by David Crane
DefenseReview was fortunate to get the chance to watch the Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield
), a.k.a. "Full Spectrum Active Protection Close-In Layered Shield" (FSAP/FCLAS), video demonstration at the FCLAS booth at the 24th Army Science Conference (ASC 2004) exhibition. The Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield (FCLAS), or Full Spectrum Active Protection Close-in Layered Shield (FSAP/FCLAS), is brought to you by Archangel Defense Systems, Inc.
and the good folks at U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
) in Warren, Michigan. FCLAS is designed to intercept incoming missiles, and thus protect military vehicles (including Humvees) and fixed installations from multiple types of missile attacks, including RPG-7 (Rocket-Propelled Grenade-7) attacks, which are the most common type
of rocket/missile attacks conducted by insurgents in Iraq, right now.
Here’s how the Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield (FCLAS) active protection system works:…
The FCLAS system utilizes an array of FCLAS projectiles that cover all sides of the vehicle. Each FCLAS projectile contains two radar systems, developed by California-based Chang Industry, in its forward section. The first one looks for incoming missiles. When an inbound missile threat is detected by the FCLAS projectile, it’s immediately launched out of its storage tube by a black powder charge. This is where the second radar system comes in. It now starts looking up, down, and side-to-side. As soon as the outgoing FCLAS projectile pulls up to/along-side the incoming RPG warhead or other missile (about 15 feet from the vehicle) and intercepts it, the side-looking radar triggers the FCLAS projectile to detonate, obliterating the inbound threat with a cone of small fragmentation shards/shrapnel. According to one of the representatives at the FCLAS booth, FCLAS can determine the trajectory and nature of the inbound object (based on object speed, trajectory aspects, etc.) so it can tell if the incoming object is on target or not, and whether it’s a missile or something non-threatening, like a bird. Even if the FCLAS determines that the inbound object is a missile threat, if it determines that the missile will miss, it won’t launch to intercept it.
The Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield (FCLAS) active protection system is an intriguing technology. DefenseReview hopes it works as advertised. If it does, once FCLAS is fully-developed, DefenseReview hopes DoD can get as many units of the system out to our infantry ground forces, as soon as possible. They need it. Rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s) have been wreaking havoc on our vehicles, and the insurgents in Iraq certainly don’t seem to be running out of RPG’s anytime soon.
If you’d like to inquire about the Full Spectrum Active Protection Close-In Layered Shield, a.k.a. Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield (FSAP/FCLAS), you can contact Archangel Defense Systems, Inc. by phone at 703.778.0600. Maury Mayfield
is the president/CEO of Archangel Defense Systems, Inc., and can be contacted via email at maury_mayfiel[email protected]
to visit a page at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) website that contains info on the Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield (FCLAS) Active Protection System.
to read what "Popular Mechanics
" Magazine has to say about the Archangel Defense Systems, Inc. Full Spectrum Close-In Layered Shield (FCLAS) Active Protection System. The article, written by Jim Wilson, is titled "Weapons of the Insurgents
", and it was originally published in the March, 2004 issue.
to read the last page of the "Popular Mechanics" Magazine article. This page
discusses FCLAS live-fire testing at Camp W.G. Williams, near Salt Lake City, Utah.
to read about Army Materiel Command’s (AMC’s) "Greatest Inventions" program, where U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) vehicle survivability specialists were honored for their work on Full Spectrum Active Protection (FSAP) Close-In Layered Shield (FCLAS).
The FCLAS illustrations accompanying this article were created by artists Ron Carboni (top two FCLAS operational illustrations) and John Batchelor (FCLAS projectile internals diagram) for "Popular Mechanics
" Magazine, and come from PopularMechanics.com
via web link.