The US Army has tested an active protection system on the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle that showed improved results compared to previous tests.
During the live-fire testing in October, the Iron Fist Light Decoupled Active Protection System demonstrated better durability and system effectiveness over previous evaluations.
Iron Fist for Military Vehicle Protection
The Iron Fist consists of sensors, radar, and lightweight explosive projectile interceptors.
The system counter-launches its interceptors toward an approaching airborne threat, such as a missile or grenade, exploding near the munition and away from the vehicle to minimize self-damage.
Program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems Maj. Gen. Glenn Dean said that “the Army is very pleased with the improved performance of this system.”
“The software improvements since 2018 are more consistent and stable. We see continued future growth opportunities for the system, but this active protection system better protects our soldiers and vehicles on the battlefield.”
The army has tested the General Dynamics and Elbit Systems-developed system for medium and light-armored vehicles since 2018.
The Bradley reportedly couldn’t supply enough power to the Iron Fist’s counter-launch system in one of the tests, causing counter-munition failures.
The issue reportedly delayed the program for about a year.
General Dynamics official Tim Neaves revealed in 2021 to Defense News that they “had some issues with Iron Fist, mostly maturity issues, and it’s centered around power within the Iron Fist system itself and a problem with the ignition train within the interceptor.”
18-Month Corrective Action Path
The company has since then followed a corrective plan to improve the system, including internal investments, testing, and development.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve demonstrated that we have fixed those issues, and we’ve gotten a significant maturity level and performance demonstration within the system,” Neaves added.
The Congress in 2022 funded to equip the entire army brigade of Bradleys with the system by 2025.