Avitronics, a South African company jointly owned by Grintek (South Africa) and Saab (Sweden), launched a revolutionary new system at African Aerospace and Defence 2004. When installed in full configuration, the Land Electronic Defence System 100 (LEDS-100) will offer main vehicle battle tanks comparable protection against engagement by weapons like the RPG-7, anti-tank guns, missiles and artillery shells.
The LEDS-100 system consists of a warning sensor system, a central computer and a high-speed directed launcher. The control computer integrates to the vehicle intercom, command and control system and obtains data from the vehicle wind sensor. The control computer also has a global positioning system (GPS) capability.
The fully integrated system provides automated warning to the vehicle occupants and dynamically and intelligently screens the vehicle from attack in any direction in less than 700 milliseconds. The screen will obscure the attackers' line of sight and give the vehicle and occupants a chance to get behind cover. The screen is multispectral and cannot be penetrated by thermal imaging equipment like that used to aim weapons or guide missiles. The screen can be deployed hemispherically around the vehicle without having to turn the vehicle or the gun turret to do so. This is achieved by the use of a high-speed directed launcher. The launcher moves extremely fast and can turn to any position in the protected hemisphere in less than 100 milliseconds. This launcher also puts in place future growth towards successive models.
An option is to add an infrared jammer to the system. This jammer interferes with the guidance of older generation anti-tank guided missiles. These missiles have proliferated in Africa and together with the ubiquitous RPG, currently form a major portion of the threat against combat and support vehicles.
The LEDS system has applications for local army requirements such as the future infantry combat vehicle and ground-based air defence system. Due to its exceptional flexibility and modular growth it is also well suited to meet foreign vehicle self protection requirements.
Use of the LEDS system is not only restricted to combat vehicles. It has been designed from the outset to also have application on fast patrol boats used for riverine patrol or special operations and is light enough to fit into vehicles used by non-governmental organisations engaged in medical and other humanitarian relief in conflict areas.
For more information contact Cobus van der Merwe, Avitronics, 012 672 6000, [email protected]
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