Active Defence System ADS

Ultra-Fast All-Round Protection

The blink of an eye lasts about a tenth of a second. Not much time? It’s plenty! That much time can make the difference between life and death. A projectile fired from a distance of 15 meters can reach its target in only half that time. As the most advanced and effective system of its type in the world, the ADS standoff protection system identifies ballistic threats at extremely short range and destroys incoming objects in less time than the blink of an eye.

In today’s world, adequate protection of soldiers and their vehicles is no longer achieved simply by covering them with armor. A principle of multiple, coordinated layers of protective measures enables the highest possible level of safety in each case. “Our innovative, high-performance ADS is clearly one of our greatest technical achievements,” comments Dr. Stefan Nehlsen, Head of Protection Systems at Rheinmetall. “ADS is the only protection system in the world that can defend against attacks even from the immediate vicinity of the vehicle.”

The protection mechanism is complex and demands intelligent interaction between various high-tech components. High-performance sensors (pre-warners) have the vehicle’s surroundings in view at all times as part of 360-degree protection.

If they detect an incoming projectile, for example, in the near zone that they are monitoring, they immediately report this threat to a central processing unit, which activates further electro-optical sensors. The projectile is identified and its precise flight data calculated. Once this is complete, the third stage of ADS begins and the threat is immediately destroyed before reaching the target.

As technically sophisticated as the individual processes are, they are executed at lightning speed. From detecting the threat and analyzing its trajectory to classifying the projectile and combating it, the whole process takes only one thousandth of a second. “The precise interaction of the system components makes it possible even for projectiles traveling at more than five times the speed of sound to be destroyed in time,” says Dr. Nehlsen. “Thanks to its short reaction time, ADS can successfully combat approaching airborne threats from very close ranges of just a few meters.”

Another of its strengths is its “multi-hit capability.” Even multiple projectiles can be countered successfully. This is made possible by the redundantly operating technology. While one sensor is occupied with the first threat, other sensors continue to ensure all-around protection.

ADS can be integrated into almost any class of vehicle, from light multi-purpose vehicles to combat tanks, within a few hours – without compromising mobility! Depending on the vehicle type to be equipped, ADS modules weigh only between 145 and 600 kilograms. Consequently, even older vehicles can be adapted to modern deployment scenarios very effectively.

Armed forces from the NATO region and Asia are showing great interest in the high-performance technology from Rheinmetall. The Group already supplied the product to customers in Asia in 2012. Deliveries to Scandinavia are planned for 2013. However, the market is much bigger. Experts calculate that the number of military vehicles worldwide that could be retrofitted with active protection systems is a five-digit figure.

  • Rheinmetall AG

    Corporate Sector Defence
    Press and Information

    Oliver Hoffmann
    Rheinmetall Platz 1
    40476 Düsseldorf
    Phone: +49 211 473-4748
    Fax: +49 211 473-4157