Defence Industry

Rheinmetall and ADS GmbH demonstrate ADS force protection technology
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 18 Nov , 2011

Rocket-propelled grenades, antitank guided missiles and explosively formed projectiles (a particularly pernicious type of IED) all pose a severe threat to troops deployed in modern conflict and post-conflict situations. Produced by Rheinmetall and ADS GmbH, the newly developed Active Defence System (ADS) is a reliable countermeasure, as demonstrated during recent live fire testing at Rheinmetall’s test centre at Unterluess in northern Germany, conducted in the presence of some 120 experts from ten nations.


ADS is the world’s most advanced and effective standoff system for protecting military vehicles in practically every weight class from contemporary operational threats. It operates according to the hard-kill principle. The sensor system detects an incoming projectile as it draws close to the vehicle, e.g. a shaped charge or antitank missile. Then, in a matter of microseconds, the system activates a protection sector, applying directed pyrotechnic energy to destroy the projectile in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle. Owing to its downward trajectory, ADS minimizes collateral damage in the zone surrounding the vehicle.

At the beginning of 2011, a Fuchs/Fox 1A8 armoured transport vehicle was fitted with a complete ADS system in order to test its capabilities on a 6×6 vehicles. Aside from showing that ADS could be integrated into an existing platform without significantly altering the basic parameters of volume, weight and electrical output, mobility and handling trials had to be conducted at Defence Technology Detachment 41 in Trier, which were successfully completed in June 2011. Because additional system tests on the vehicle were planned, it was decided to conduct a dynamic ballistic test by firing an RPG7 (“Panzerfaust”) at the vehicle.

At the Rheinmetall testing centre at Unterluess, a vehicle was used to tow the ADSequipped Fuchs/Fox with a steel cable at a speed of 20 km/h. Triggered by a pressure detonator of the type commonly used to set off IEDs in urban areas and along routes of march, an RPG was fired at the side of the vehicle from a distance of 18 metres. The small standoff was intended to demonstrate ADS’s unique effectiveness in responding to an attack at close quarters, while simultaneously assuring that the detonator of the shaped charge was armed.

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