Army testing ‘Iron Curtain’ system to defend smaller vehicles from missile attacks [VIDEO]

In an effort to defend military vehicles that are smaller than tanks from missile attacks, the Army is testing out an “Iron Curtain.” The system uses a combination of outward and downward facing sensors and downward-facing projectiles to stop incoming missiles and rockets from striking the vehicles by setting of the warheads before impact.

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Anti-tank weapons with shaped charges have become a deadly threat on the battlefield, posing a risk to any vehicle in the area. While more robust vehicles, like tanks, may survivor such attacks, lighter vehicles like Humvees, aren’t as well-equipped.

The US Army is testing the Iron Curtain as a means of protecting a range of smaller vehicles from high explosive, anti-tank (HEAT) warheads, including variants that can be fired from shouldered rocket-propelled grenade launchers to anti-tank guided missiles systems, like the Kornet-EM.

Defense contractor Artis is developing the Iron Curtain system, which consists of several attachments that resemble curtains. The curtains are installed on all four sides of the ground vehicle, though the company says it could also be fitted to buildings and potentially helicopters.

Once installed, the vehicle is surrounded by optical sensors and radar, allowing incoming missiles to be detected and downward-firing interceptors to be triggered just moments before impact. The system has the capability of identifying weak points in the incoming missiles, ensuring the proper location is targeted for maximum effectiveness.

The reasoning behind the downward-firing interceptors, instead of attempting to shoot down the missile further away, is to ensure that friendly soldiers or civilians aren’t accidentally caught by the resulting detonation. By using the system in its current configuration, unintended casualties can be minimized.

Initial testing of the Iron Curtain began in 2013, and Artis claimed is received a “perfect score,” according to a report by Popular Mechanics.

Now, the US Army is testing the system on Stryker vehicles against rocket-propelled grenades. It has not yet been tested against guided anti-tank missiles.