HENSOLDT’s Multi-functional Self-protection System (MUSS)

Protecting Armoured Vehicle while maintaining manoeuvrability with no collateral damages, MUSS APS System is an optimal solution for military platforms. Andleeb Shadman, Managing Director, Hensoldt talks to SP’s Land Forces on how MUSS APS is a uniquely different system and ideally suited for India.

Issue 4 - 2021
Andleeb Shadman,
Managing Director, Hensoldt

HENSOLDT group core competence has been to recognise a wide range of threats and to provide practical and optimal solutions to improve the safety and operational effectiveness of military platforms. Evolution of HENSOLDT’s MUSS (Multi-functional Self-protection System) has been an endeavour in the same direction. MUSS is the most advanced in-service, cost effective and practical solution to improve the survivability of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) or Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) platforms.

SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): What are the key criteria that influence the choice of worldwide customers in selecting Active Protection Systems (APS) for AFV/ICV?

Andleeb Shadman (Shadman): While the choice of APS largely depends on experience and respective military doctrine, however some key drivers that influence the decisions are

  • The system should not degrade/adversely impact AFV/IFV operational role and capabilities and provide 360 degree coverage to cater for all angles of arrival of threats including top attack munitions.
  • Capable of detection, tracking and neutralization multiple threats (ATGMs of all types, CE & KE projectiles) that the AFV/IFV is likely to encounter in the battle field simultaneously and deploy appropriate countermeasures.
  • No resultant collateral damage by deployment of countermeasures to crew/other dismounted personnel/softskinned vehicles in vicinity/optical & Optronics devices and other soft points of the AFV/IFV
  • The System should have minimum Size, Weight & Power (SWaP) specifications. External components should not enlarge vehicle profile, block/impede access or functioning of any existing hatches/ports/Observation devices and Armament. Internal Components should not displace existing combat loads and systems and with no additional environmental/EMI impact.
  • Cost effectiveness is a key driver. Initial and through life costs should be optimised.
  • The APS should be modular with open architecture and future ready to integrate additional sensors and counter measures as per requirements for a given platform limitations/Threat perception and levels of protection required.
Phil Musser
MUSS fitted to IFV PUMA

SP’s: Could you describe HENSOLDT MUSS® APS System which is already on the German Army’s PUMA IFV and what are its key differentiators?

Shadman: MUSS® is a Passive Detection (PD) with a Soft Kill (SK) effector based Active Protection System (APS), delivering a KEY protection layer against Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) and Laser (guided) Threats (LT).

“Our approach would be to offer complete Active Protection Systems (APS) framework to Indian customers wherein Indian capabilities could be leveraged by means of Joint development, build-to-print and/or build-to-specs”

The system mainly comprises two passive sensors, a Missile Warner (MW) and a Laser Warner (LW), with two Countermeasures – a 360 degree rotatable IR Jammer (IRJ) and Directable Smoke Dispenser (DSD). The System is modular, flexible, easy to install and cost effective solution for the customer. The modular system architecture makes it easy to customise the configuration for specific vehicle ergonomics and operational requirements by combining selected sub systems to deliver a desired effect.

MUSS is an In-Service system fitted on the SPz PUMA, the most modern IFV of the Bundeswehr Armoured Infantry Brigades. MUSS was ‘designed’ into the protection solution of the SPz PUMA. The key product differentiators include

  • Modular and scalable system for different vehicle (wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles) types and operational requirements for overall protection.
  • Highly cost effective solution.
  • Significant SWaP advantages over APS using Hard Kill effectors.
  • Undetectable and Jamming proof.
  • No Collateral Damage to host Platform or Local Area.
  • Easy to integrate, no strong provisions needed. Does not significantly alter/degrade platform.
  • Complimentary to traditional Hard Kill APS. HK APS protection are only against certain threats and not against all RPGs.
  • Product Roadmap includes Interface to Hard Kill Effector, Laser Jamming & Dazzling, Tracking & Confirmation Sensor, Integration into Surveillance and C2 system and Platform Interoperability.

SP’s: Could you please elaborate your views on the Indian market and what are your plans to introduce MUSS to Indian Customers?

Shadman: The Indian Market, with its large inventory of Tanks and ICVs as well as its future platform development programs offers huge potential. We are also cognizant about India’s uncompromising focus on Military Self-Reliance through ‘Make in India’ policy.

It is important to reiterate the fact that MUSS system is already in-service on ~350 SPz PUMA, which is the most modern IFV of the German Army with its existing capabilities to defeat a wide range of ATGMs and low SWaP profile.

Therefore our approach would be to offer complete Active Protection Systems (APS) framework to Indian customers wherein Indian capabilities could be leveraged by means of Joint development, build-to-print and/or build-to-specs to realise the Indigenous APS solution in the most practical and incremental way.

MUSS with its inherent modularity of design, Multi-pronged Evolutionary approach involving technology and capability enhancement across the system in all components – sensors and effectors, feasibility of integration of parallel systems or add on Sensors and effectors in its architecture fits in well with this approach.