US Army Tests BAE Systems' AMPV with Drone-Killing Turret in Arizona Desert

US Army Tests BAE Systems’ AMPV with Drone-Killing Turret in Arizona Desert

The US Army just put BAE Systems’ new armored fighting vehicle through its paces out in the Arizona desert, testing out the drone-killing turret it’s equipped with. During live fire exercises at the Big Sandy range near Kingman, soldiers got to take the new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) prototype for a spin and see what it can really do.

The key new feature is an automated turret designed by Moog that can detect, track, and take out drones and other targets. The Army had the AMPV engage aerial and ground targets that were both stationary and moving, wanting to see how accurately this high-tech turret could aim and fire on small drones with 30mm ammo. From the reports, it performed great, slewing quickly to cue on targets and hitting them successfully in realistic battlefield scenarios.

Up till now, the Army has just been receiving the baseline AMPV from BAE without the souped-up turret. It’s meant to replace the Army’s aging Cold War-era vehicles, but brings way more adaptability and modularity. The AMPV can be set up for different missions by swapping components in and out – everything from personnel carrier to mobile surgical theater.

The new drone-killing setup they just tested builds on that flexible design. It uses the same base vehicle, but with an enhanced top section developed by BAE called the External Mission Equipment Package to easily integrate new systems. This let them mount Moog’s turret for the prototype. Going forward, they plan to equip it with radar and targeting tech from other companies too.

Getting this new AMPV variant out to Army brigades in the field will really increase their firepower. Especially as small drones become a bigger threat, having a system that can quickly pick them up and take them out will be key.