CROSSHAIRS to protect vehicles against bullets, RPGs

DARPA contracts to mount threat detection and countermeasure systems on MRAPs designed to locate and engage enemy shooters.

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford
2 min read
Mustang Technology Group

DARPA has ordered a new system that could make taking a shot at the U.S. military's 38-ton sitting ducks just a little more problematic.

CROSSHAIRS (Counter Rocket-Propelled Grenade and Shooter System with Highly Accurate Immediate Responses) is a modular, vehicle-mounted, threat detection and countermeasure system that locates and engages enemy shooters. It will take on bullets, rocket propelled grenades (RPG), Anti-Tank Guided Missiles and even direct fired mortars, whether on-the-move or sitting still, according to DARPA.

The sole source $8 million contract went to Mustang Technology Group to integrate and test the system on the massive MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles. However, CROSSHAIRS could eventually be deployed on humvees, STRYKERs, and other tactical vehicles.

The setup combines radar, the Boomerang sniper detection system, a remote weapon station and an Enhanced Precision Locating and Reporting System among other paraphernalia to provide 360 degree "counter shooter coverage".

"CROSSHAIRS is really a set of five capabilities. And it's modular, so every vehicle may not have the full set," said DARPA program manager Dr. Karen Wood in an interview last month. It will answer the questions, "What's coming in at me? Is it going to hit me? Where is the shooter? How do I respond?"

Identifying and pinpointing an attack has to be almost instantaneous to enable an automatic or a man-in-the-loop response. With RPGs, defense will be handled by an Iron Curtain active protection system by Artis. The radar detects and tracks incoming rounds then alerts the system, which fires straight down to "duding" the threat.

Sounds like the perfect product for our neighborhood convenience store.