The Korean Active Protection System (KAPS) was developed by South Korean Agency for Defense Development (ADD) for the K2 Black Panther tank augmenting the tank’s protection against anti-tank rockets and missiles. The development started somewhere around 2006, when South Korean officials investigated the adoption of the Russian Arena APS, but rejected it shortly after. KAPS consists of two search and tracking radar units, a control computer unit, IR trackers and countermeasure launchers. Unit price per system is â‚©670 million ($600,000).
The system uses dual sensor detection and tracking system comprising a 3D radar and infrared system, control computer and countermeasure launchers firing specially designed rockets. According to Korean officials the system’s response rate is about 0.2 to 0.3 second from target detection, through to the interception. The APS consists of a three-dimensional detection and track radar, heat detection and track system, control computer, launching system and counter rocket. Warheads can be detected out to 150 meters from the tank, and a defensive rocket is fired to destroy them at 10 – 15 meters away. The KAPS can neutralize rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles. The system may be installed on other platforms in the future like warships, helicopters, and buildings.
For defeating the threats, the system uses HE fragmentation grenades with tungsten fragements. These grenades detonate in front of the incoming threat, sending a cloud of fragments towards it. This means that the system can only defeat ATGMs, RPGs and HE(AT) rounds, but is incapable of defeating kinetic energy ammunition and EFPs. Due to the nature of the countermeasure, KAPS endangers nearby infantry and soft-skinned vehicles in the path of the interceptor. Having only two barrels per launcher is a clear drawback compared to some previously mentioned systems.