Protection of military convoys is becoming a critical issue for
military operational planners facing modern guerilla warfare threats.
A major concern is the security of the drivers and passengers as well
as maintaining the vehicle's mobility under attack. This is achieved
by adding armor to the cabin and engine compartment. Additional
measures are provided by active protection means, required when facing
RPGs. Convoys are usually secured by heavily armed escort vehicles,
which cover the convoy through locations known as high risk areas.
These vehicles are armored more heavily than the trucks, and will be
the first to be equipped with active countermeasures, used to secure
the platform as well as other vehicles from RPG attack.
Typical convoy protectors are Mobile Counter-Fire System vehicles (mentioned above),
equipped with acoustic firearms and sniper detection systems, and
coupled with stabilized remote operated weapon stations. (The US Army
uses the BBN's Boomerang acoustic detector and SRWS developed by Recon
Optical). This integrated sensor-system can instantly return fire in
the enemy direction, while on the move. These vehicles are also
equipped with electronic countermeasures, to jam radio-controlled
improvised explosive devices (IED).
These jammers are designed to pre-activate IEDs (by mimicking the
command signal) or disrupt the communications channel when the convoy
passes nearby. Among the latest jammers currently deployed are the
Warlock family of jammers, currently produced for the US Army by EDO
Corp. Elisra has developed a wideband RF jammer, which was
successfully deployed by the IDF in South Lebanon and the Gaza strip.
This jammer covers wide frequency ranges from 20 MHz to 2.5 Ghz and is
designed to disable, rather than pre-activate IEDs.
Enemy activity along the road or at specific
locations suspected to be ambush points can also be monitored from the
air, by unmanned vehicles. While tactical UAVs are tasked primarily
with intelligence gathering and are rarely available for such
missions, miniature UAVs (MAV) are currently being optimized for such
missions. By the application of on-the-move control systems, such MAVs
can operate as advanced guard", securing an area few kilometers to
some hundred of meters ahead of the convoy lead element.
EO sensors employed by these MAVs can be
programmed to detect recent changes in the terrain indicating the
existence of an IED or ambush on the roadside. Several MAVs are
currently available for such missions, including the
Skylark and others.