The M84 "Argus" Forward Area Air Defence System (FAADS) (export designation: Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Argus ("anti-aircraft cannon tank Argus", or Flakpanzer Argus), or Canon automoteur chenillé antiaérien Argus ("self-propelled tracked anti-aircraft gun Argus), or Self-propelled gun-launcher complex "Argus") is a full tracked, heavy armoured, highly mobile, hybrid gun/missile, dual role air and ground defence artillery weapon system. It provides quick reaction terminal point defence and close tactical ground protection to forward area heavy armoured manoeuvre forces and is optimized to engage and defeat air and ground threats with high kill probability under all adverse battle conditions. The M84 Argus is capable of autonomous rapid-fire control and weapon reaction; fully network-centric integrated multi-layer area defence; air/ground long-range target identification, acquisition, prioritization, and tracking with a high 'hit and kill' probability; and all-weather, day/night, extended fighting capability with a search and shoot 'on-the-move' capability.
Each vehicle is self-contained target acquisition and firing unit utilising the Allis-Chalmers M8 Lariat 1A1+ (M22A2E2 Jackal) tank chassis and Sand Draw Diesel (Sandiesel) D900AGP2 power pack as its automotive platform, and mounting a powered electric full traverse turret built by Marine Steel Works. The turret/chassis offers optimum under armour crew ballistic protection combined with main battle tank-class mobility and agility. The turret encloses the entire integrated weapon system made by Synergy Electrodynamics, including separate self-contained surveillance and tracking radar and fire control radar, multispectral optronic sensor suite, digital fire control system and battlefield management system, and combined short-range cannon and ready-to-fire long-range missile armament. In service with the Etoile Arcture Ground Forces it has replaced the gun-only OTO Breda SIDAM 25 and OTO Melara Otomatic anti-aircraft vehicles.
The M84 has three crew members in a conventional layout, with the driver seated in a semi-reclined station in the front hull with a sliding-type hatch and seven periscope cluster with rotating thermal night driving sight. The commander and gunner are located side-by-side in the turret at duplicate digital crew stations. Access to the turret is from a side hatch or by overhead sliding-type hatches with nine periscope clusters. Both turret crew stations feature a pair of ruggedised LED-backlit 26.41 cm (10.4 inch) diagonal active matrix LCD (AMLCD) Multi-Functional Display (MFD) with rugged and vibration resistant machined aluminium housings and 28-button integrated switch bezels. The commander and gunner can control all functions of the firing unit from their MFDs, including vehicle management, fire control, situational awareness, communications and the battlefield management system. A dual-redundant J1939-compliant MilCAN serial bus and quad-channel optical backbone data bus with fibre channel arbitrated loop (FC-AL) network topology interconnects all the onboard systems.
The driver and fighting compartments are both nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC)-proof through a STANAG 4447 compliant hybrid-collective overpressure protection system, and are protected by Spectrex fire detection and explosion suppression systems utilising non-toxic HFC-227ea (heptafluoropropane) clean agent fire extinguishers in the turret. All electrical power to operate the vehicle's air conditioning and ventilation systems, electronics and vetronics suite, and other fire control components as well as turret and armament operations is provided by a 70 kW Sandiesel under-armour auxiliary power unit (UAAPU). This is a liquid cooled, multi-fuel, 4-cylinder diesel engine coupled to five 20 kVA 3-phase electrical generators and DC power inverters. These are all located in the rear turret with sufficient fuel for 48 hours of operation. An emergency backup system is also provided for operating the turret and gun laying controls via the vehicle's electrical system through a slip ring assembly.
The M84 combines missiles and guns into a hybrid integrated weapon system for engaging and defeating air and ground targets. The cannon armament comprises two 40 mm L/78 cased telescoped ammunition (CTA) air-cooled automatic guns mounted by externally-powered elevating arms to either side of the turret. Both guns are independently stabilised to counter vehicle movements, and have a compact form factor equivalent to a 25 mm Bushmaster cannon. The guns are based on the same Nexter 40 mm L/70 Case Telescoped Armament System (CTAS) anti-aircraft cannon used by the Thales RAPIDFire air defence system, modified with barrel extensions to 78 calibres (3,120 mm), ventilated air-cooling jackets and muzzle breaks for increased rate of fire, and non-contact induction coils for sending data to programmable fuses and to prime projectiles. The cylindrical CTA rounds are more volume efficient having 2.5 times the payload of conventional 30 mm ammunition for increased ballistic effects, and produce higher muzzle velocities that deliver longer ranges and shorter miss distances for enhanced accuracy.
The ammunition handling system utilises a linear-linkless belt drive mechanism and is dual feed capable allowing selection between two types of ammunition (anti-air or anti-ground) from three high-density magazines per gun. These comprise a main magazine with a 150 ready round capacity of air bursting munitions, and two small magazines of 50 ready round capacity each of frangible or air burst ammunition. The magazines are located inside the turret above the gun breach and fully elevate and depress with the gun mounts. Reloading of all magazines is done by a transloader vehicle feeding into ammunition ports in the rear of the turret using rotating sprockets to carry the cylindrical rounds into each magazine. There are blow out panels on the turret roof to deflect blast from the fighting compartment in case of a penetration of the magazines. The reaction time from target detection to ready to fire mode is only 4 seconds. Four types of ammunition are used.
The Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FAPDS) is intended for self-defence against dismounts in the open or behind urban terrain, and threat armoured fighting vehicles, but is equally effective against low level air targets. The FAPDS round has a pre-fragmented tungsten core which breaks up into small fragments after entering a target to inflict maximum damage, with a zirconium baseplug to increase after-armour incendiary effects. Two guns can engage static and slow-moving soft ground targets and light armoured vehicles with direct fire out to 2,500 metres, being capable of penetrating 140 mm in rolled homogeneous armour at 1,500 metres.
The Anti-Aerial Air Burst (A3B) munition can effectively engage aerial targets at up to height level 6,000 metres and is the preferred anti-air munition. The A3B shell consists of a programmable time delay fuse in the base which is immune to jamming, that is programmed via the barrel induction coils, and a front ballistic shroud containing a lethal payload of two hundred 51 grain tungsten alloy cylinders. The fire control system calculates a ballistic solution relative to the range vectors of the target and the muzzle velocity of the round as it exits the barrel, and sets the fuse so the round will explode ahead of the target to project a 100 by 200-metre cone of spin-stabilized subprojectiles into its path. Burst lengths between 1 to 10 rounds are sufficient to neutralise most threats.
The General Purpose Round Air Burst (GPR-AB) is the ground-only analogue to the A3B shell, having a high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead fill and multi-option programmable electronic fuse. In air burst (AB) mode the round detonates mid-flight on a time delay to shower fragments in a 125 m² zone to defeat dismounts in the open or behind cover. In point detonating (PD) mode the round can penetrate 210 mm in reinforced concrete at a range of 3,000 metres to suppress threats in urban structures and to defeat soft skin vehicles.
The Cased Telescoped Guided Projectile (CTGP) is a laser beam riding precision-guided munition primarily designed for the counter rocket, artillery, mortar and missile (C-RAMM) mission, but equally effective against aircraft, drones and missiles. The round is a miniature hit-to-kill missile or hittile, and is fired from the gun barrel using a discarding sabot. The gun-launched hittile has a tungsten alloy housing, with a nonrotating rear body containing guidance and control circuitry, a thermal battery and four folding stabilisation fins, a rotating forebody with two canard fins for steering, and nose laser seeker for guidance. It is only capable of line-of-sight engagements guided from the firing unit's optronics suite, and destroys its target by kinetic energy alone and engages targets at a stand-off range of 1,000 to 500 metres. With a 1,000 m/s muzzle velocity it has sufficient kinematics imparted by its 30,000 g acceleration from the gun barrel to manoeuvre up to 1.5 km off-axis to track a manoeuvring target.
Place of origin
2008 - present
who knows really
24.5 cm (motor)
200 m - 50 km
sea level - 15,000 m
M84 Argus FAADS
The standard missile armament consists of a loadout of twelve (12) stored kills of MIM-191B (SL) Krait surface-to-air missiles in two reloadable six (6) pack launchers, one each mounted on the port and starboard sides of the turret at the base of each cannon mount. All missiles are packed as a containerised all-up-round (AUR) canister allowing easy storage, transport, handling and replenishment by transloader vehicle. [Note: Before development of the MIM-191B Krait weapon system pre-production and low-rate initial production (LRIP) models of the M84 Argus were armed with man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) weapons including the Sequoia Dynamics FIM-192A Scorpion and Raytheon FIM-92J Stinger fire-and-forget missiles and Saab Bofors RBS 70 MK 2 BOLIDE laser beam riding missile. The manufacturer has since fully qualified the Lyran Arms SALY-28, LAIX Arms LA-430 Attero, Crookfur Arms SAM 6, Moretyr AE-7 SRAAM and MBDA Mistral II for integration on export versions of the M84 Argus.]
The MIM-191B Krait is an all-weather short- to medium-range, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget, supersonic surface-to-air missile able to engage elusive low-altitude, low-signature crossing and approaching targets to a range of 50 km and having a probability of kill (PK) exceeding 95 per cent. Krait is adapted from Selenia's Aspide 2000 (MK 30) missile airframe and Idra active radar homing seeker. It is designed to provide quick reaction to engage otherwise hard to intercept high agility, pop-up and plunging targets within short windows of exposure, including helicopters in low-level hover, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, uninhabited aerial vehicles, and cruise missiles, and can even intercept anti-radiation missiles targeting the launcher vehicle. Krait is propelled by a 245 mm diameter single-stage SNIA-Viscosa solid-fuel rocket motor with all-boost motor grain that provides 100 kilonewtons (kN) of launch thrust for the first 2.5 seconds of flight that accelerates the missile to a burn out velocity of Mach 4+ at sea level.
The wingless missile body is of all aluminium construction featuring full-length strakes along the boost section for roll stability, and all-moving reduced-span trapezoid tail controls for compressed carriage inside the launch canister. Thrust vector control (TVC) carbon-carbon jet vanes are installed on the motor nozzle to grant a post-launch high g manoeuvring capability with angles of attack exceeding 90° to achieve off-boresight pointing of the seeker and tracking of evading manoeuvring targets. Aerodynamic controls are used after motor burnout for terminal manoeuvring in the end game. The airframe tapers to a 203 mm diameter forebody containing the insensitive munition (IM) compliant warhead and radome-protected flat antenna for the Idra guidance package, which is based around a NATO I/J-band (IEEE X-band) monopulse pulse-Doppler seeker incorporating an advanced programmable electronic counter-counter measure (ECCM) system, digital signal processor (DSP) for clutter and noise resistance, a strapdown inertial guidance system, and spread-spectrum fast-hopping UHF datalink.
The missile has two firing modes: lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) that uses a data uplink to update the missile inertial reference unit (IRU) with tracking radar guidance coordinates until 6-8 km distance from the target where the seeker is activated for terminal guidance; and lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) where the seeker is cued by the radar, allowing rapid reaction to threats in the 180° forward hemisphere with a snap-up shot. Reaction time including first detection, missile warm-up and launch is only 4 seconds. Krait is fully fire-and-forget with autonomous target tracking and guidance during flight with active radar homing and active/passive home-on-jam tracking modes. The kill mechanism is a large 39 kg high-explosive focused blast and fragmentation warhead with an 8 metre blast radius capable of bringing down any sized aircraft. Warhead initiation is by range-gated Doppler radio frequency (RF) proximity fuse, backed by a direct action 'impact'/'graze' fuse, and a range safety destruction device.
The Argus Fire Control System comprises a radar and optronics sensor package, electronic warfare suite, processors, ballistic computer, geolocation suite, tactical datalinks and battlefield management system. The ballistic computer, based on a VMEbus backplane with multiple 32-bit PowerQUICC III processors, calculates lead angles and gun offsets using azimuth/elevation/range data from radar, optronics and laser range finders. Target search and track data can be shared across two-way, jam-resistant, secure datalinks via any plug-and-fight battlefield management command and control system such as the Cornerstone Battlefield Management System (CBMS) used by the Etoile Arcture Ground Forces or Warrior III Battle Management System (W³BMS) used by the Lamonian Army. This interlinks all vehicles in a firing platoon, and in turn a battery and other friendly units by JTRS Cluster 5 software-defined radio (such as Synergy Electrodynamics JEWEL Waveguard modular wideband digital radios), allowing operators in different vehicles to rapidly switch between targets during an engagement. When employed in semi-permanent fighting positions or defending fixed sites firing units can also be integrated with MIL-PRF-85045/8A Ground Tactical Fibre Optic Cable for added resilience.
A four ship (vehicle) air defence artillery firing platoon forms a fire-and-effects cell inside the battlefield management network with a total air surveillance volume of 2,000 km², with each radar set having a target detection and tracking range of 60 km. The commander and gunner use 'cursor on target' and 'click to approve' protocols to rapidly update their tactical picture and to control the sensors and weapons, with the system able to track and prioritize up to fifty (50) targets acquired by on- and off-board sensors per fire-and-effects cell. Aiming can be done in automatic radar 'cue to slew' mode or manually using joystick controllers and a driven reticle sight. Only target assignment and firing orders requires man-in-the-loop verification, with all target acquisition and tracking tasks performed automatically including memory tracking, automatic target alarm, automatic lock-on, automatic noise jammer tracking, automatic gun laying, and automatic handover of targets between sensors and firing units to defend against saturation raids.
The Argus Search Radar is a forced air cooled, dual beam, NATO E/F-band (IEEE S-band) coherent pulse-Doppler three-dimensional (3D) digital solid-state frequency agile radar housed in a mechanically rotating, electronically stabilized, low radar cross-section (RCS) reflective antenna. The antenna consist of dual low sidelobe planar arrays mounted back-to-back, each connected to an independent mono-beam Klystron microwave transmitter, digital receiver/exciter (DREX) low phase noise waveform generator, and VMEbus digital signal processor (DSP) board with 32-bit PowerPC 7457 "Apollo" processors, located inside the turret in impact, shock, vibration and heat resistant line replaceable unit (LRU) electronics racks. The scanner rotates at a 60 rpm scan rate providing high-elevation angle 360° volumetric air surveillance, with long-range rapid target detection and recognition out to an instrumented range of 60 km and altitude of 15 km to ground level with a range resolution of 40 metres. The Argus Search Radar features electronic counter-countermeasure (ECCM), rapid search modes, track-while-scan (TWS), fire-on-the-move, anti-clutter modes (90 decibels (dB) of clutter rejection in the air channel and 70 dB of clutter rejection in the surface channel), non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR), and automatic identification friend-or-foe (IFF) interrogation for deconfliction. The system can track up to twenty (20) targets and engage eight (8) targets simultaneously, and provides detection, classification and tracking of targets with a RCS as low as 0.5 m² or -3 dBsm (decibels per square metre), in heavy weather or ground clutter and high jamming.
The Argus Fire Direction Radar is a forced air cooled, NATO I/J band (IEEE X band) passive electronically scanned array (PESA) fully coherent monopulse solid-state radar using a high power travelling-wave tube amplifier (TWTA) based radio frequency transmitter. The antenna primarily controls the two rapid-fire automatic guns, and is mounted in an armoured radome positioned on the front of the turret, scanning a 60° field of regard in whichever direction the turret is pointed. The fire control radar (FCR) produces range vectors for programming ammunition fuses using precision angle radar tracking, and is capable of low-altitude tracking out to 6 km of low signature targets with a RCS as low as -40 dBsm (0.0001 m²), or at a range of 12 km in low jamming/clutter, or -15 dBsm (0.02 m²) at a range of 16 km in high jamming/clutter. The system can use multi-target track-while-scan modes, range-gated Doppler filters for moving target indication (MTI), and constant false alarm rate (CFAR) clutter rejection modes to detect, classify, track and discriminate against targets including artillery shells, mortar rounds, air-to-ground rockets and missiles, precision-guided bombs, cruise missiles, helicopters and aerodynes, and fast jets (at crossing speeds up to Mach 2.5) over the battlefield.
The electro-optic system is mounted on a twin-axis stabilised gimballed turret on the vehicle's roof and contains a passive multispectral infra-red search and track (IRST) suite with a detection range of 18 km. It can be used for passive surveillance, tracking and classifying low-level targets, and can cue or receive cues from the fire control radar. The IRST suite comprises a video auto-tracker (with computer-aided optical tracking against evasive highly manoeuvring targets) and continuous-zoom day TV; two thermal channels (a 3-to-5-micron (mid-wave) indium antimonide (InSb) and 8-to-12-micron (long-wave) indium gallium arsenide/indium phosphide (InGaAs/InP) photodiode array (PDA) uncooled microbolometer detectors arranged in a two-dimensional staring focal plane array (FPA) that can see through weather and obscurants (rain, mist, dust, smoke, haze, etc), and track cool (stealthy) targets such as UAVs); a diode-pumped 1.54 μm wavelength ytterbium^erbium:glass-based Q-switched eye-safe laser rangefinder; a digital encoded 10.59 μm fast pulsed CO₂ laser with a range of 8 km using scanning optics to produce expanding patterns of laser spots as jam-resistant guidance beams for beam-riding missiles and laser-guided projectiles; and a geolocation suite using inertial 3-axis sensors and differential GPS receiver. The total package provides optronic fire-control and laser-ranging combined with radar cues to minimise deception by jammers, decoys and visual/IR smoke. A backup aiming system consists of a three-axis stabilized direct view optical panoramic day sight with dual (×3 or ×10) magnification on the turret roof using a rotating driven reticle sight.
Etoile Arcture Ground Forces
Royal Imbrinium Marine Corps
Armée de Terre
Grand Imperial Army
Crown Army of Anemos Major
Armata Terrestre da Nangue
Marshite Holy Warriors
Marshite First Rank Militia
Military vehicles of Etoile Arcture
Armoured fighting vehicles
Armoured personnel carriers
M34A3 Hoplite Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle - M65CA7 Talon+ Infantry Fighting Vehicle - M344 Wolverine Armoured Personnel Carrier
M96 Light Utility Multi-Purpose Vehicle Mark 2 (LUMPS MK II) - M175 Ibex High Mobility Tactical Truck
Cerberus In-Theatre Area Air Defence System - M84 Argus Forward Area Air Defence System - Manticore C-RAMM (Counter Rocket, Artillery, Mortar and Missiles)
Engineering equipment & support vehicles
Guided missiles of Etoile Arcture
ASM-179A Damocles - AIM-221A Loki - AIM-222A Ambush