"The UV detectors have already been installed both on the T-14 tank and on the T-15 IFV and are currently undergoing tests as part of the Afganit active protection system. We intend to complete the project by the end of the year," a source in the Defense Ministry who is familiar with the issue told Izvestia newspaper.
The new detectors trace the UV photons in the trail of ionized air left by a rocket-propelled projectile. The system doesn't just detect a rocket launch; it evaluates the projectile’s speed and trajectory, supplying the active protection system with all the data it requires to successfully intercept a threat.
According to the newspaper, the Afganit active protection system previously relied only on small radars installed on four sides of a vehicle to detect incoming projectiles. However, this radar system could theoretically be 'confused' by a large volley of shells, rockets and even fragments of debris flying around during a battle, or even suppressed by enemy electronic countermeasures. The addition of these new UV detectors, however, drastically improves Afganit’s efficiency, thus increasing a combat vehicle's chances of survival during fighting.