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Land Platforms

IBD unveils SMART PROTech active armour solution

06 July 2018
Computer-generated image showing an MBT with passive kit (blue) and SMART PROTech protection (red). Source: IBD Deisenroth Engineering

IBD Deisenroth Engineering (IBD) has disclosed development of a new active armour solution designed to protect main battle tanks and medium to heavy armoured fighting platforms against tandem warhead threats.

Modern anti-tank weapons – anti-tank rockets (ATRs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) – show penetration capabilities in the range of about 300 mm to 1400 mm rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). These high levels make it impossible to protect passive armour-equipped medium fighting platforms against these threat types. Even main battle tanks (MBTs) are difficult to protect in the upper range.

In addition, since MBTs must also be protected against large calibre kinetic energy (KE) rounds (120 mm/125 mm ammunition), the design of a polyvalent technology integrating efficient protection against both threat types, at an acceptable weight, has reached its limit, Michael Rust, Head of Marketing & Sales at IBD explained.

At present, two technologies have been designed to counter shaped-charge threats: Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), an increasingly acceptable solution applied to medium and heavy combat platforms where the impact of a threat on an ERA module triggers an explosive charge expelling steel plates to defeat the shaped charge jet; and Active Protection Systems (APS), which are designed in various configurations to defeat the threat before it hits the vehicle. Early warning sensors are distributed around the platform to detect and track an incoming threat, and a countermeasure is subsequently launched from a launcher or directly from the hull to destroy the warhead.

Both of the technologies have their disadvantages, said Rust. “Tandem Shaped Charges have been specifically developed to defeat ERA protection. A pre-charge triggers the ERA module, the following main charge hits an empty area and can easily penetrate the hull. ERA also has a high areal density. APS are more complex; all components – sensors, controllers, software, launchers, countermeasures (CMs), and power supply – require thorough integration with the platform, and harmonisation with the passive protection system,” he added.

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