Rheinmetall (Stand 09-A10, German Pavilion) is launching its new Hybrid Protection Module (HPM) here at IDEX, which combines active and passive technology.
This modular protection system can be installed on tracked and wheeled platforms to enhance their survivability against anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs) fitted with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. It is currently at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and is expected to be at TRL 8 in 18 to 24 months.
According to Rheinmetall, the new HPM enables an integrative approach: passive protection components simultaneously serve as an interface and shield for the components of the Active Defense System (ADS).
Conversely, the ADS components comprise ballistic functions and characteristics.
The specially harmonised bulkhead design features two layers. The first one is the external protection layer, which protects the ADS components against shell fragments, small arms fire and other sources of mechanical stress.
The ADS countermeasure component is embedded in the first protection plate from the outside. The deflector serves simultaneously as part of the first layer of protection, with the sensors of the system being contained in the space in between.
The company states that in the standalone mode, the complete module offers additional ballistic protection that significantly enhances the ballistic integrity of the vehicle hull. It is effective against the widely deployed rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), as well as anti-tank guided missiles fitted with a HEAT warhead.
In addition to being fitted to tracked and wheeled armoured fighting vehicles, the size of the HPM allows it to be installed on tactical vehicles due to its height of less than 150mm. In addition, the new modules can replace existing add-on protection elements either completely or in part.
A key feature of the HPM is its flexible design, allowing it to be readily adapted to meet individual customer requirements; Rheinmetall has already fabricated various prototype modules.
The company has successfully conducted rigorous ballistic trials of variously configured modules with RPGs and ATGWs.