pose a significant challenge to armor designers, since they
are less predictable in nature. Yet, advanced armoring concepts
are being fielded, offering improved protection against the
myriad of threats posed by an EFP, while reducing the total
weight of the armor. Several counter EFP armor materials have
been introduced recently. In the USA, PVI recently demonstrated
its ShieldAll as an
effective counter EFP material while Ceradyne introduced its
own counter EFP armor with its new Bull
armored vehicle. In Israel, RAFAEL is believed to have designed
and operationally deployed armor capable of countering EFPs,
According to the Golan armored
vehicle manufacturer, PVI, RAFAEL's EFP armor is also used
in its Golan vehicle, selected for the US MRAP program. IMI
is offering another counter EFP armor known as "Iron
Wall' in the new Urban Fighter up-armored M-113 program.
IMI built the new armor from hybrid, passive
modules, combining several materials designed to absorb the
kinetic energy, mechanical deformation and ballistic damage
created by the threat by mitigating and dissipating blast energy,
and absorbing the kinetic energy of projectiles, fragments and
EFP slugs, stopping multiple hits from small and medium caliber
projectiles which is equal to 45-up to 60 mm of Rolled Homogenous
Armor (RHA) while weighing half the weight of comparable steel.
Due As EFPs rapidly becoming a major threat in most theaters,
more companies are expected to field new defenses against this
shaped-charge threat poses a different risk. Triggered by percussion
fuze the conical warhead forms into a molten jet that can penetrate
thick steel armor. To protect against these, armor designers
employ various means to avoid contact with the incoming warhead.
The slat armor 'cage' provides a passive anti-RPG armor which
effectively keeps most RPGs away from the protected vehicle.
Reactive tiles provide similar protection by triggering a 'counter-explosive'
which disrupts the RPG's fuse, causing premature explosion or
deactivating it by smashing the ogive. Another concept is active
protection, utilizing various interceptors to eliminate the
threat at a safe distance. Active protection is considered the
only reliable protection from tandem warheads.
Protection against these weapons is much more complex, and requires
a mix of physical means, countermeasures and operational procedures.
While the US Army neglected its light vehicle armoring, other
armies did not follow opted to equip their vehicles with bullet-proof
protection. As the threat level increased in Afghanistan, mine
and IED protection had to be added to bring their units up-to-date
with the threats. The solutions were mostly similar to the US
choices, mostly focusing on the RG-31
and Cougar models for the
Canadian and British forces. Interestingly, the South African
companies that led this market are selling some vehicles to
civilian contractors but rarely to the militaries. South African
based OMG which produces the RG-31 MPVs and RG-33
MRAP models is now operated under BAE systems.
German and Italian Armies fielded several models of indigenously
developed mine protected vehicles. Among these are the lightweight
LMV and Dingo,
designed for command vehicles, liaison and patrols. The German
Army is saving no effort to protect its vehicles. Protected
cabins and command and control shelters are fitted to supply
trucks, heavy transporters, and light vehicles. Some models
were designed specifically for troop transport, including the
Dingo II from KMW, and future GEFAS
concept vehicle, developed by Rheinmetall Defense (RDE).
KMW is also developing a new mine protected vehicle designated
Grizzly, to address
the German Army requirements for highly protected vehicles.
The Australian Army uses the indigenously developed the Bushmaster
mine protected vehicle for troop transport and patrol duties.
This bullet-proof vehicle was designed to offer effective mine
protection, utilizing the V Hull design, while the slat armor
added in theater provides improved protection against RPGs.