by David Crane
defrev at gmail.com
June 27, 2007
Earlier this month (June 2007), we published an article on an ad hoc anti-EFP (Explosively Formed Projectile a.k.a. Explosively Formed Penetrator) armoring solution utilizing glass laminate armor (a.k.a. bullet-resistant glass a.k.a. transparent armor) to destabilize the EFP and redirect its kinetic energy laterally via "spiderwebbing" (glass shattering laterally and vertically). Since that article was published, a couple of new developments have come to light.
First, on June 07, 2007, Ceradyne Vehicle Armor Systems announced in a press release its teaming with Ideal Innovations, Inc (I3) to introduce a "High-Threat Vehicle" called the "Bull". The Bull’s armor is specifically designed to stop EFPs from penetrating into the crew compartment. Right now, Ceradyne and Ideal Innovations (I3) are…
keeping the Bull armor’s EFP-defeating mechanism a secret, however Defense Review is guessing (and this is pure conjecture at this point) that the armor system may involve a stand-off layer of armor with a space behind it. So, you’d have a space between the outer armor layer and the armored crew compartment. Again, this is pure speculation on our part, at this point. We have no confirmation/verification of this. They could also be staggering separated layers of steel or aluminum (or both) and ceramics (silicon carbide, boron carbide, etc.), and then spacing those away fromt he hull/crew compartment. Again, pure speculation.
The Bull High-Threat Vehicle a.k.a. Bull High-threat Armored Vehicle, according to Ceradyne, Inc., is intended to "complement the overall mission capabilities of the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) class of vehicles."
Then, just yesterday, on June 26, 2007, InsideDefense Magazine reported that the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has developed an anti-EFP vehicle armor kit (a.k.a. vehicular armor kit) designated "Fragmentation Kit 6" a.k.a. "Frag Kit 6". ARL spokesman David Davison says that the ARL researchers are staying tight-lipped about the operative technology due to concerns about OPSEC (operational security), and the fact that it’s currently classified. However, Frag Kit #6 is cited as only "one of a number of capabilities currently fielded" by Army Brig. Gen. Steve Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Resources and Sustainment at Multi-National Forces-Iraq.
There are apparently several variants of Frag Kit 6, including one for up-armored HMMWVs (a.k.a. up-armored Humvees) and MRAP vehicles. One reported negative aspect of the new armor kit is the added weight and width, which is as yet unspecified.
While the V-hull protects the bottom of MRAPs agains mines/IEDs, the Fragmentation Kit 6 will protect the sides and upper portions of the vehicles against this newer highly-penetrative anti-armor threat (EFPs). Frag Kit #6 apparently utilizes a layered armor approach where a combination of materials (metallic and ceramic armor, perhaps) work in concert to stop the Explosively Formed Penetrator. The goal of the kit is to essentially provide an "MRAP Explosively Formed Penetrator Total Defeat Capability."
Marc King, V.P. Armor Operations
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