Military Review

Protection of ground combat equipment. Is there much armor?

22

Ground equipment operates on the battlefield, as saturated as possible with all types of weapons. This significantly distinguishes it from fighting on the water, under water and in the air. The main difference is that on the ground, military equipment can work with bullets, shells, missiles and mines of a huge range of calibers: from 5,45 mm to 203 mm. At the same time, the number of types of ammunition with which aircraft, ships and submarines can be attacked is less by an order of magnitude. And the distance from which this or that is applied on planes, ships and submarines weapon, significantly more, which gives them time to make a decision and respond.


All of the above makes armor an integral element of ground equipment. The only question is what should be the optimal level of reservation: the ratio of the mass of the armor to the mass of the remaining elements of the equipment and its distribution on the hull.

Armored protection


During its existence, armor protection has continuously evolved: cast armor, rolled armor, heterogeneous steel armor from welded sheets of different hardness.

In parallel, the means of destruction developed (often at a faster pace). A serious challenge for the creators of armored protection was the appearance of cumulative warheads. A distinctive feature of the cumulative warheads is that they can be installed in fairly compact and inexpensive weapons that can be placed on all types of carriers, starting with the ordinary infantryman.

Protection of ground combat equipment. Is there much armor?

The RPG-7 hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher and its analogues have become one of the most terrible threats to armored vehicles, especially in mountainous and wooded areas or in battles in settlements

A definite breakthrough can be considered the appearance of composite armor, including, in addition to armor steels, fillers from various non-metallic materials: reinforced fabrics, fiberglass, porcelain, armored ceramics.


Section of the tower tank T-64A with ceramic balls (left) and the towers of the T-80UD tanks in versions with molded cellular blocks filled with polymer (in the center) and a ceramic-metal bag (right)

Dynamic protection


Another breakthrough can be considered the emergence of dynamic defense (DZ), the principle of which is based on the destruction of the attacking ammunition or the cumulative stream due to the detonation of a small explosive charge, the initiation of which is carried out by the action of the attacking ammunition. Dynamic defense has become widespread on domestic combat vehicles.


Tank T-55AMV, equipped with blocks DZ


Block DZ in the context

The appearance of DZ forced the developers of anti-tank weapons to increase the diameter of the cumulative funnel, to equip the products with one or two leading cumulative precharges designed to destroy dynamic defense units.


The anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) of the Kornet anti-tank missile system (ATGM) is equipped with a tandem cumulative charge

If the first samples of dynamic protection could only withstand cumulative charges, then the latest samples, such as the Dynamic Relic installed on the main battle tanks (MBT) of the T-90 series, or the Dynamic Malachite protection installed on armored vehicles of the Armata platform ", Are able to protect armored vehicles from armor-piercing feathered subcaliber shells (BOPS), tandem cumulative charges, and the Malachite defense missile can withstand ammunition like" shock core ".


Ammunition of the type "shock core" is mainly designed to destroy armored vehicles in the upper projection


DZ "Malachite" of the T-14 Armata tank must withstand almost all types of modern anti-tank weapons

Information about DM "Malachite" is not enough. There are versions that its design can be based on relatively conservative or advanced technical solutions. In the first case, the design of the DZ "Malachite" is based on improved solutions implemented in the DZ "Relic": sequential firing towards the attacking ammunition of the armored cover of the DZ module and the damper plate. This allows you to break the cumulative stream, bend or break the BOPS.

In the second version, the Malakhit DZ can be implemented as part of the Afganit active defense complex (KAZ), also installed on machines of the Armata family. In this case, the DZ becomes “intellectual armor”: the DZ block is triggered well in advance, even before the attacking ammunition is hit, according to the radar station (radar) of the Afganit complex.

It is also possible to implement the DM “Malachite” by the type of electrodynamic protection, a patent for which is available at the NII Steel. In this case, the detection of an approaching projectile or missile is carried out by built-in inductors by changing the magnetic field strength from the metal contained in the structure of the attacking ammunition. The advantage of this solution is the independence of the DZ operation from the KAZ Afganit radar, which can be damaged by enemy fire, as well as the possibility of destroying the attacking ammunition at a distance of about 200-400 mm from the hull, even before they hit the protected object.

Separately, one can mention such a type of dynamic defense as the Ukrainian DZ “Knife” or its improved version of the DZ “Duplet”. At the heart of the Knife DZ are elongated cumulative charges located in rows in the case, perpendicular to the approach direction of the attacking ammunition. The cumulative elements of the Knife DZ are interconnected by additional charges in such a way that the operation of one of the elongated cumulative charges in the block due to the attack of ammunition causes the detonation of the remaining elongated cumulative charges in the block. Elongated charges fire sequentially, destroying and deflecting the attacking ammunition.


DZ module with elongated cumulative charges and an image of the principle of operation of the DZ type “Knife”

In DZ “Duplet”, dynamic defense modules are located in several layers, which can significantly increase the likelihood of destruction of the attacking ammunition.


DZ "Doublet"

Like so much more, история dynamic protection, based on the principle of elongated cumulative charges, begins in the USSR. However, after the collapse of the country, Russian and Ukrainian developers chose different development paths. Which solution will be more effective, time will tell. Meanwhile, it is possible that the best option would be to use combined solutions in which various types of dynamic protection would complement each other.

"Electric armor"


For promising models of armored vehicles, the creation of so-called electric armor is considered. One of the options is to throw the protective plate towards the attacking ammunition, as it can be supposed to be realized in the Malakhit DZ, only throwing should not be carried out by blowing up a small explosive charge, but due to the electrothermal effect on the throwing plate due to the evaporation of the polyethylene block powerful electric discharge, or the implementation of the expansion of protective plates using electromagnetic interaction.


The principle of operation of electromagnetic armor

Also considered is the option of the direct impact of a high voltage discharge, with an energy of the order of 10-20 kJ, on the cumulative jet or core of the BFPS, which should lead to their destruction.

A serious advantage of “electric armor” is the minimal secondary impact on the carrier, due to which such protection can be applied on light armored vehicles, as well as minimal impact on related objects, for example, infantry accompanying armored vehicles. The main problem of implementing this or that type of “electric armor” is the need to install a powerful source of electricity on armored vehicles, which is extremely difficult to implement on vehicles with a traditional power plant, but it is quite possible to promising electric propulsion platforms.

Armor Level


Recently, the question has been periodically raised of the allowable reduction in reservation, in connection with increasing ability to camouflage armored vehicles, as well as the introduction of highly effective promising KAZ. For example, for the XM1202 tank, developed as part of the FCS program, it was required to provide full protection against 30-mm and 45-mm cannon fire in the 60-degree sector from the front and circular protection against small arms fire up to 14,5 mm caliber, as well as fragments of 152/155 mm artillery shells. In fact, in terms of booking it is no longer a tank, but rather an armored personnel carrier.

Reducing the reservation to the level of the proposed tank XM1202, developed under the FCS program, is unacceptable. In this niche, there may be other equipment - light tanks of the domestic type 2C25 "Octopus-SD" or some kind of machine on the Kurganets platform, with enhanced weapons, but not the main tank.


BMP "Kurganets" may well become the basis of a light tank

If the tank holds only a caliber of up to 14,5 mm, then it turns out that it can be hit on board like existing ammunition caliber 23-35 mm, ammunition of increased power caliber 45-57 mm, which is now actively moving armored vehicles, and promising ammunition for small arms, which are now being developed even for promising sniper rifles. It is doubtful that any KAZ will be able to intercept a line of half-a-dozen shells with a caliber of 30 mm.

In the event of hostilities in an urban environment, a light tank is also doomed. Suppose KAZ can intercept 3-4 grenades fired from an RPG, but it cannot repel a dozen shots, and the newest tank will be destroyed by weapons more than half a century ago. Moreover, there are frequent cases when tanks of even an outdated model received a dozen hits from RPGs, and this did not lead to their destruction.

In the case of reducing the reservation of MBT, developers of anti-tank weapons will also be able to reduce their ammunition, which will lead to an increase in their portable / transportable ammunition. By analogy with the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile and cannon system (ZRPK) and the Gvozd small-sized anti-aircraft guided missiles (SAM) designed for it, deployed in four units instead of one standard missile, will there be anti-missile or RPGs with three or four simultaneously launched ammunition capable of overloading any KAZ? Actually, what can I say if the ATGM of reduced dimensions has already been created, well, or practically created. This is a complex of guided weapons “Bulat”, which is present as part of the updated module “Age”. It is easy to notice the difference in dimensions between the ATGM of the Kornet complex and the ATGM of the Bulat complex, which makes it possible to place at least twice the ammunition load of such ATGMs as part of the weapons module.


Promising SAM “Nail” for ZRPK “Shell”. According to the same principle, promising ATGMs and RPGs can be created in case of refusal of heavy armor on MBT


Model of the Bulat guided weapons complex

In addition, thin armor will not allow placing effective dynamic protection, it will simply break the side or the roof when triggered, and talking about "electric armor" is still premature.

We can conclude that armor for tanks and other heavy armored vehicles is needed. But what level of reservation can be considered sufficient?

Obviously, the main limitation here will remain the overall dimensions of the armored vehicles: the dimensions and weight permissible during transportation, which allow the transportation of armored vehicles by truck tractors, rail and aviationwhich should remain plus or minus at the level of existing machines. Accordingly, we can expect to maintain the current level of booking and, as a result, the security of promising armored vehicles. On the one hand, means of attack will develop, on the other hand, materials, layout schemes of armor will be improved, and promising solutions will be introduced.

Without the appearance of breakthrough solutions, without taking into account the introduction of KAZ, the balance of the projectile / armor is expected to remain approximately at the current level. For some time, the means of attack will prevail, for some time the means of defense. The question remains of the distribution of armor, which we can place on the body of armored vehicles.
Author:
Photos used:
btvt.info, btvt.narod.ru, warhead.su, popgun.ru
Articles from this series:
Fire support tanks, BMPT "Terminator" and the cycle of OODA John Boyd
Armored vehicles against infantry. Who is faster: a tank or infantry?
Increased situational awareness of armored combat vehicle crews
Ergonomics of workplaces and combat algorithms for promising armored vehicles
Unmanned systems for advanced armored vehicles
Fire support tanks, BMPT "Terminator" and the cycle of OODA John Boyd
Electric tank: prospects for the use of electric propulsion in ground combat equipment
Protecting ground combat equipment: take cover and dodge
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  1. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 26 June 2020 06: 32 New
    +6
    Well ... another article, on armored vehicles and armor, ... ... Of course, there is nothing new and revolutionary in it ... the article is a compilation of relevant articles over the past 20- 40 years old, but I'm not saying that this is bad! Any reader of VO will be able, without climbing all over the Internet, to get acquainted with the main theses of world tank building over the past decades! In addition, the Author can, based on this article, develop these ,, world theses ,,! For example, to describe in more detail the various concepts of the development of dynamic armor ... But only on ,, electromagnetic fields, ”you probably shouldn’t get stuck ... in the near future, this probably doesn’t threaten tanks ... And more ... for some reason, over the years, from article to article, wander, the same. ,, abstracts, about development concepts. ,, armor and armored vehicles ,,! At the same time, some very interesting ,, concepts ,, remain in the shadow! Yes ... some sentences look unusual and, even, funny ... but in them. ,,there is something,, ! As an example, disclosed, umbrellas, on the T-55 tanks. ... canopy screens on some Iraqi tanks (such as roofs, camouflage + protection against small-caliber cluster bombs ...) ... dynamic built-in screens that provide good protection against both cumulative and armor-piercing subcaliber ammunition (here it may come in handy, electromagnetic fields ,,!), built in the ,, interval ,, between the armored plates ,, mini-kazy, ...
  2. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 26 June 2020 07: 06 New
    +2
    1.The combination of cumulative elements of remote sensing ,, Knife ,, and ,, traditional ,, elements of remote sensing ,, Contact ,,, ,, Relic ,, This option has already been offered and for more than one year ... as is known from Ukrainian sources ... It is alleged, in the same place, that some of the T-64 tanks were equipped with various types of DZ elements! 2.The use of small-caliber anti-tank missiles ... These types of anti-tank missiles were developed at the end of the last century ... for example, a helicopter anti-tank missile system consisting of a lidar and 70-mm kinetic hypersonic anti-tank missiles ... 3. ,, Cassette ,, warhead anti-aircraft missiles ... Such already ,, coughs up ,,! For example, shelling a tank simultaneously from several grenade launchers ... launching two ,, cornet ,, guided by a single laser beam ... projects of PT-missiles with 2-3 SPBE, striking from the top .. and so on, etc. ... 4. It is inconceivable the further development of armored vehicles without ,, full-time ,, equipping it with KAZ ...
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 26 June 2020 07: 29 New
      +4
      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      The further development of armored vehicles is impossible without the full-time equipment of its KAZ ...

      Not KAZ, but an active defense system. Consisting of mutually integrated KAZ and KOEP.
      How they were going to do it, for example, in the German MUSS before the "economy" began.
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 26 June 2020 11: 49 New
        0
        Quote: Spade
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        The further development of armored vehicles is impossible without the full-time equipment of its KAZ ...

        Not KAZ, but an active defense system. Consisting of mutually integrated KAZ and KOEP

        I am not against the system, which is a combination of KAZ and KOEP ... But in practice there is also the use of only KOEP or only KAZ ... I believe that the “primary” is the active protection of objects and equipment! ,, Passive ,, protection, protection with electronic warfare - ,, secondary ,,; that is, in ,, assistants ,,! Or else ... active protection (with the use of, active, means ...) is the main and most effective form of protection of objects, equipment! ,, Hope ,, only on electronic warfare reduces the effectiveness of protection ... The kit, "Cape," is useful when armored vehicles, for example, are stealthily brought to the attack position ... Optoelectronic system, from a thermal imager and a laser spotlight ... ,, will be useful for the purposes of, “saving”, KAZ’s counter-ammunition ...! When, the tank tramples on the attack, boldly showing itself in full swing ... ,,; then KAZ is our everything (!) ... and the KOEP is on a catch,!
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 26 June 2020 13: 45 New
          0
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          I believe that, primary, active protection of objects, equipment! ,, Passive ,, protection, protection with electronic warfare - ,, secondary ,,; that is, in ,, assistants ,,

          For example, with MUSS, the KOEP sensors initially acted as an early warning system for KAZ. Giving a command to turn on the radar sensors in active mode

          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          Optoelectronic system, from a thermal imager and a laser spotlight.

          Everything is much more complicated there. The basis is a system of UV sensors capable of detecting RS in flight, detecting the launch site and determining the trajectory. It is supplemented by a laser radiation detection system.
          First, an attempt to deceive with a "jammer", then shooting the aerosol curtain. Well, the use of KAZ, if nothing happened, which, however, was not implemented, apparently from savings.
          1. georgiigennadievitch
            georgiigennadievitch 28 June 2020 13: 11 New
            0
            In fact, a tank on the battlefield has its own niche, and it is determined by its armament. It is by means of attack, but not by armor. This is a weapon of the front edge. A direct shot from a gun somewhere about 2 kilometers and an ATGM somewhere about 5 kilometers away. 6. Maybe more in modern tanks, but in our theater of operations it is unlikely that more will be needed due to the peculiarities of the relief, forests, buildings, etc. When fighting in dense buildings, it is even less. 5-7%. And all the methods of protection you have listed, plus the armor itself make such a tank prohibitively expensive. And if you consider that in addition to ground means, attack drones and helicopters and aircraft and artillery systems will also hit tanks from distances inaccessible to tank weapons with high-precision ammunition, then the lifespan of such an armored object on the battlefield will be small. So maybe “the game isn’t worth it?” This is what you need to think about when re-equipping ground forces. Without reliable fire destruction of air attack weapons and ground fire weapons of the enemy, even the best and most modern tanks will be just costly targets.
  3. sen
    sen 26 June 2020 07: 41 New
    +2
    Separately, one can mention such a type of dynamic defense as the Ukrainian DZ “Knife” or its improved version of the DZ “Duplet”
    .
    DZ “Knife” and “Duplet” provide a certain level of protection for tanks and the use of a 2-3-layer layout in DZ “Duplet” should lead to an increase in the effectiveness of the complex, primarily from cumulative weapons. However, this leads to a significant increase in the mass of the detonated explosives, which negatively affects the survivability of the complex itself, the equipment of the tank, and, of course, the crew. At the same time, the efficiency of this effect remains low, as with all remote sensing systems using explosives.
    https://www.arms-expo.ru/news/perspektivnye-razrabotki/dinamicheskaya-zashchita-duplet-put-v-tupik/
    1. Shopping Mall
      26 June 2020 07: 50 New
      +1
      Quote: sen
      Separately, one can mention such a type of dynamic defense as the Ukrainian DZ “Knife” or its improved version of the DZ “Duplet”
      .
      DZ “Knife” and “Duplet” provide a certain level of protection for tanks and the use of a 2-3-layer layout in DZ “Duplet” should lead to an increase in the effectiveness of the complex, primarily from cumulative weapons. However, this leads to a significant increase in the mass of the detonated explosives, which negatively affects the survivability of the complex itself, the equipment of the tank, and, of course, the crew. At the same time, the efficiency of this effect remains low, as with all remote sensing systems using explosives.


      On this occasion, Ukrainian developers are actively arguing, arguing that the mass of the blown up explosives is comparable to that in other types of remote sensing. Our developers, accordingly, argue the opposite (as you cited).
      1. Bad_gr
        Bad_gr 26 June 2020 23: 14 New
        +1
        The "knife" has a drawback that is not often remembered: it is effective in a small sector of angles at which it can resist a projectile. Because of what our (back in the USSR) DZ began to develop in a different direction.
  4. Per se.
    Per se. 26 June 2020 08: 44 New
    0
    Is there much armor?
    Probably, to begin with, it should be emphasized that armor is not an end in itself, that there is no invulnerable equipment, the fighting qualities of which are a complex concept. At one time, Admiral Popov said that ships are being built for guns, to some extent, this is true for a number of military equipment, such as tanks and self-propelled guns. The difference is that anti-fragmentation armor may be sufficient for self-propelled guns, while a tank needs more substantial protection, which, nevertheless, will be a compromise between defense and attack, defense and maneuverability.

    Protection of military equipment is definitely needed. Armor here is only part of this protection, which will mean the same maneuverability and smaller dimensions. Where a smaller area can be better protected, and where a smaller area will be a more difficult target for destruction, no matter what they say about homing missiles (besides them there will be gun shots of tank gunners and RPG shooters).

    Finally, speaking of protection and armor, one must understand that what is good for counter-guerrilla equipment in anti-terrorist operations will not necessarily be as good in other types of armed conflicts. What will be in demand in some types of combat may not be as successful in others, as well as in different geographic environments. Also, in addition to armor, you need to have well-trained crews, otherwise it will be, as in the saying, where for how long is the "glass horseradish" foolish? yourself worthy.
  5. Hermit21
    Hermit21 26 June 2020 09: 22 New
    +1
    It is doubtful that any KAZ will be able to intercept a line of half-a-dozen shells with a caliber of 30 mm.


    For small-caliber little things, when the SAZ is too wasteful to spend, so-called active materials
    1. Shopping Mall
      26 June 2020 09: 46 New
      0
      Quote: Hermit21
      It is doubtful that any KAZ will be able to intercept a line of half-a-dozen shells with a caliber of 30 mm.


      For small-caliber little things, when the SAZ is too wasteful to spend, so-called active materials


      What do you mean?
      1. Hermit21
        Hermit21 27 June 2020 10: 54 New
        +1
        At the end of the 90s, as a result of prospecting carried out by the Research Institute of Steel together with a number of institutes of the Academy of Sciences, the discovery of the effect of hyper-speed destruction of high-strength materials was recorded. Under certain conditions, high pressures and temperatures, some materials, including armored steels, begin to collapse at a rate commensurate with the rate of penetration of the shell into the armor. This effect has opened up completely new perspectives in the creation of the defense of military equipment. Even then, the first attempts were made to apply the discovery for practical purposes. However, more than 10 years passed before it began to produce concrete results.

        Based on the open phenomenon, a new armored vehicle protection system was developed and comprehensively tested. Numerous organizations took part in the implementation of this project, however, the Research Institute of Steel, IVTAN AN RF, the Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNII Experimental Physics (Sarov) and the KNIIM (Krasnoarmeysk) made the largest contribution.
  6. prodi
    prodi 26 June 2020 12: 42 New
    0
    it is possible that the main armor itself will undergo a transformation, while it has just moved from a simple canalized penetration to a change in the path of the channel, and the theoretical possibility of grabbing a penetrating projectile (by sides) remains
  7. Passing
    Passing 26 June 2020 12: 50 New
    +4
    A chaotic article, at first glance, nothing, but, suddenly, discovered a new nuance, so to speak, that with the relief of armor, which supposedly allows the implementation of KAZ, the number of shells arriving at the armor and capable of penetrating it increases sharply ... and KAZ become meaningless because it is incapable of reflecting so much in principle. It seems to be an obvious idea, but most of the point blank is not noticed.
    1. vVvAD
      vVvAD 26 June 2020 22: 24 New
      0
      Well, why not point blank? As you noted, the idea is obvious, why discuss it?
      It is clear that KAZ is not able to completely replace heavy armor, at least due to the fact that it may not be able to destroy the incoming PSU completely. This effect will be enough to prevent the penetration of tank armor, but with everything else it's sad. And, yes, unlike DZ, it’s very difficult to get exactly where it’s penetrated, a small supply of warhead KAZ allows you to counteract a limited number of attacks of a certain kind from each of the covered angles. Because only in the complex.
    2. Grazdanin
      Grazdanin 27 June 2020 10: 02 New
      -2
      The described situation is possible with damaged equipment or crew. Naturally, after the first hits there will be a response, either to leave or to suppress with fire. An attack on the field shouting "Hurray" is unlikely now. Decreasing armor increases mobility. I watched Clooney’s interview, noted that the purpose of the BTR 2 is dangerous precisely because of its mobility and rapid-fire guns, for him the target of a T64 / 72 tank is much simpler and safer. Any stories about "KAZ will be able to intercept 3-4 grenades fired from RPGs" you first release, look at you, go up to a distance of less than 100 meters, take aim, shoot, leave after that. As if this armored vehicle is alone, it will not shoot, and even the grenade will not reach, fire will already be opened in your direction. “Any KAZ will be able to intercept a queue of half a dozen or a dozen shells with a caliber of 30 mm”, more than one modern MBT will not withstand a line of armor-piercing 30 mm into the side and rear. It is foolish to consider the trend of decreasing armor, just because of the development of KAZ. Tactics are developing, battle conditions are changing, a huge amount of electronics are appearing. This article is not about anything. They took narrowed the number of variables to "means of defeat, KAZ, armor."
  8. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 26 June 2020 12: 52 New
    +2
    Mdya ... It's time to invent some kind of force field. Unfortunately, this does not have to wait. Under existing conditions, the question arises - is it worth it? The cost of defense and attack in a modern tank battle is such that both sides of the conflict will be busted to the ground, regardless of whether they won or lost. The winner will no longer have enough money for diesel fuel to get to the cities of the vanquished, and by that time there will be absolutely nothing to take there, because the beloved military-industrial complex will leave everyone without pants, not like without apartments or personal cars.
    We can no longer afford modern wars. Not without reason, the United States simply abandoned its tank program. Even the printer does not cope.
  9. Morzh Redkovich Borschitsky
    Morzh Redkovich Borschitsky 26 June 2020 16: 42 New
    0
    Abandon steel and generally heavy metals in the composition of armor, and make armor of beryllium oxide and nitride in different phase states.
    1. Kerensky
      Kerensky 28 June 2020 16: 29 New
      +2
      make armor from beryllium oxide and nitride in different phase states.

      Here amused from the heart! Well, of course, the crew is disposable (berryliosis, proton is vibrant!). But about phase states they were unsuccessful .. We fasten the nitrogen group to beryllium, transfer everything to the plasma and here it is - perfect armor!
  10. Professor
    Professor 27 June 2020 08: 23 New
    -1
    In the first case, the design of DZ "Malachite" is based on improved solutions implemented in DZ "Relic": sequential firing towards the attacking ammunition of the armored cover of the DZ module and the damper plate. This allows you to break the cumulative stream, bend or break the BOPS.

    Yeah. Break or bend BOPS. You can write anything. No wonder there is no evidence of protection against BOPS.
    1. Kerensky
      Kerensky 28 June 2020 16: 32 New
      0
      Break or bend BOPS.

      Possibly. I personally saw how one of my, um, comrade tried to hammer them into logs with a sledgehammer. Almost happened ....