Tencate has developed lightweight wheel arch protection that will give the Panhard PVP protection conforming to 2a Level
Protecting the crew from detonation on mines or roadside bombs entails much more than just protecting the hull of a car pierced by shrapnel or burned by a melted stream of shaped charge. Even if the body of the car remains intact, the acceleration that the human body must sustain in the event of a blast from below can have fatal consequences.
Contrary to popular belief, the most important point is not only in the explosion itself. In fact, a higher probability of loss occurs after the victim is thrown into the air by an explosion when the car falls to the ground, which is often called “tossing”.
In addition, another major danger is represented by “secondary projectiles” in the form of objects that are in the habitable compartment and fly around freely when detonation occurs. Not only is the human spine at risk, but also the neck and legs. The table included in the article shows the limitations imposed by the Stanag 4569 standard.
According to Stanag, the levels of mine protection are determined by a number indicating the mass of the explosive and the letter “a” indicating the mass of the explosive ”under the wheel,“ b ”under the bottom of the machine (a much more dangerous situation); six, eight and ten kg of explosive equivalent, which corresponds to the levels of 2, 3 and 4. As a rule, an approximate calculation (exceptions only confirm the rules) shows that 7,5 tons of vehicles usually have 2a / b protection level, 11 – 12 tons of 3a / b and 15-ton machines are above 4a / b.
Blast wave dispersion is proportional to the third degree of the distance between the mine and the bottom of the machine; this means that the distance of the blast energy decreases by a factor of eight. This shows how very difficult it is to protect a light car with low ground clearance compared to heavier and higher cars.
The standard solution adopted by most designers of machines is a V-shaped bottom, which, at an angle of about 20 °, reflects the energy of the blast wave. Not only does this increase the resistance of the bottom of the machine compared to the flat form, but it also reduces the acceleration caused by an explosion under the floor. The standard constructive technique is the maximum possible rapid and volumetric "purging" of the blast wave and, therefore, minimizing the energy transfer to the crew compartment.
Similarly, the wheels and / or hubs should be designed to separate in the event of a mine exploding, and its wheel arch and wing should help to release the maximum amount of blast energy under the entire structure. The front axle should also be pushed as far forward as possible.
Another decision made on some machines is to separate the chassis and the habitable compartment, for example, the Ocelot 7,5-tonne machine from Force Protection Europe, for which the 3b anti-mine level is claimed. The BAE Sysems RG41 also has an internal body that is connected to an external one by means of elastic ties. As for the 12-tonne Nexter Aravis and the declared level of protection 4b, its ground clearance gives it a level of protection that is higher than that of machines of the same mass class.
Israeli company Rafael has developed protection solutions for Universal Engineering Ranger 6x6
IBD Deisenroth has developed new armor solutions that provide a significant increase in the levels of protection of light armored vehicles, for example, Iveco LMV
In addition to the aforementioned general design rules, armor solutions, which guarantee the integrity of the bottom and sides of the machine at the bottom, will certainly come into play. Numerous companies have developed armor solutions specifically to protect vehicles from mines explosions, their goal is to stop the kinetic or chemical energy, as well as absorb it as much as possible.
The German company IBD Deisenroth provides numerous car manufacturers with armor solutions, which for the bottom of the car consist of neutralizing mines and IEDs, and may include a combination of these technologies. The concept of this company AMAP (Advanced Modular Armor Protection - advanced modular armor protection) includes numerous products and technologies. For example, the protection obtained by combining the Amap-M, Amap-IED, Amap-B and Amap-SC technologies, respectively, against mines, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), ballistic and cumulative attacks; These solutions provide solutions tailored to the diverse needs of customers.
With the fourth generation of its products, IBD has moved into the field of nanomaterials. At the same protection levels, the mass of nanoceramics is approximately 30% less; similar figures also apply to high-strength nitrogenous nanometric steel when compared with conventional armored steel. Progress in aluminum-titanium alloys improved their ballistic properties and in this respect brought them closer to the ballistic properties of ceramics, providing cost-effective armor solutions.
The Swiss company Ruag has developed a number of mine action solutions, including Minepro armor plates, which were adopted to enhance the protection of the Leopard 2 MBT
Numerous car manufacturers began to create their own seats, softening the effect of the blast wave, in the photo as an example the new seat installed in the Iveco LMV
These new materials were shown at Eurosatory 2014 on Iveco LMV, which increased its ballistic protection to the 4 level and its mine bottom protection and under the wheel, respectively, to the 2b / 3b Level and 3a / 4a Level. IBD provides armor solutions for Iveco, Renault, Patria, Rheinmetall and other manufacturers of military equipment.
The latest armor products from the Israeli company Plasan Sasa are based on composite materials; This company creates innovative solutions in the field of aluminum alloys, as well as the concept of multi-level explosion control. These technologies were used for additional booking kits for the MTVR truck from Oshkosh Defense and include composite metal armor sets to protect against kinetic energy and the effects of fragmentation and a special mine protection kit.
Another major program concerns Mrap categories I and II machines from Navistar; according to her, the concept of the “complete hull” made it possible in parallel to produce armor sets in different factories and, therefore, quickly deliver thousands of sets. This experience has proven its worth in the production of over 8000 armored kits for the Oshkosh M-ATV.
Seats from Vital Seating Systems include a system for maintaining the blood circulation of personnel who remain seated for a long time.
French Panhard PVP in Afghanistan. Most of these cars were additionally booked by Tencate with the prospect of further upgrades.
Energy absorbing seats in the AMPV car from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann-Rheinmetall
In addition to its solutions for the Israeli army, Plasan Sasa also participates in other foreign programs, such as the Australian Hawkei. This is a Thales Australia offer for the Land 121 program. The 3 Stage, for which Plasan Sasa provides intelligent armor technology that includes steel alloys, aramid fibers for internal anti-splinter pads, and ceramic embossed armor to provide easy, multi-shock protection against high-performance armor piercing ammunition.
The blast protection is built into the hull and the whole drive and chassis system has been packaged to simplify and optimize the blast control system. For air transport, the Hawkei kit is removed and installed again in 30 minutes by two people, which allows you to reconfigure the machine according to the threat level.
Tencate, a specialist in composite materials including fibrous and ceramic materials, offers its anti-mine solutions Armourtex BL to improve the integrity of weaker areas. They allow minimizing the deflection of the bottom and sides of the machine with increased resistance to mine fragments.
Designed for installation on existing machines, the Armourtex BL system can be incorporated into the design of the machine at the design stage. The armor solution from Tencate was made by Panhard for the Petit Vehicule Protege (PVP), which is in service with the French army. For the PVP machine, it provided the 2a Protection Level (see the first photo). Armourtex BL was adopted to enhance wheel arch protection with an increase in the mass of the entire 21 kg per niche. Currently, there is a program to increase the protection of the bottom of the PVP to the Level 2b.
Tencate focuses on upgrading light vehicle protection solutions and allows armies to operate their vehicles in high-risk areas. Tencate will soon begin a program for the general defense of the VAB machine of the French army; At the Idex 2013 trade show in Abu Dhabi, the company showed Armourtex BR, which is an effective defense against “shock core” charges.
Armorworks has developed the patented Shockride system, which has no moving parts and allows you to adapt it to the amount of load in accordance with customer requirements.
Energy-absorbing seats with Blastech technology from Jankel. Jankel seats are widely recognized in Britain and overseas and are offered for some competing JLTV machines. The company's product line includes a bottom-mounted seat for supply vehicles and aft seat for combat vehicles; headrests and armrests become standard solutions
Ruag Land Systems has developed a lightweight, easy-to-install, resistant to explosions and projectiles such as a “shock core” armor plate with an intermediate floor, including dynamic retention sleeves for torsion shafts that protect the machine and its crew. Minepro provides the highest levels of protection available for tracked vehicles from high-explosive and shell-forming charges (impact core). This technology has been selected by many armies to protect newly developed combat vehicles.
In accordance with the call to upgrade the car in order to ensure the highest safety priority of its crew, Ruag also remodels all the internal equipment, including the installation of modern seats. With its experience in protection, modern modeling, with well-equipped laboratories and ground test sites, the Swiss company can create and test comprehensive mine action concepts for all types of vehicles.
The Israeli company Rafael worked on many Israeli and foreign machines, both at the stages of creation, and taking part in modernization programs. The company has invested a lot of money in understanding the most dangerous characteristics of mines, roadside bombs and charges of the “shock core” type.
The experience gained in numerous programs for booking and upgrading Mrap cars was used in the Ranger machine manufactured by Universal Engineering, which was shown at the DSEI 2011 exhibition as an 19-ton 8xXNNXX version. Rafael was responsible for the design of the crew capsule, which has a unique solution to prevent the penetration of the blast wave into the capsule through the steering wheel column, the seats were also modified by the manufacturer according to the Rafael specifications and the special mounting of the internal equipment.
Additional reservations can be made at the request of the customer, Rafael guarantees mine protection that far exceeds the standards of Stanag, while the machine can withstand an explosion under the bottom two or three times more powerful than the one expected under detonation corresponding to the 4 Level. The booking kit includes all types of materials, from ceramics to fiber materials and steel, the latter being specially manufactured to Rafael specifications.
According to the Israeli company, all the booking kits supplied by Rafael to various consumers in recent years have proven to be effective on various battlefields.
BMI specializes in machine gun mountings and mountings as part of the Gunners Protection Package, designed for Mrap machines. BMI's arrow protection seats guarantee energy absorption and prevent the shooter from being thrown out of the car in the event of a rollover.
Sitting in limbo
The key component of eliminating the effects of acceleration on the human body caused by the explosion of a mine is the seat. Energy-absorbing seats are becoming standard in armored vehicles; Various decisions were made to reduce the effects of acceleration on those sitting inside the car.
In order to maximize the flexibility of the seat manufacturers offer fixing solutions to the bottom, sides and roof, although the latest cars usually have seats attached to the roof or sides; some manufacturers even prefer to avoid any tight connection to the chassis. Detaching the feet from the bottom is a solution that is becoming standard in order to reduce the number of injuries to the legs, while more and more head restraints are equipped with side airbags to minimize lateral movements. Multipoint quick-release fastening systems have also become standard.