Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR September 2016 Contents as passive armour, generally comprising of a base
hull material made from either armoured steel or high
strength aluminium. This provides not only basic armour
protection, but also primarily to provide structural
strength to the vehicle.
This is bolstered by add-on armour, usually taking the
form of thick armour packages to prevent penetration
from various threats, and is usually attached to the
vehicle hull to provide the bulk of the armour protection.
Unfortunately, with the high (and continually
improving) penetrative ability of today’s threats, adding
increasing layers of material in an attempt to defeat
penetrators is a race the armour cannot win, for adding
more of it translates into a corresponding increase
in vehicle weight which will in turn negatively impact
mobility and payload. Furthermore, there are limitations
on the extent to which pure passive solutions can meet
the survivability requirements.
So until the mythical Unobtainium than can provide
armour protection without having to pay a corresponding
penalty in weight is discovered, the challenge facing
modern armoured vehicle manufacturers is to design
a vehicle that can withstand these threats, leveraging
modern technology to enhance vehicle survivability on
the modern battlefield.
These come in the form of hard or soft-kill active
active protection systems that can be autonomously
triggered when an incoming projectile is detected,
reactive armour that reacts to reduce the damage done
to the vehicle being protected when hit by a projectile
or sensors and warning devices to alert the crew when
they are being targeted.
LAND 400 PHASE 2: PROTECTION
FIRST AND FOREMOST
It is no secret that Land 400 Phase 2 Mounted
Combat Reconnaissance Capability, which seeks to
deliver 225 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs)
and other sub-variants to the Army to replace its
venerable ASLAVs, has emphasised a highly survivable
vehicle with tough requirements on armour protection.
This is due in no small part to the Army’s experience
in Iraq and Afghanistan, where a number of Australian
casualties resulted from ASLAVs and other vehicles
being hit by IEDs.
While the specific protection requirements weren’t
public, judging from the media briefings held by the four
bidders the overall vehicle must meet STANAG 4569
Level 4a/4b requirements in terms of protection against
kinetic projectiles, artillery, mines, and IEDs.
In addition, the winner of the program, which has
recently selected the Rheinmetall Boxer and BAE
Systems Australia with the Patria AMV35 out of the
four original bidders to take part in Risk Mitigation
Activities, will be required to meet STANAG 4569 Level
6 protection standards against kinetic projectiles on
critical areas, including the frontal arc.
For Land 400 Phase 2, even the traditional definition
of “frontal arc” for Level 6 protection has been tightened,
with the requirement now being an arc of 30° left and
right as the minimum protection level and 90° left and
right at best. What this means is that at 90° even the
turret and hull flanks need to be covered under Level 6.
So what exactly is STANAG 4569? NATO Allied
Engineering Publication (AEP) 55 STANAG 4569
is a NATO Standardization Agreement defining the
standards for the "Protection Levels for Occupants of
Logistic and Light Armoured Vehicles". The standard
covers strikes from Kinetic Energy, artillery, and IED
blasts and is divided into six increasingly challenging
protection levels, based on a 90% probability of
providing protection to the vehicle’s occupants against
a given threat.
STANAG 4569 Level 1 stipulates that a compliant
vehicle must be able to withstand NATO 7.62mm x
51 and 5.56mm x 45 ball ammunition fired at no less
than 30 metres (98 feet) distance. It must also be
able to protect against hand grenades, unexploded
artillery fragmenting submunitions, and other small
anti personnel explosive devices detonated anywhere
under the vehicle and also against a 155mm artillery
shell bursting at 100m (328 ft) distant.
At Level 4, protection level requirements will have
increased exponentially, with the vehicle now needing
to be able to withstand hits from a 14.5mm (0.57in)
heavy machine gun such as the Russian KPV firing
Armour Piercing (AP) ammunition from a distance of
200m (656 ft) away and withstand a 155mm shell
bursting 25m (82 ft) away.
Protection against a Blast Mine threat at this level
is split into Level 4a and 4b. 4a requires that the
occupants will be protected against an anti-tank mine
explosion containing 10 kg (22 lb) of explosive mass
pressure activated under any wheel or track location,
while 4b requires survivability against a similar mine
detonated under the belly of the vehicle.
Taking up protection levels another couple of
notches brings us to Level 6, which focuses solely on
protection against kinetic and artillery attacks. Level
6 required the vehicle to be protected from 30mm
(1.18in) automatic cannon firing Armour Piercing (AP)
or Armour Piercing, Fin-Stabilised, Discarding Sabot
(APFSDS) ammunition from a distance of 500m
(1640.4 ft) away and withstand a 155mm shell bursting
10m (33 ft) away.
These exceptionally tough protection requirements
will probably mean that the E35 turret being offered
by BAE Systems for Land 400 Phase 2 will need
to be uparmoured. One possible solution would be
the Rheinmetall Chempro (formerly IBD Deisenroth)
Advanced Modular Armor Protection-B (AMAP-B)
add-on armour that has been fitted onto Norway’s
CV9030 Reconnaissance Vehicles, which use the
same turret as the AMV35.
According to Rheinmetal-Chempro, the AMAP-B
provides ballistic protection against all types of
projectiles of up to STANAG 4569 Level 4, and can
attain up to Level 6 protection depending on the
protection level of the base armour. Made out of steel
armour and ceramic composite products, the company
says AMAP-B is able to absorb multiple hits, delivering
excellent survivability as well as reduced weight.
A relatively new development, yet one which has made
tremendous strides over the past decade or so in the
field of armoured vehicle defence as the technology
improves has been that of the Active Protection System.
These are systems designed to prevent line-of-sight
guided anti-tank missiles or projectiles from acquiring
and/or destroying their targets, and is generally split
BAE Systems AMV35
Credit: BAE Systems
Despite great advances in metallurgy and materials technology
over the past couple of decades, the design triangle of mobility,
payload and protection still exists
Unfortunately, with the high (and continually improving) penetrative
ability of today’s threats, adding increasing layers of material in an
attempt to defeat penetrators is a race the armour cannot win, for
adding more of it translates into a corresponding increase in vehicle
weight which will in turn negatively impact mobility and payload.
Asia Pacific Defence Reporter SEPT 2016 21
25/08/2016 6:22 PM
Links Archive APDR July-Aug 2016 APDR October 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page