Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR November 2010 Contents VEHICLE BALLISTIC PROTECTION
have been conducted since the summer of 2009, and in August 2010 the
vehicle underwent its 41st blast test, and according to the company, offers
protection levels for troops comparable to the Cougar family of MRAP
vehicles, which one the Vehicle and Soldier Survivability Award earlier this
During testing the Ocelot vehicle was submitted to simulated mine and
IED attacks and is reported to have demonstrated improved survivability
performance. Protection is garnered by the vehicle’s modular design,
which protects the occupants and also its critical components from mine
and blast threats, and enables rapid mission re-rolling. High protection
levels are balanced by the Ocelot’s exceptional cross-country mobility and
Armour plate processing company MTL Group has recently highlighted
their continued growth in the defence market. They unveiled a new
addition to their range at INDESEC 2010 in New Delhi, showcasing
their Interchangeable Modular Perforated Armour System (IMPAS)
and identifying India as a key market ‘in which MTL can provide a
high quality level of service while still being competitive’, according to
a company spokesperson.
IMPAS is a cost-effective alternative light weight solution to
composite and add-on armour, giving greater flexibility than standard
options due to it being suitable for both RHA and aluminium hulls.
According to the company the product can be quickly changed while in
service to meet various threat levels by replacing panel configurations.
MTL has invested heavily in unique equipment in order to drive
forward their service, such as the world’s largest robotic press which
enables the production of one large V shaped hull in one piece.
As well as blast armour, perforated armour and armoured aluminium,
MTL produces ballistic steel up to 600 HB and can supply cut, formed,
machined and fabricated components dependent on requirements,
at a thickness of up to 200 mm. Among others, their armoured plates
have been produced for armour upgrade kits for vehicles, ballistic
shields, armoured hull fabrications and vehicle manufacture plate
STRIKING A BALANCE
One of the leading developers of specialty armoured steel is Allegheny
Technologies Incorporated (ATI). Their ATI 500-MIL High Hard
Specialty Steel wrought Ni-Cr-Mo steel for armour plate was unveiled
at Eurosatory in 2008, and was designed to meet the US MIL-DTL-
46100E high-hard specifications for ballistic performance. According
to ATI, due to the processing practices used for the ATI 500-MIL steel,
the residual stress in low, and armour plates exhibit minimal distortion
after mechanical cutting, including thermal cutting.
One of the biggest challenges for ballistic protection technology is
striking a balance between protection and mobility, as vehicles need
to remain agile enough to be able to carry out operations across the
full spectrum of the battlefield. ATI has seen growing demand for
high performance specialty steel armour plate products designed to
meet the specific threats of combat, as the ATI 500-MIL lends itself to
excellent toughness relative to other high hard alloys resulting in good
blast properties at a low weight level. The product was selected for the
US Army’s Stryker Light Armoured Vehicles, which was the first major
legacy-vehicle military application for the specialty metal.
For the Stryker Carapace Armour Technology developed an add-on
kit known as the StrykShield. The StrykSheild is comprised of front and
side transparent armour windows that are mounted in a framework
built with the ATI 500-MIL high-hard armour steel, giving increased
visibility and situational awareness for the crew, while providing
full ballistic and blast protection, including armour-piercing round
threats. ATI is marketing the product internationally.
BAE Systems Vehicle Armor (VA) has its own in-house ballistic
testing facility. Credit: BAE Systems
An example of Scott’s transparent armour.
38 | Asia Pacific Defence Reporter
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