Armed Forces International News - March 2010

Electrified Vehicle Armour Could Deflect Weapons

Posted by Armed Forces International Technology Analyst on 22/03/2010 - 10:45:00

UK researchers are working on new vehicle armour technology. Image depicts a Challenger 2 tank.

UK-based military researchers are working on new armour technology with the ability to deflect incoming weapons away from tanks and other armoured vehicles, it has emerged.

The armour would create an electrical force-field around the object it encases, and therefore push gunfire, rockets and other hostile objects away.

Armoured Vehicles: Electromagnetic Field

A specialised research division of the Mod (Ministry of Defence) has announced that, in the future, armoured vehicles, including tanks, could viably include so-called ‘supercapacitors’, transforming them into something close to a large-scale battery.

Upon detection of an incoming threat, the supercapacitor’s stored energy would assimilate around the edges of the vehicle, producing an impenetrable electromagnetic field.

The effect would last less than a second, but if synchronised in the right way, could stop weapons like grenades in their tracks. Once the attack was over, the supercapacitor could be recharged in preparation for the next attack.

Electrified Vehicle Armour

That’s the theory behind this new electrified vehicle armour technology, details of which were presented in a recent Daily Telegraph news item.

“The supercapacitor material can be charged up and then discharged in one powerful event to repel incoming fire”, Professor Bryn James of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – told the publication. He continued: ”You would think this would require huge amounts of energy, but we have found it can be done with surprisingly small amounts of electrical power.

“Conventional armour is just a lump of metal but an RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] round can punch through more than a foot of steel. Carrying around enough armour to protect against that is extremely heavy.

“The real advantage to the electric armour is how light it can be by comparison.”

Should this armour technology come to fruition, it could in turn usher in the advent of a wholly new type of weapon, with capabilities beyond those of present-generation rockets and grenades.

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