Sunday, April 15, 2007

Army officials praise success of reactive armor

Above: 'Reactive' armor being installed on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The idea behind "reactive armor" is to blow up a roadside bomb or rocket propelled grenade just before it reaches the vehicle. The Israeli military pioneered the concept in the 1970's. The add-on armor on Bradley Fighting Vehicles consists of 105 tiles that attach to the sides, the turret and the front of each Bradley. Each tile has a small explosive charge that can destroy the warhead of an attacking missile or rocket.

Army officials credit their effort to install reactive armor on more armored vehicles with cutting the number of casualties from rocket-propelled grenades in Iraq. They also said the armor, which triggers a small explosion to fend off a larger one, has reduced the Army’s immediate need for active protection systems, which are intended to shoot down incoming weapons.

“The reactive armor and slat armor protection systems currently deployed contribute to the effectiveness of our current combat systems to defeat the RPG threat without the use of an active protection system,” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, the acquisition and systems management deputy to the assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology, told lawmakers in September.

Since U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in 2003, 148 U.S. soldiers have been killed by RPGs, including 10 who died inside armored vehicles, Sorenson told the lawmakers.

Read the rest at Army Times