The Army recognizes that the threat to armored vehicles can't be solved solely through improvements to or increases in passive armor
Rafael has provided protective systems to the Army for the past two decades, with its reactive and passive armor
being installed on fighting vehicles such as Bradleys, Strykers and AAV-7 assault amphibious vehicles, according to the company.
But Damon Walsh, executive vice president of Force Protection, says his company is working on "not just passive armor
systems to stop threats, but also more sophisticated active protection systems." In other words: "Don't just rely on armor, try and defeat the threat earlier before you get hit." Tony Russell, an executive with MRAP maker BAE, says his company, too, is looking for "ways to defeat and detect the threat before you even get to it." Jan 7, 2009
Reactive armor would be far superior to spaced armor, as would passive armor
like that developed for the M8 armored gun system.
Passive armor is made from a wondrous assortment of exotic and Semi-exotic materials -- and it is tough.
The catalog of modern passive armor includes an assortment of composite materials, also called layered, laminated or "Chobham" armor.
Johnson said the system's weight is due to the Army continually adding passive armor
and underbelly kits for urban environments.
Conventional passive armor
is out of the question if the Army wants to keep the weight of the vehicles at less than 20 tons.
Another issue is that trucks generally require small arms protection, in which case, said Aviram, "you are better off with passive armor
In contrast to passive armor
, which is designed to withstand a hit from a round, active protection systems are designed to sense the round and deflect or destroy it prior to penetration (using, for example, ejecting armor plates to alter trajectory) or defeat it in some manner after penetration.