General Dynamics’ new modular armour system for the British Army’s Specialist Vehicle family meets demanding STANAG – NATO Stardardisation Agreement – levels for mine protection, the company announced.
Following a series of blast trials conducted at Otterburn ranges in Northumberland, the design has proven it increases the level of protection and survivability above current standards, protecting the crew compartment from being penetrated by the latest IEDs, thereby meeting the MoD’s conditions.
It can also protect occupants from bomblets dropped from overhead and certain rocket propelled grenades such as tandem-charge high explosive anti-tank rockets.
The commonality of the armour system across the SV family is expected to help reduce the British Army’s logistics footprint and costs in this area.
Live firing trials took place in November 2011, witnessed by representatives of General Dynamics UK, UK MoD and the British Army. The system was tested against two types of IED projectiles, creating very different failure mechanisms in vehicle armour. A total of 36 shots of both threat types were fired at the armour system.
In addition to the live firing trials, design assurance testing was conducted throughout the second half of 2011 in order to calibrate a predictive model for the design of the SV hull, with a further set of tests planned for the spring to confirm the design assumptions.
The SV modular armour system is the result of an R&D programme run jointly by General Dynamics UK’s armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) team in South Wales and the UK MoD.
Lessons learned during testing will feed into the final system build standard which will be fitted to six SV prototypes to confirm that the complete system will provide the optimum level of survivability.
Following these trials with the Army, the SV programme will move into the production phase.