LONDON ó An electric "force field" for armored vehicles that vaporizes anti-tank grenades and shells on impact has been developed by scientists at
Britain's Ministry of Defense.
The "electric armor" has been developed in an attempt to make tanks and other armored vehicles lighter and less vulnerable to grenade launchers such
as those used by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.
It could be fitted to the light tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) that will replace the heavy Challenger II tanks and Warrior APCs in one of
the two British armored divisions.
The ubiquitous RPG-7, a rocket-propelled grenade, can be picked up for a mere $10 in many of the world's trouble spots and is capable of destroying a
tank and killing its crew.
When the grenade hits the tank, its "shaped-charge" warhead fires a jet of hot copper into the target at about 1,000 mph. It is capable of
penetrating more than a foot of conventional solid-steel armor.
The new electric armor is made up of a highly charged capacitor that is connected to two separate metal plates on the tank's exterior. The outer
plate, which is bulletproof and made from an unspecified alloy, is grounded, and the insulated inner plate is live.
The electric armor runs off the tank's power supply. When the tank commander feels he is in a dangerous area, he simply switches on the current to
the inner plate.
When the warhead fires its jet of molten copper, it penetrates both the outer plate and the insulation of the inner plate. This makes a connection,
and thousands of amps of electricity vaporize most of the molten copper. The rest of the copper is dispersed harmlessly against the vehicle's
Despite the high charge, the electrical load on the battery is no more than that caused by starting the engine on a cold morning.
In a recent demonstration of the electric armor for senior army officers, an APC protected by the new British system survived repeated attacks by
rocket-propelled grenades that would typically have destroyed it several times over. Many of the grenades were fired from point-blank range, but the
only damage to the APC was cosmetic. The vehicle was driven away under its own power.
Professor John Brown of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, which developed the "pulsed
power system," said it was attracting a lot of interest from both the British Defense Ministry and the Pentagon.
With the easy availability of RPG-7 rocket launchers, "it only takes one individual on, say, a rooftop in a village to cause major damage or destroy
passing armored vehicles," he said.
Link - www.washtimes.com...
CHALLENGER 2 MAIN BATTLE TANK, UNITED KINGDOM
Challenger 2 is an advanced main battle tank built by the UK company, Alvis Vickers Ltd (formerly Vickers Defence Systems). Challenger 2 is in
service with the British Army and with the Royal Army of Oman. The UK placed orders for 127 Challenger 2 tanks in 1991 and an additional 259 in 1994.
In 1993 Oman ordered 18 Challenger 2 tanks and an order for a further 20 tanks was placed in November 1997.
Challenger 2 entered service with the British Army in June 1998 and the last of the 386 tanks was delivered in April 2002. Deliveries for Oman were
completed in 2001. Challenger 2 has seen operational service in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Challenger 2E, the latest development model, has been designed for the export market and is suitable for harsh environmental and climactic conditions.
The 2E has been extensively trialled in Greece, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and a production version is expected by the end of 2002.
Challenger 2 is equipped with an L30, 120mm rifled tank gun from the Royal Ordnance division of BAE SYSTEMS. The gun is made from electro-slag refined
steel (ESR) and is insulated with a thermal sleeve. It is fitted with a muzzle reference system and fume extraction. The turret is capable of 360ƒ
rotation and the weapon elevation range is from -10ƒ to +20ƒ.
There is capacity for 50 120mm projectiles, including armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high explosive squash head (HESH) or
smoke rounds. The L30 gun can also fire the Depleted Uranium (DU) round with a stick charge propellant. With the DU round, the L30 is part of the
Charm 1 gun, charge and projectile system. A Charm 3 system is under development in which the DU projectile has a higher length to diameter aspect
ratio for increased penetration.
The gun control is provided by an all-electric gun control and stabilisation system from BAE SYSTEMS. Challenger 2 is also equipped with a Boeing
7.62mm chain gun, which is located to the left of the main tank gun. The loader has a 7.62mm GPMG L37A2 anti-air machine gun, mounted on the
The turret is protected with second generation Chobham armour. A nuclear, biological and chemical
(NBC) protection system is located in the turret bustle. On each side of the turret are five L8
smoke grenade dischargers, from Helio Mirror Company. Challenger 2 can also set a smoke screen by the injection of diesel fuel into the engine
FIRE CONTROL AND OBSERVATION
The digital fire control computer from Computing Devices Company (now General Dynamics ñ Canada) has capacity for additional systems, for example a
Battlefield Information Control System.
The commander has a panoramic VS 580-10 gyrostabilised sight from SAGEM (formerly SFIM Industries).
A laser rangefinder is incorporated into an intermediate assembly. Elevation range is +35ƒ to -35ƒ. The commander's station is equipped with eight
periscopes which provide 360ƒ vision.
The Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight II (TOGS II), from Thales (formerly Pilkington) Optronics, provides night vision. The sensor is based on UK
TICM 2 common modules. The thermal image, with magnification x 4 and x 11.5 is displayed in the gunner's and commander's sights and monitors. The
gunner has a Thales Optronics stabilised Gunner's Primary Sight, consisting of visual channel, 4Hz laser rangefinder and display. The laser
rangefinder has a range of 200m to 10km. The driver is equipped with an image-intensifying Passive Driving Periscope (PDP) from Thales Optronics, for
The Challenger 2 has a twelve-cylinder, 1,200hp Perkins Caterpillar CV12 diesel engine and a David Brown TN54 gearbox, with six forward and two
reverse gears. Second-generation Hydrogas suspension and hydraulic track tensioner are fitted. The maximum speed by road is 59km/h and 40km/h cross
country. The range is given as 450km by road and 250km cross country.
Challenger 2E has a new integrated weapon control and battlefield management system, which includes
a gyrostabilised panoramic SAGEM MVS 580 day/thermal sight for the commander and SAGEM SAVAN 15 gyrostabilised day/thermal sight for the gunner, both
with eyesafe laser rangefinder. This allows hunter/killer operations with a common engagement sequence. An optional servo-controlled overhead weapons
platform can be slaved to the commander's sight to allow operation independent from the turret.
The powerpack has been replaced with a new 1500 hp Europack with transversely mounted MTU 883 diesel engine coupled to Renk HSWL 295TM automatic
transmission. The smaller but more powerful engine allows more space for fuel storage, increasing the vehicleís range to 550km
Link - www.army-technology.com...
United Kingdom selects Raytheon-Lockheed Martin Javelin for Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system
LONDON (Jan. 23, 2002) -- The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence has selected the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture as the preferred
supplier for its Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system program.
The Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon is about a $459 million (£300 million) program that calls for a weapon to meet the British Armyís requirement
for a lightweight, medium-range anti-armor weapon system that will be in the inventory up to 2025.
The anti-armor program will supply the British Army with the latest man-portable, anti-tank weapon capability that can be used day or night. With a
range of 2,500 meters, using long-wave imaging infrared technology, it will allow for deployment by a single soldier within a confined space. The
Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system will enter service in 2005, replacing the British Armyís current Milan system for use by the Rapid
Reaction Forces, including the 16 Air Assault Brigade, the 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, and other British units. The Light Forces Anti-Tank
Guided Weapon system significantly enhances the firepower of light and mechanized infantry soldiers and enhances NATO interoperability.
Javelin meets all requirements for the Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system, including military-off-the-shelf procurement to minimize risk and
cost and 100 percent UK industrial participation. Javelin is a single, man-portable, ìfire and forgetî anti-armor weapon that is already in service
with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in operations around the world, as well as in Afghanistan with the Special Operations Forces of an undisclosed
nation. Javelin is also on order for the armed services of several other countries.
The selection of Javelin will mean a considerable boost to the UKís defence industry. Some 16 companies throughout the country have already been
selected to supply components up to sub-assembly level for the system. It is estimated that over 300 skilled jobs will be created or sustained by the
UK Javelin acquisition. The program will also entail leading edge technology transfer to some of these suppliers, including that for the advanced
seeker. In addition, UK companies will benefit through potential future buys of Javelin and its upgrades by the U.S. and other export customers.
ìJavelin will equip the United Kingdom light and mechanized infantry forces with the worldís premier
medium-range anti-tank capability,î said Col. John Weinzettle, the U.S. Army Close Combat Missile Systems (CCMS) project manager. ìJavelin ensures a
single British soldier or marine can defeat all known armored vehicles as well as conduct precision engagements of alternate targets such as bunkers,
buildings, low flying helicopters and watercraft.î
ìRaytheon, Lockheed Martin and all of our UK team members are very pleased that the UK government
has put its trust in us to deliver such an important capability to the British Army and Royal Marines,î said Michael Crisp, president, Javelin Joint
Venture. ìThe Javelin system is the worldís only validated medium range fire-and-forget anti-armor system. I look forward to working with our
world-class UK teammates to bring a combat proven, highly effective, low risk, value for money solution to the UK Armed Forces.î
ìThe United Kingdom conducted an exhaustive evaluation of all technical, schedule and cost aspects,î
said Howard Weaver, Javelin Joint Venture vice president. ìJavelin proved its high reliability and very low operational, logistic and whole life
costs. The Javelin Joint Venture, will provide the UK government the lowest-risk solution to meet its 2005 In-Service Date.î
Raytheon Company, which leads the joint venture, provides system engineering management and support
for the Javelin Joint Venture and produces the CLU, missile guidance electronic unit and system software. Work is performed primarily at Raytheon
Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., and at other Raytheon facilities in Texas, Massachusetts and California.
Lockheed Martin provides missile engineering and production support for the Javelin Joint Venture in
Orlando, Fla., produces the missile seeker in Ocala, Fla., and performs missile all-up-round assembly in Troy, Ala. With headquarters in Lexington,
Mass., Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is a global technology leader in defense, government and commercial electronics, and business and special mission
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a global enterprise principally engaged in research, design, development, manufacture
and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space aeronautics
and technology services.
Javelin has been selected by Lithuania, Jordan, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.
Raytheon Company leads the Javelin Joint Venture (60/40 percent).
Link - www.raytheon.com...