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Special Report

Next Generation Armour Protection Systems and Blast Attenuating Seats

Next Generation Armour and Blast Protection Systems Force Protection and Survivability: Top Priority in 2012 Blast Attenuating Seats: An Integral Part of Soldier Survivability Key Features in Force Protection Acquisition Armoured Against the Future?

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Published by Global Business Media


EXPERT IN SURVIVABILITYTM

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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Armour Protection Systems and Blast Attenuating Seats

SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Contents Foreword

Next Generation Armour and Blast Protection Systems Force Protection and Survivability: Top Priority in 2012 Blast Attenuating Seats: An Integral Part of Soldier Survivability Key Features in Force Protection Acquisition Armoured Against the Future?

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies

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Mary Dub, Editor

Next Generation Armour and Blast Protection Systems 3 Dr Lee, Research Scientist at ArmourWorks and Mr Ian Richards, Managing Director

Protecting Against Tomorrow’s Threats More Sophisticated Weapons Require More Sophisticated Protection Systems Protecting Against a Variety of Charges Personnel Protection – Weight versus Threat

Force Protection and Survivability: Top Priority in 2012 Software Helps Define Protection Systems for Ground Vehicles and Their Armour A Hybrid Armour Application Using Aluminium New Materials on Operation Cranfield University Developing Fibre Composites for the UK Ministry of Defence Jankel Presents Hot-Formed Armour

Blast Attenuating Seats: An Integral Part of Soldier Survivability Critical Analysis of Axes of Forces on the Body How is the Energy from the Impact Absorbed by the Seat? Stroking Mechanism in Energy Attenuating Seats The Relative Merits of Other Stroking Devices Second and Third Generation Seats

Key Features in Force Protection Acquisition

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

Staying at the Leading Edge of the Armament Market Using the Most Innovative Materials Available Integrating the Latest Armour Materials Early Winning the Contracts in the Civil Security Market BAE Contracts for ArmourWorks

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

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Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

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Mary Dub, Editor

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Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Armoured Against the Future?

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Mary Dub, Editor

IEDs – Threats of Today and Tomorrow? Dynamic Multi-Function Materials Disruptive Manufacturing Concepts to Drive Costs Down ArmourWorks New Coatings The New Generation of Armour Piercing Ammunitions Hindsight Leads to Foresight

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Foreword W

ar-fighters rely on their armour in the same

scientific analysis of energy attenuating seats. It traces

way that they rely on their buddies to stand

the development of technologies from the close

by them when battle intensity rises. In the same

appraisal of helicopter crashes during the Vietnam

way, the commander, gunner or crewmember in

War in the 1960s to the development of seating for

an MRAP vehicle in Afghanistan trusts implicitly in

MRAP ground vehicles in use in Afghanistan and

the engineering skills of the ground vehicle system

Iraq in the 21st century.

engineer to protect them when they drive over a

The third piece takes a revealing look at the history

roadside bomb. So the armour engineering industry

of the mechanics of energy attenuating seats

and the energy attenuating seat manufacturer has

and the way that innovative manufacturers

a vital role to play in delivering force protection.

have adopted a range of new techniques to

The war-fighter on operation in 2012, in south Asia

protect the war-fighter.

or on Responsibility to Protect Missions in civil

The impact of austerity cuts on the defence

war in the Middle East trusts the engineer to have

budget in the last two years is a familiar story,

analysed the impact of the blast and the following

yet enterprising armour manufacturers are developing

slam-down and the impact it has on the vehicle and

critical new technologies that are winning good

the human frame. The research engineers’ task is to

new contracts for the larger defence manufacturers

ensure that the armour delivers invulnerability not

like BAE.

just today against known weapons, but tomorrow against the weapons of the future.

As always, the last piece looks to the future. With the American presidential race on a knife-edge between

This Special Report opens with an article that

two candidates who have very different policies

looks at new developments in armour and blast

towards the defence industry, it is impossible to

protection systems and, in particular, systems which

make confident judgements. However, looking ahead

combine blast wave, fragmentation and ballistic

with educated hindsight, it would almost certainly

protection in the same panel. The aim is to afford

be a mistake not to predict a strong future for the

protection to contents and payload, and avoid injury

armour and energy attenuating seats industry. Force

to personnel, from large ground blasts created by

protection and the high value placed on the life of a

the more prolific and upscaled IEDs of the future.

soldier by the west will always drive a strong market

UK based Armourworks employ technologies

for new technologies to enhance the safety of the

that offer protection for armour and personnel against

soldier on operation.

a wide range of advanced weapons and guided missile systems. The second article looks at trends and developments in the armour protection field and the

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Next Generation Armour and Blast Protection Systems Dr Lee, Research Scientist at ArmourWorks and Mr Ian Richards, Managing Director.

A

rmour development is reflected historically by munitions development. Research in peacetime as well as during war has always seen each era of armour matched by specialised munitions to defeat it. The cycle continues. Perhaps, then, the future development of armour is best described by the expected advances in munitions and how this affects the future of armour. Armourworks will be developing systems with combined blast wave, fragmentation and ballistic protection in the same panel. This will allow simultaneous mitigation of all three threats with the combination of future single munitions, or permit sequential resistance to each type under coordinated integrated ambush attack designed to degrade conventional lightweight armour. By careful choice of materials, toughening mechanisms, energy management and geometries, ArmourWorks is anticipating and defeating multiple threats.

Protecting Against Tomorrow’s Threats

Conventional Attenuator

6D.O.F unit

Allows only one degree of freedom 1D.O.F

Allows energy and momentum

Single vertical motion

3 Linear motions XYZ

An important part of protection at ArmourWorks of threat combinations is the suppression of damage to contents and payload and injury to contained personnel, from large ground blasts created by the more prolific and upscaled IEDs of the future. Improvements to the ArmourWorks product range in blast energy attenuation regarding flooring and wall materials, at present meeting current battlefield requirements, are underway to defeat the blast threats of tomorrow. Advanced development work has begun to build multi-axis blast energy attenuators for blast energy attenuating vehicle seats, along with the research to support it, and will complement present ArmourWorks systems. These advanced attenuators are unique to ArmourWorks and absorb accelerations not only in the vertical plane, but also operate independently of stroke in any direction, thus suppressing side attacks, roll over and slam-down which limit conventional systems.

Dissipation in all 6 ranges of movements: 3 Angular motions PQR Single Unit, Multi-axis 6.D.0.F attenuator attached to seat.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

By careful choice of materials, toughening mechanisms, energy management and geometries, ArmourWorks is anticipating and defeating multiple threats.

More Sophisticated Weapons Require More Sophisticated Protection Systems With the advent of wide area coverage weapons such as thermobarics, FAX, and the purpose designed anti-vehicle napalm incendiaries of the future, sensible selections of coatings, resins, structural armour materials and their geometries are being developed to mitigate heat transfer and neutralise direct-to-contents attack on vehicle armour. The physical changes produced by materials during attack are well understood and exploited to our advantage. Increasingly sophisticated radiowave or laser illumination and weapon stabilisation will also appear for more accurate hits and closer shot spacing by smaller, lighter, longer-ranged guided missiles and stabilised gun mounts. Such improved target acquisition systems will be countered by managing the vehicle’s signature, ArmourWorks methods, using non-armour features, such as specialised paints, algorithm generated shapes, materials and active systems to diffuse, absorb, scatter and shift the frequency of such beams and avoid acquisition. As harder and heavier bullet cores become the norm in AP ammunition, particularly with greater use of larger and larger HMG calibres and autocannon shells, new constructions with new ceramics, metals, engineering polymers and geometries are presently being developed apace. ArmourWorks boasts fast turnaround time for current and future projects, as well as the capability to defeat closely spaced multi-hit hard-core and WC API, SLAP, APDS and APFSDS projectiles. Armourworks is unique in using management of energy and modes of stress to impede the progress of damage through the armour. As demand grows for heavy armour in the

future, such as tank armour, careful exploitation of materials, geometries, active and inert systems will be applied by ArmourWorks, all of which are resistant to perforation by long rod penetrators and segmented long rods.

Protecting Against a Variety of Charges The technologies ArmourWorks employ also simultaneously offer excellent suppression of shaped charges, to cope with the increasing prevalence of infantry unguided RPGs, as well as against advanced guided missiles combining shaped charges, blast and fragmentation units in a single warhead, along with the thermobaric heat soak and incendiary effects of the finely dispersed rocket fuel particles. Future munitions and tactics will favour such integration of both concentrated point impact and wide area coverage attacks, and Armourworks is well advanced in anticipating such threats. AWI engineers will increasingly interface with vehicle designers to manage new threats being developed by future munitions engineers, such as wide area heat soak, incendiaries, electromagnetic pulse weapons, and the new generation of guided missiles that manoeuvre around the main armour and strike the thinner plates of the rear, topside, underbelly, hatches, and the vehicle gun barrel itself. Armourworks will lead and advise on the wider vehicle systems integration design, to manage and overcome such threats to its mechanical, electrical and passenger survivability. ArmourWorks Research and Development Group in the UK uses unique encapsulation technology to reinforce armour panels, so there are no natural weak spots such as around edges and corners; as the international standards including STANAG

Types of threat against Modern Armoured Vehicles

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

introduce mandatory protocols in the near future to test for such breaches, Armourworks will leave the competition far behind.

Personnel Protection – Weight versus Threat In personnel protection, weight versus threat will continue to drive armour development. ArmourWorks are working on increasing armour performance around vital organs while reducing weight around non vital organs, giving the balance of low weight solutions against high threat levels. New materials, geometries, unique energy management and stress dissipation techniques are also used by ArmourWorks to meet the stricter standards of the future. Our plates and vests will satisfy more severe requirements governing velocity, the number and spacing of shots and aggressive oblique strike angles. This is particularly necessary to defeat the high velocity large calibre SLAP and high explosive anti-materiel rounds that have already been used against infantry in recent times, while simultaneously mitigating mechanical blast wave and fragment threats from the latest generation of IEDs. Fundamental work to quantify, codify and suppress blunt trauma mechanisms for different threat levels, using a specially developed modular pack approach, is in progress to meet stricter BFD requirements. For law enforcement armour and shields, these demands plus increased energies and frequencies of threats from knives, spikes and incendiaries are dealt with by an imminent Armourworks programme exploiting smart energy dissipation and containment mechanisms. Applicable to low velocity soft armour systems, these methods use unique coating, weaving and geometric techniques.

As harder and heavier bullet cores become the norm in AP ammunition, particularly with greater use of larger and larger HMG calibres and autocannon shells, new constructions with new ceramics, metals, engineering polymers and geometries are presently being developed apace.

Reactive Armour Systems /Ceramics

Range of solutions to neutralise modern threats

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Force Protection and Survivability: Top Priority in 2012 Mary Dub, Editor

To define even more clearly the role the armour needs to fulfil, DARPA has devised software that elucidates how explosion blasts affect the human body, body bio-dynamics, and biomechanics of vulnerable organs.

Inside shot of ArmourWorks’ EA TECH Blast attenuating Driver Commander seats inside the UK MoD’s Foxhound Vehicle.

I

n the United States and Western Europe, the safety of the soldier is a primary consideration for commanders. Newer technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles are being used instead of risking pilots’ lives. Indeed, the most recent Responsibility to Protect campaign in Libya in 2011 was conducted ‘without boots on the ground’. And the October 2012 news story about the British Ministry of Defence’s responsibility to provide adequate protection for soldiers in ground vehicles from roadside bombs (IEDS – improvised explosive devices) went to the top of the TV news agenda. Armour and force protection on operation is a vast and complex field of applications for the latest developments in mathematics, materials science and the study of warfare. Why so? Without offering excessive detail, the places where armour is used are diverse. For example, in aerospace, for rotorcraft and fixed wing, there is the concern not

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just for the exterior, but the interior: seats, seat accessories, baggage compartments, floor panels – the list goes on. For ground vehicles there are the same considerations. Containers and tents used for accommodation and storage also need to be protected. So there is a call for modular armour to repair battle damaged vehicles, and instant armour blocks that can be used to fortify a temporary headquarters or bivouac. Many of the new armour materials are composites. Metals are used infrequently, because of their cost, high weight and the fact that they can corrode.

Software Helps Define Protection Systems for Ground Vehicles and Their Armour The design of ground vehicles is an ever increasingly complex task. DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has a Small Business Innovation Research award for software that defines the process using four


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

major functions: lethality, survivability, mobility, and sustainability. Size and weight are also taken into consideration. To define even more clearly the role the armour needs to fulfil, DARPA has devised software that elucidates how explosion blasts affect the human body, body bio-dynamics, and biomechanics of vulnerable organs; and they also predict the pathophysiology of blast-related injuries.1 And in a program called the DARPA Armor challenge, the anti-ballistic qualities of many different materials were reviewed. “The primary goal of the Armor Challenge is to improve soldier protection,” says Dr. Judah Goldwasser, program manager at the DARPA Defense Sciences Office in Arlington, Va. He adds that the Challenge results to date indicate that “hybridized materials may help us reach our goals. This includes polymer composites as well as metal and ceramic components that can extend high performance at lower weight.”2 One new product is the ARES frag catcher. Here the total thickness of a rigid finished panel of EXO Scale heavy armor ranges from 15 to 18 inches (0.38 to 0.46m), much of this thickness comes from air voids that allow projectile fragments to separate progressively before striking the final “stop” layer in the armor. EXO Scale LA thickness is about three inches /76 mm. Manufacturing of EXO Scale is said to be very simple, and easy to handle. Panels are designed to be installed by a two-person team in the field.

A Hybrid Armour Application Using Aluminium HybridTech Armor produced by CPS Technologies uses ceramic plates or tiles encapsulated by metal-matrix composite (MMC) skins hermetically sealed in high-pressure cast aluminum. The ceramic armor component gets tougher through the mechanical and chemical bonding of the external skins with the ceramic core. In ballistic tests, damage from a single hit was successfully contained within a single tile, preserving the integrity of adjacent tiles. This helps improve multi-hit protection, and provides benefits for armor makers in that the modules are tough enough to be drilled or bolted like solid metal. Ordinarily, the use of metal, MMC and ceramic materials in a single module would raise concern about mismatched coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE). But CPS technologies contend that the different

CTEs actually create residual compression in the ceramic, and more compression means better ballistic properties. Hardwire LLC has been working with DARPA on facility and infrastructure applications where weight is less important. They have developed an application for DSM Dyneema’s HMPE (high-modulus polyethylene) and Dyneema BT-10, a new and reportedly cost-effective film product. They also employ traditional R- and S- glass, and E-glass, and other novel metallic materials. For example, there are Hardwire’s patented steel-fiber technologies.

New Materials on Operation Since the initial DARPA program enabled the launch of HS armor, Hardwire and Strongwell say they have provided enough composite armor to cover more than 60 acres. The HS armor has application as inserts for tents and other temporary shelters and facilities, and they are working to develop a program to provide flexible solutions for containerized housing units (CHUs). These kinds of programs require highcapacity, low-unit-cost production.

Cranfield University Developing Fibre Composites for the UK Ministry of Defence While DARPA forges ahead in collaboration with industry, similar projects are being undertaken in the UK. At the Royal Military College in Shrivenham, tests have been conducted in which 1.1 g fragment-simulating projectiles (FSPs) were fired at nylon 6,6/ ethylene vinyl acetate composite laminates. V penetration velocities were measured and microscopic examination was conducted to gain an insight into the mechanics of penetration. They noted that there is a trend for laminates manufactured at a lower pressing load to absorb more impact energy.

Jankel Presents Hot-Formed Armour While many manufacturers argue for tiles or composites, there are others such as Jankel who argue for hot formed armour units. Hot-formed armor creates the entire part, such as a door from a single mold. This increases protection while reducing weight and vulnerability. This technique reduces the number of armor components by 80% and reduces overall weight by nearly 20%. The benefits are an inconspicuous look and increased protection.3

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Blast Attenuating Seats: An Integral Part of Soldier Survivability Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“The explosion of a mine or IED beneath a vehicle can create shock waves that are more destructive than the impact of the vehicle dropping 100 feet” Bill Perciballi, president and founder of ArmourWorks (2012)

One of the key ways that the engineers of blast attenuating seats have of analysing how to protect the body of the occupant of a seat under blast pressure is to look at the direction of the various forces.

H

istorically, much research on blast and energy attenuating seats was drawn from aircraft and helicopters during the Vietnam War and later. In aircraft accidents with significant vertical crash loads, occupants typically suffer some degree of back injuries. “Special energy attenuating seat designs provide a controlled deceleration of the occupant over a stroking distance with a controlled load that minimizes injury.”4 In the 50s and 60s, investigations had been conducted only to determine the cause of the crash rather than the cause of injuries and, as a result, little was known about the injury causing mechanisms. After research, it was determined that many improvements were needed to adequately restrain the occupant, to keep the seats attached to aircraft structure, and to provide for limiting the loads applied to the occupant during crashes.5

Critical Analysis of Axes of Forces on the Body One of the key ways that the engineers of blast attenuating seats have of analysing how to protect the body of the occupant of a seat under blast pressure is to look at the direction of the various forces. It was concluded that a properly restrained human occupant could survive the loading applied in the forward (X) and lateral (Y) directions in survivable accidents, but not in the vertical (Z) direction. Limiting these loads, especially the load in the Z-axis, was necessary to improve the chance of survival and to minimize the chance of spinal fracture and the risk of paraplegia. If the force on the Z axis was to be mitigated, the weight of the occupant had to be known and put into the calculation. This led to Fixed Load Energy Absorbers (FLEA). Fixed Load Energy Absorbers were designed for the 50th percentile seat occupant in order to maximize the effectiveness over the weight range

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of the users. This meant that lighter occupants received a higher deceleration level (Gs) than heavier occupants, while heavier occupants received a lower deceleration. Unfortunately, this produced a situation where the lighter occupants were at a higher risk of spinal injury due to the load applied during stroking, and the heavier occupants, although decelerating at a lower level throughout the stroke, were at a higher risk of bottoming out (exhaustion of the stroke distance). ‘Stroking’ here being the distance moved by the seat and the body to defray the force of the impact and protect the body.

How is the Energy from the Impact Absorbed by the Seat? There is not a simple answer to this question. The frame of the vehicle itself absorbs some of the energy from the impact of the blast. The crushing of the airframe and deformation of the impacted surface absorbs some of the energy of the occupant. Only the energy associated with the difference in velocity between the airframe and seat is absorbed by the seat. The reason there is a difference is that the seat and occupant are decelerating at a slower rate than the airframe, thus reducing the loads imposed on the seat and occupant. To mitigate injury to the seat occupant, the energy from the impact has to be mitigated by allowing the seat to move in response to the blast: stroking. The mechanisms to provide stroking are legion.

Stroking Mechanism in Energy Attenuating Seats Many of the different techniques for stroking the energy-attenuating seat are associated with different manufacturers who went on to win contracts with the air and land forces of the United States and Western Europe. A classic device is the inversion tube. This mechanism absorbs the energy of the blast by inverting, that is turning


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Inside shot of ArmourWorks’ EA TECH Blast attenuating Troop Seats inside the UK MoD’s Foxhound Vehicle.

inside out or outside in, a length of metal tubing. Simula designed and manufactured seats for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which used the inversion tube energy absorber. The Simula seat was used in the early and later manufactured lots of Black Hawks. The inversion tube is very reliable. It has been used in most of Simula’s military seats including seats for the UH-60 Black Hawk and Derivatives, AH-64A and D Apache, SH-60 Seahawk and Derivatives, SH-3 Sea King, CH-53 Sea Stallion, EH101 and Derivatives, the UH-1Y, AH-1Z, RAH-66 Comanche, and the HH-60J and H helicopters.

The Relative Merits of Other Stroking Devices The inversion tube energy absorber was not the only technique – there were metal cutting and slitting devices. There was also the tube and die, where energy is absorbed by forcing the tube to increase in diameter as the die is drawn through it, or to decrease in diameter as it is drawn through the die. There was also wire or strap bending, and energy absorbing links. During the early phases of energy absorbing seat development, all of these concepts as well as others were scrutinized for their ability to provide the length of stroke required while

producing a nearly constant load during the stroke. Manufacturers worked with the pros and cons of the various methods. Martin Baker seats used either a tube-through-die or a metal cutting energy absorber approach. The Fischer seats all use the bending of a strap, or sheet of metal, as the energy absorbing process. The progressive bending of the sheet metal straps provides the energy absorbing process.6

Second and Third Generation Seats Of course, each new edition of seats includes many numerous improvements. Second generation energy absorbers were developed with a provision for manually adjusting the stroking force so that the entire range of occupant sizes using the seat would receive equal protection during a crash. While the goal of the third generation program was to develop systems that could provide the maximum efficiency to all sizes of occupants and remove the possibility of human error during use of the systems. The other objective for the next generation energy absorber development effort was to deliver the same level of spinal protection in less seat stroking distance, thus enabling more efficient use of limited aircraft space.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Key Features in Force Protection Acquisition Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

“Ground vehicle technologies support the basic Army and Marine Corps land combat functions: shoot, move, communicate, survive, and sustain.” US Army Science and Technology Master Plan

The art as well as the science of the armourer is to find the balance between protection, survivability and warfighting capabilities.

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h is rat h er d a t e d q u o t a t i o n encapsulates the many challenges that the engineers providing armour and energy/ blast attenuating seats for ground vehicles must contend with. First, the war-fighter cannot be so encumbered with armour or body protection that, either in the vehicle or dismounted, he cannot use a weapon if the rules of engagement allow. Secondly, mobility demands that dismounted soldiers are not so weighed down by the mass of their body armour that they lose speed, agility and endurance in the face of a more highly mobile enemy who, in counter insurgency warfare, is frequently unprotected by body armour. Similarly, ground vehicles need to be capable of withstanding small arms fire, RPG attack and roadside bombs in Afghanistan but they must not be so weighed down by armour that their invulnerability prevents them from moving around the field of battle or, again, in counter insurgency warfare, prevents them making contact with the local people and thereby gaining critical intelligence and confidence building rapport. The art as well as the science of the armourer is to find the balance between protection, survivability and war-fighting capabilities. And the key to finding this balance lies in the weight and the capabilities of the materials used in the making the armour. Sustainability comes last, but it does not have a minor position. Battle damaged armour needs to be replaced quickly and cheaply not far from the battlefield to enable expensive vehicles to deliver readiness. So modular, easy to apply armour is a benefit. Similarly, low mass and weight allow a lighter logistics burden.

and technological development to find and exploit new vulnerabilities. There is a need for armament companies to engage in continuous research and development in materials science to be prepared to meet new and emerging threats. Threats come from a variety of sources – people, machines, the environment and from within. It is often the ambition of the enemy to impose their will to disrupt the lifestyles and nature of national security. These new threats require armor material providers to employ the best researchers and scientists to have the agility to establish new material solutions to protect the armed forces.7

Staying at the Leading Edge of the Armament Market

Integrating the Latest Armour Materials Early

It is the nature of warfare that opponents are locked into a spiral of competing scientific

Within an integrated design system for a ground vehicle, the potential weight of armour needs

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Using the Most Innovative Materials Available The United States Department of Defense has suffered stringent cuts on its manpower and equipment budgets in the last three years. This has left many acquisition programs underfunded. There is a powerful drive to follow the maxim: “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without whenever possible.” However, advances in materials science are leading to new improvements and capabilities in armour and these need to be adopted to enable the armoured forces to remain invulnerable to the latest threats. In the last thirty years the design of ground vehicles and their armour has become systematized into a quasi- mathematical science. Armour system integration is the science of taking material technology and balancing material performance and weight to establish a vehicle configuration. An optimized configuration happens when material performance, vehicle design and upgrade costs are balanced against required payload at an affordable price.8


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

to be analysed early on. Armour cannot be an afterthought or final retro fit without affecting price and capability. Most armour manufacturers need to define deliverables, schedule, acceptance criteria, and material traceability along with risk mitigation measures, at an early stage. Space and weight need to be kept low to be effective.

Winning the Contracts in the Civil Security Market While the demands of austerity have had a chilling effect on the military market for ground vehicles, there has been some residual demand for better body armour for the police and soldiers in the United Kingdom. The rise in urban protest and violence against governments imposing harsh austerity measures, while preserving the semblance of law and order on the streets, has led to a rise in demand for body armour. In April 2012, BAE Systems reported a contract with the Defence Logistics Agency to provide body armor inserts. This order is worth $75 million for BAE. The small arms inserts fit into vests and are designed to protect soldiers and others against ballistic threats. Don Dutton, vice president and general manager of protection systems, said the inserts are designed to defend against multiple hits. Work will take place in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States and the company expects to finish work by August 2013.

The rise in urban protest and violence against governments imposing harsh austerity measures, while preserving the semblance of law and order on the streets, has led to a rise in demand for body armour.

BAE Contracts for ArmourWorks BAE has also been kept at the forefront of force protection for soldiers by incorporating ArmourWorks ‘ShockRide’ blast protection seats. ArmourWorks received an initial $5 million order from BAE Systems for blast attenuating seats to be installed in BAE’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. This order provided for ArmourWorks’ lifesaving seating system to be installed in more than 400 MRAP vehicles to be used by the US Army and US Marines Corps. Bill Perciballi, president and founder of ArmourWorks said “We saw a critical need to develop a product that could save our soldiers, not only from ballistic fragments, but also from the extreme shock from a mine blast. Energy attenuating seats are a natural and needed addition to our line-up of life protecting products.”

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

Armoured Against the Future? Mary Dub, Editor

New armour systems based on topological constructs are demonstrating an increase in performance, not achievable with traditional approaches.

S

ecuring the survivability of the armed forces against the future is an impossible task. But the armour manufacturers are putting their best scientific brains to the challenge. And they are making advances. Many key ideas are driving innovation but two of the most salient are innovations in weaponry and innovations in materials science, which allow the injurious effects of new weapons to be challenged.

IEDs – Threats of Today and Tomorrow? Exactly how an intelligent and determined enemy will improve by chemistry, technology or tactics, the weapons of the future, is open to guesswork. However, scientists have already started to prepare armour against the latest weapons. For example, thermobaric ammunition, that provides a longer and more lethal blast wave than older weapons, can be fired from RPGs and handheld launchers and requires different types of new materials to protect soldiers from high levels of casualties. DARPA’s Defence Sciences Office has been working in the United States to advance the physics and chemistry of materials science to counter these new threats. DARPA’s involvement in this field began in the early 1960s with the genesis of the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratories, which transformed into the National Science Foundation Materials Research Laboratories. DSO continues to advance the frontiers of material science by concentrating efforts on emerging capabilities and maintaining the interdisciplinary theme that generates many of the breakthroughs in this field. This new work is being reinforced by mathematical and characterization tools to enable rapid design and development of new armor systems. New armour systems based on topological constructs are demonstrating an increase in performance, not achievable with traditional approaches. Biologically inspired approaches

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to material synthesis and design are pervasive in many DSO initiatives.

Dynamic MultiFunction Materials As military systems and missions have become more complicated, the development of materials that are dynamic in both shape and activity has become critical. For example, the combination of functions, such as power generation of blast resistance, with structural loadbearing, has been expected to yield markedly enhanced capabilities across multiple military platforms. Current DARPA projects in this area include revolutionary new armor systems that exploit unique high-strength steel/polymer composite hybrid configurations for military vehicles; an extremely small (less than 7.5 centimeters), ultra lightweight (less than 10 grams) air vehicle system with the potential to perform indoor and outdoor military missions; and barriers that can be rapidly emplaced and reversed to allow fluid U.S. force movement.

Disruptive Manufacturing Concepts to Drive Costs Down One of the side effects of the need to control costs at acquisition and in maintenance on the ground has been a call to reduce production costs for small unit numbers during manufacture. DARPA argues that today’s war fighting environment places a premium on fast and affordable manufacturing processes. DARPA’s Disruptive Manufacturing Technologies (DMT) is developing a program that will develop manufacturing capabilities for polymer matrix composites, and ceramic body armor upgrades.

ArmourWorks New Coatings To confront the potential dangers presented by the new generation of ammunition, ArmourWorks has developed sensible selections of coatings, resins and structural armour materials, and their geometries are being developed to mitigate


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

heat transfer and neutralise direct-to-contents attack on vehicle armour. In an era where laser guided and smart weapons are being used more extensively, counter measures are being integrated into armour so that heat signatures are lower and target acquisition devices will find it more difficult to home in and target ground vehicles and aircraft. In the pursuit of better survivability non-armour features are being added like specialised paints, algorithm generated shapes, materials and active systems to diffuse, absorb, scatter and shift the frequency of such beams and avoid acquisition.

The New Generation of Armour Piercing Ammunitions Inherent in the internecine cycle of warfare is the idea that, once an armour manufacturer has developed a product that appears temporarily to be less vulnerable, this is seen as a challenge to ammunition manufacturers who develop an even more powerful bullet. (This cycle has been less pronounced in an era of asymmetric warfare or counter insurgency where the opponents are less likely to be state supported and are therefore potentially less well funded than a national army. In counter insurgency the tendency is to find and build a home made weapon of devastating and lethal effect, like the improvised explosive device, the roadside bomb. But in other theatres of war APDS (Armour-Piercing Discarding Sabot) a type of kinetic energy projectile found in anti-tank rounds has been used. These have now been superseded by armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS). This ammunition can double the armour penetration of a gun. And while tank and anti tank rounds have become more lethal, so has the body armour penetrating power of the machine gun ammunition used in South Asia. Here SLAP (Saboted Light Armor Penetrating) machine gun bullets have been used to lethal effect.

Hindsight Leads to Foresight The National Defense University of the United States has a Hindsight project that looked at developments in impact survivability from fixed and rotor wing aircraft. They noted that lessons learned from careful analysis of past events often led to interesting conclusions. For example, the military helicopter has to be able to withstand hits from heavy machine gunfire and its crew must have a 95 percent chance of surviving a crash at a vertical speed of 42 feet per second. After reviewing the results, they called for the following

The military helicopter has to be able to withstand hits from heavy machine gunfire and its crew must have a 95 percent chance of surviving a crash at a vertical speed of 42 feet per second.

important areas to be addressed: a structure of sufficient strength and stiffness to prevent aircraft plowing in soft soil; proper retention strength for high mass items to preclude break-away and to maintain a survivable occupant volume; use of crushable structures and load-limiting designs for landing gear and aircrew seats to reduce occupant acceleration; restraint systems and padding to prevent injury from flailing; and post-crash hazard reduction—protection from flammable fluids and emergency egress provisions for the occupants under all conditions. Once, the internal and external fittings of the fuel tank had been made self-sealing and treated with tear-resistant polymers along with changes to self-sealing valves, fuel lines, filling system and vents, force protection was improved dramatically. Lessons from the automobile racing industry had improved survivability by lateral thinking.

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION ARMOUR PROTECTION SYSTEMS AND BLAST ATTENUATING SEATS

References: 1

2

 DARPA / SBIR Success Reports Multiscale Model of Lung Injury and Personnel Protection Software Simulates Explosive Impacts on Virtual Humans in order to Save Lives 2007

http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/antiballistics-the-darpa-connection ANTI BALLISTICS THE DARPA CONNECTION

3

http://www.jankelts.com/resource/2012SpecialOpsTechArticle.pdf

4

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a207506.pdf Contract No. DAiDI.7-87--C-7032

Bell Helicopter-Textron, Inc. P.O. Box 482 Fort Worth, Texas 76101 WIXD DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT

5

THE EVOLUTION OF ENERGY ABSORPTION SYSTEMS FOR CRASHWORTHY HELICOPTER SEATS

6

7

8

STANLEY P. DESJARDINS SPDESJARDINS@EARTHLINK.NET PRESIDENT SAFE, INC TEMPE, ARIZONA

THE EVOLUTION OF ENERGY ABSORPTION SYSTEMS FOR CRASHWORTHY HELICOPTER SEATS STANLEY P. DESJARDINS SPDESJARDINS@EARTHLINK.NET PRESIDENT SAFE, INC TEMPE, ARIZONA

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/101319 AMTANK Armor Offers 5 Tips to Choosing an Armor Material Provider for Armored Vehicle/Vehicles AMTANK Armor, LLC May 05, 2009

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/101319 AMTANK Armor Offers 5 Tips to Choosing an Armor Material Provider for Armored Vehicle/Vehicles AMTANK Armor, LLC May 05, 2009

14 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


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Special Report – Next Generation Armour Protection Systems and Blast Attenuating Seats  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Armour Protection Systems and Blast Attenuating Seats

Special Report – Next Generation Armour Protection Systems and Blast Attenuating Seats  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Armour Protection Systems and Blast Attenuating Seats