Explosive Reactive Armor -ERA- Electric Reactive Armor -NxRA-

Reactive Armor – Exploding Armor

Filed in Military 12 comments

Reactive armor is an incredible battlefield technology protecting our troops on the battlefield. Reactive armor shields a vehicle from incoming projectiles and is known for being most effective against shape charges and long rod penetrators. Multiple types of reactive armor are being used on tanks and other armored vehicles in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan today. Reactive armor has been used in vehicles since the 1980’s by the Russians and throughout Europe, although leaps and bounds are being made in this armor technology. The image below shows an “up-armored” M3A3 Bradley fighting vehicle fitted with reactive armor in a huge contract given to General Dynamics.Reactive Armor m3a3

Explosive Reactive Armor can only withstand one hit from a shape charge as the armor literally explodes upon impact. Explosive Reactive Armor isn’t safe to install in vehicles that will be deployed with infantry units. The amount of shrapnel discharged from an impact with explosive reactive armor is enough to kill any infantry nearby. Despite these shortcomings ERA is widely used in armor all over the world like the Russian kontakt 5 deployed with the T-80 and T-90 tanks. Kontakt 5 has improvements that help protect the Russian tanks from KE-penetrators and shape charges.

Non explosive Reactive armor (NERA) the other hand can withstand multiple hits as long as two charges don’t hit in the same location. When a penetrator rod impacts NERA the armor plate bends and bulges effectively increasing the thickness of the armor making it hard for the rod to penetrate the armor. Pound for pound Explosive Reactive armor packs more of a punch when it comes to protecting your vehicle although its drawbacks are evident allowing only 1 impact. NERA’s performance when engaging Kinetic energy threats is sub-par.

Electric Reactive Armor (NxRA) is an incredible new technology that is being developed. By using electric charges, this armor will be able to vaporize a penetrator rod or shape charge or turn it to plasma. This technology has not publicly been released on any operational vehicle although it sounds pretty amazing.

Weapon Systems such as the Javelin fire-and-forget missile can defeat most known types of reactive armor using a tandem warhead, meaning it contains two shape charges. One of the shape charges is meant to detonate the Armor while one uses its energy to penetrate the tank. Hellfire missiles and the CBU-105 Sensor Fused Weapon also contain similar technology to overcome these advances in armor.

If you want more information on reactive armor and its nemesis’, check out this very explanatory 7 minute video below.

Posted by Capt.   @   3 July 2007 12 comments
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Jul 23, 2008
6:03 pm
#1 Alex :

Can you guys try to make something that the enemy cannot penetrate through? Can you try to create a shield generator with the armor that the military uses?

Feb 28, 2009
5:29 am
#2 LEVI :

im afraid this is quite outdated as of september 08 tanks made from that point where made with a metal which is made from depleted uranium it gives it the ability to withstand many shape charges the idea originally came from an A-10 because the cannon on the front has bullets the length of milk jugs anyways the bullets from these used depleted uranium so when they discovered how easy it could tear through tank armor they implemented it in us tanks.

But the A-10 is the tank killer and still brings hell.

Sep 27, 2010
9:16 am
#3 freethinker5 :

heres a crazy thought why dont they have lock on projectiles that meet the shape charge head on???(duh)

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Nov 4, 2014
5:34 am
#8 sovietshadow :

This has a suprising lack of information on it. ElEA is comprised of two charged armor plates that, when forced together be the impact of a atdp rod or heat shell, esentially vaporises that shell/rod. To answer other questions on the comments: yes, we do have projectiles that can meet shells (these are called Active Protection Systems), no as of yet we don’t have force field tech, and while depleted uranium is great, it weighs a LOT, and while it mostly depleted it does have a small decay, meaning that its only a matter of time before a lawsuit.

Nov 4, 2014
5:36 am
#9 sovietshadow :

Oh, and theoritcally if a material like rubber is used between the two plates then they can seperate and (if still charged) can be used a second time. Got to love our technology :)

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