War on Terror

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Post by kosovohp on Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:48 am

Originally, most MBT's relied on traditional steel armor to defend against various threats. As newer threats emerged, however, the defensive systems used by MBT's had to evolve to counter them. One of the first new developments was the use of reactive armor (ERA), developed by Israel in the early 1980s to defend against the shaped-charge warheads of modern anti-tank guided missiles and other such high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) projectiles. This technology was subsequently adopted and expanded upon by the United States and Soviet Union. The benefit of ERA was that it could be added to existing vehicles to increase their survivability, though the detonation of ERA blocks created a hazard to supporting infantry near the tank. Despite this drawback, it is still employed on many Russian MBT's, the latest generation Kontakt-5 being capable of defeating both HEAT and kinetic energy penetrator threats. The Soviets also developed systems designed to more actively neutralize hostile projectiles before they could even strike the tank, namely the Shtora and Arena systems. Recently, the United States has adopted similar technologies in the form of the Missile Countermeasure Device and as part of the Tank Urban Survival Kit used on Abrams tanks serving in Iraq.

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