– A M1A1 in Iraq destroyed by an RPG attack –

RPG’s are still one of the major threats to even our heaviest armor in Iraq.  As I pointed out in a previous post, we don’t seem to have made much progress since the Vietnam War in countering this ubiquitous weapon.

The 10 November 2004 issue of Jane’s Defence Weekly reports that the dozen or so  Australian Army  light armoured vehicles in Iraq will soon be fitted with stand off bar armor similar to the system used by the U.S. Army Strykers.

Since this solution the the RPG problem isn’t much more sophisticated than the rolls of chain link fence that were used in Vietnam, I wondered exactly what  was going on to try to fix this situation. 

Below are some of the proposals that have been submitted to the United States Navy Small Business Innovation Research program for dealing with the RPG threat.

TPL, Inc. says they believe they
can detonate an RPG in flight and after its setback switch has been
armed.  They are developing a resonant radio frequency predetonation

American Telenetics Company approach is to intercept the RPG with a net mounted on an umbrella-like frame fired from a canister on the vehicle.

Hy-Tek Manufacturing Company wants to explore applying the Lorentz Force to the creation of an electromagnetic armor system that will provide a defense against RPG attacks.  Fluid armor consists of a fluid that becomes a solid when an electromagnetic field is applied.

Metal Storm, Inc. addresses the RPG problem with a multiple barrel electronic gun that fires at an extremely high rate for a short period of time.

Optimal Synthesis, Inc. wants to employ specially designed airbags to modify the RPG’s hit geometry, to serve as blast barriers absorbing the blast pressure and shrapnel and to avoid detonation separation which also reduces RPG potency.

Foster-Miller makes the “Hurricane” proprietary net that they say defeated the RPG-7 threat in Government tests. They propose a small, 35 pound box that can be installed by one person in under 20 minutes and reloaded in 1 minute.

Physical Optics Corporation proposes a fly-eye sensor for countering rocket and mortar and missile attacks.  The propose to develop a new high-speed electro-optical sensor system based on the visual system of the fly.  The system would combine a miniature staring multi-aperture compound eye with a low-cost smart vision sensor chip that consists of a compact miniature photodiode array and a neural-network processor.

Systems and Material Research Consultancy believes that CBDO copolymers and nanocomposites are the way to go for window armor.

Solidica Inc. thinks they can show that a novel metal lamination process, Ultrasonic Consolidation, provides anisotropic, inhomogeneous armor with the capability to disrupt the axial symmetry of armor piercing munitions.  Whatever that means.

Triton Systems, Inc. proposes to develop a modular vehicle self-protection system aimed at countering the RPG and ATGM threats by building on the Soviet “Arena KAZT” system but changing the counterfire launcher and lethality mechanisms.

It looks like good old American ingenuity and the hope of a really large government contract may get this thing under control after all.

The sooner the better.

One Response to “Got RPG? II”

  1. Airborne Combat Engineer Says:

    Some proposals for RPG defense

    The North Coast Curmudgeon summarizes some proposals for RPG defense submitted to the US Navy Small Business Innovation Research Program. They sound like a brainstorming session, but the seed of an eventual practical answer might be in there somewhere….

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