Army Pursuing Alternatives to Heavy Vehicle Armor

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November 21, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: November 21 on

In the face of growing threats to ground vehicles, the Defense Department is teaming with industry and academia to pursue alternatives to traditional armor systems. The Pentagon is chasing a range of cutting-edge technologies that could enhance survivability without sacrificing mobility.

U.S. military officials have been sounding the alarm about the need for a new approach.

“The problem we’re seeing now is with the proliferation of [anti-tank guided missiles] and chemical energy munitions, shaped charges, etc. … it’s much easier to develop new ways to penetrate the armor” of U.S. military vehicles, Gen. David Perkins, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command said at a recent conference.

The Army is now on the losing side of the cost curve because adversaries can enhance their attack capabilities faster and cheaper than the United States can add heavier armor to its vehicles, he noted.

The Army has “got to think of a different way to protect,” he said.