Unit Beefs up Tanks With ”Reactive” Armor

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March 27, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: March 27 on

Tank and maintenance crews from 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, are giving their M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks a buffed up look that improves the overall defensive capabilities of the tank. 

The crews, who are part of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which is serving as the initial ABCT rotational force in support of Atlantic Resolve, began installing the Abrams reactive armor tile (ARAT) system Feb. 28 to tank hulls and turrets. 

The ARAT adds extra layers of protection to the tank and the crew members.  Tiles are placed on both sides of the hull and turret. The reactive tiles prevent penetration of various weapon systems, such as RPG [rocket-propelled grenades].

Beefing up U.S. armor also serves as a greater deterrent to acts of aggression against NATO nations as the 3/4 ABCT rolls out stronger tanks to conduct training with allies throughout central and eastern Europe.

Depending on what terrain, rural or urban, the purpose of angled tiles is so that a blast will go down or upwards, which will allow the impact to deflect outward rather than at the tank crew. The angles of the tiles can also be repositioned depending on the situation