Fighting Vehicle Armor and Antiarmor Munitions


POSTED:  April 14, 2023

BY: Graham Silsby

This monograph examines the mechanics and physics behind current vehicular armor technologies and the threat munitions they face, to the extent that the technology is unclassified and widely disseminated, The discussion begins with fundamentals and then delves more deeply into details.

In the early days of antiarmor munitions, the kinetic energy of hardened metal projectiles caused them to push through tough steel armor plate. The first advancement was the higher-velocity, subcaliber penetrator in the so-called hypervelocity armor-piercing shot design. Its decreased-diameter, higher-density penetrator core and higher striking velocity resulted in higher impact pressures and evolved into the long rod penetrator. Increased striking velocities increased their depth of penetration and, as in the shaped-charge jet, erosion of the penetrator became the norm. At the same time, weight-efficient spaced armors and then reactive armors were developed.

Separately, the highly lethal shaped charge and other lined-cavity charge warhead designs evolved, particularly the explosively formed penetrator and the hemispherical liner geometry. These advances were made easier by the development of the Gurney and the Taylor models of metal-explosive sandwich behavior, which also drove advances in fragmenting warhead design.

The important safety issues involved with working with energetic materials are also discussed as are the recommended qualifications of personnel who work with these materials. Finally, a historical overview of fighting vehicle armor and antiarmor technology is included as an appendix.

The full-size, higher-quality version of this report is also available via DTIC.

Stay informed when a new SOAR is released

Subscribe to our upcoming state-of-the-art reports

Want to find out more about this topic?

Request a FREE Technical Inquiry!