Defexpo 2006 – Armored Vehicles & Armor Protection


As at past shows exhibitors at Defexpo 2006 focused on new or upgraded systems and modernization programs for improving current systems instead of new construction main battle tanks. As in the previous show, the new T-90 was absent, and the only MBTs on display were the indigenous Arjun and Experimental EX developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Indian Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) unveiled several new programs, including the Tarmour, which based on T-55 chassis that have been extensively modified for use as armored personnel carriers. IMI chose Defexpo to launch its new hard-kill protection system, Iron Fist, which competes with RAFAEL’s Trophy. Two additional active protection systems on display were the Ukrainian Zaslon, and the South-African High Speed Directed Launcher (HSDL) from Saab-Aviatronics. The F-3 LRF Deceptor was also on display. The F-3 generates false ranging return signals to laser rangefinders causing enemy tanks to fire with incorrect range data.

Several other types of armored vehicles were displayed. Trojan, a mine protected armored vehicle developed and produced by OFB, is in series production for the Indian Army and for export. OFB is offering this heavily armored vehicle, which is designed to withstand small arms, IEDs and anti-tank mines, as a rapid intervention and counter-insurgency vehicle. According to OFB sources, the Trojan production line has had to be expanded to accommodate new orders from the Indian Army and from the new Iraqi Army.

Another vehicle on display was the RG-31 from South Africa. This vehicle has become popular since its procurement and successful operations by the US Marine Corps in Iraq. A new face at Defexpo was the Indian company Vectra Engineering Materials, which displayed the Vectra, a Humvee sized, light armored, multi-purpose vehicle. At a gross loaded weight of 6 tons, this 4×4 vehicle has full protection against 7.62 armor piercing ammunition, a 360 degree rotating cupola, bulletproof windshield or and firing and observation ports at the sides and rear. The vehicle is powered by a 235 HP Cummins B 235 turbo diesel engine, and has a 5 speed automatic transmission. The Vectra can travel at 125 km/h on roads, 40 km/h cross country, and has a maximum range of 1,000 km.

Several new designs for the protection of Humvee vehicles were on display at the US Army pavilion. The up-armored M-1114 Humvee was displayed by Armor Holdings. Battelle displayed another armor kit for the vehicle, demonstrated by armored door replacement sections, which are part of a field installable kit for protecting the vehicle from mines and projectiles. The panels are a combination of composites and titanium plates. Armor-Works demonstrated the Ballistic Advantage lightweight armor kit for a Humvee based, two-door assault truck. This kit included underbody mine protection, protected doors, bed side and blast protection and a gun mount. During combat tests at Fallujah in Iraq actual IEDs were only able to cause minor damage to the vehicle.

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