Rheinmetall has developed a hybrid Protection module that combines passive and active protection techniques to protect armored vehicles from anti-tank and ballistic threats, such as small caliber arms and fragments. Rheinmetall will unveil the new module at the IDEX 2019 exhibition in Abu Dhabi next week.

The new module embeds the company’s sensor-activated Active Defense System (ADS) module within an armor plate sandwich utilized as passive protection for the vehicle. The specially harmonized bulkhead design features two layers. The outer plate serves as the interface and shield for the ADS components while the inner provides the mounting base for the components and attachment to the vehicle. The outer protection layer, provides ballistic protection for the ADS components, against shell fragments, small arms fire and other sources of mechanical stress. The energetic elements of the countermeasure (the one that deflects the threat by blast upon activation), is embedded in the outer side of this protection plate. The sensors associated with the ADS module are contained in the space between the hybrid module’s front and base plates.

The hybrid armor module provides ballistic protection in the standalone mode, but its full effect is derived from its integration as an add-on to existing armor, providing additional ballistic protection that significantly enhances the performance of existing protection.

Composed of tiles measuring about 18×15 cm each, the module is compact in weight and size, allowing the used in tactical vehicles. Hybrid protection modules can cover all directions with multiple countermeasures units providing effective protection against anti-armor threats. According to the manufacturer, it is relatively simple to install and can be mounted onto existing vehicles, with modules selectively replacing existing add-on passive protection elements either completely or in part. Furthermore, the modules can be mounted to vehicles in preparation for specific missions, upgrading passive add-on armor protection to hybrid effect.

Rheinmetall has already fabricated various prototype modules, successfully conducting rigorous ballistic trials of variously configured modules with rocket-propelled grenades and antitank guided missiles.

At IDEX 2019, Rheinmetall will launch its newly established subsidiary Protection Systems Gulf (RPSG). Operating in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates since September 2017, the company is a subsidiary of Rheinmetall Ballistic Protection. RPSG develops and produces ballistic protection elements. Its product range extends from protection level NIJ IIIA right through to STANAG 4569 Level 4.

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