The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) via its Landward Sciences Surrogate and Protection Package Development Team has developed an add-on protection package to protect vehicles against explosively formed projectile (EFP) threats.
The development aimed to come up with a system to provide protection against a medium-sized EFP, also known as an explosively formed penetrator. They are widely seen as the improvised explosive device (IED) equivalent of the shaped charges found in regular munitions and operate in a similar manner with the power of the explosion focussed on a cone or dish shaped metal liner in front of the explosive charge. When detonated the liner is turned into a metal slug shot at the target at high velocity. The focussed energy explosion sees more severe damage done to armoured vehicles than IEDs that only producing blast effects
Speaking at this month’s CSIR Conference, Rayeesa Ahmed, research group leader for protection and survivability systems, said IEDs have become the number one choice of attack by insurgents with around 38 a month reported in Africa alone.
To be able to provide protection the CSIR team first had to design and develop surrogate EFPs to be able to reliably repeat the threat posed by them for both testing and development of the add-on protection for vehicles. This eventually saw a panel made that stops EFPs and prevents penetration of the target vehicle.
“It is a successfully developed panel; the development is complete,” she noted. “It is an add-on protective package.”
She did not reveal the materials used in the production of the add-on panel or its cost to conference delegates and also did not provide further information on whether the panel either slows, deforms or breaks up the EFP.