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How Europe is enhancing AFV survivability to counter new and old threats

23rd December 2023 - 08:13 GMT | by Christopher F Foss

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A General Dynamics European Land Systems ASCOD 2 fitted with Elbit remote-controlled turret and Iron Fist active protection system. (Photo: Christopher Foss)

A growing number of NATO countries are planning to upgrade their fleets of tracked and wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) to improve their survivability against emerging battlefield threats.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, mines and IEDs were the main problem, but more recent operations in Ukraine have demonstrated that antitank guided weapons (ATGW) remain a threat, as do unguided weapons such as the still widely deployed RPG-7.

These are normally fitted with a tandem high-explosive antitank (HEAT) warhead to neutralise explosive-reactive armour (ERA) so the main charge penetrates the main armour.

On lighter AFVs, bar or slat armour is fitted to neutralise the fuze of the incoming munition before it hits the main armour, but both of these are only around 60% effective. Bar armour is also often fitted

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Christopher F Foss

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Christopher F Foss


Christopher F Foss is an internationally recognised authority on armoured fighting vehicles, artillery and other weapon systems, …

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