A further complication to the use of ERA is the inherent danger to anybody near the tank when a plate detonates (disregarding that a HEAT warhead explosion would already present a great danger to anybody near the tank). Although ERA plates are intended only to bulge following detonation, the combined energy of the ERA explosive, coupled with the kinetic or explosive energy of the projectile, will frequently cause explosive fragmentation of the plate. The explosion of an ERA plate creates a significant amount of shrapnel, and bystanders are in grave danger of serious or fatal injury. As a result, infantry needs to operate some distance from vehicles protected by ERA in combined arms operations.
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