Armor: Slimmed Down Slat Armor A Success


May 11,2008: A year ago, British firm BAE asked why the Slat armor (most prominently used by Stryker armor vehicles since 2003) had to be made of steel. So BAE fabricated a set of slat armor made from aluminum, and tested it. Worked just as well as the steel version, and weighed over a ton less. The new version of slat armor, dubbed LROD, has become popular for use on trucks (both armored MRAPs, and unarmored ones), not just because of the weight, but because LROD can be bolted on, rather than welded on, as is the case with the original steel stuff. Now, a year later, LROD has proved itself in combat, demonstrating the same effectiveness as the heavier steel version.

Slat armor is a 2.5 ton steel cage of armor that circles the vehicle. The U.S. Stryker was the first vehicle to use it on a wide scale. Slat armor is similar to anti-torpedo nets that used to protect battleships in port. When an RPG warhead hits, it is detonates between the main armor and the metal slats, and does little harm. Slat armor costs about half as much as ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor), and is about a third lighter, but it is unwieldy. However, in practice, slat armor works quite well, and many other types of armored vehicles, particularly armored trucks, use it as well. The LROD version is even lighter, and easier to install and remove. This makes it useful in situations where the RPG threat comes and goes.




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