The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a specialised ‘hybrid’ armour that will make tanks safer in battle and somewhat immune to anti-tank missiles. The DRDO’s Pune-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) has worked on the new armour.
Dr A Subanandha Rao, HEMRL Director, said the hybrid armour would take care of tandem warheads and also kinetic energy projectiles aimed at tanks in the battlefield. It would increase the survivability rate of tanks.
Tandem warheads and kinetic energy projectiles are much more dangerous than the anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) that are currently used. The kinetic energy projectiles have rod warhead with multiple sections, each enclosing a projectile and an explosive charge. These can prove to be lethal for the tank and its crew in a tank battle. Most modern-day tanks built by major tank makers in the US and Ukraine are now incorporating the hybrid armour. The tandem warheads also work on similar lines. The hybrid armour will drive back incoming tandem warheads and kinetic energy. It will work almost on the same pattern on which the HEMRL developed the explosive reactive armour (ERA) for the T-72 series of tanks.
The hybrid armours are likely to be used on the latest Russian-origin T-90 tanks and the indigenous Arjun tanks, Rao said, adding that the Army had been involved at every stage of testing and developing.