EP2207004A2 - Underbelly for an armored vehicle - Google Patents

Underbelly for an armored vehicle Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2207004A2
EP2207004A2 EP10150510A EP10150510A EP2207004A2 EP 2207004 A2 EP2207004 A2 EP 2207004A2 EP 10150510 A EP10150510 A EP 10150510A EP 10150510 A EP10150510 A EP 10150510A EP 2207004 A2 EP2207004 A2 EP 2207004A2
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
underbelly
central portion
sidewalls
according
preceding
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP10150510A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2207004A3 (en
Inventor
Felix Aizik
Zvi Asaf
Tamir Koton
Dmitry Naroditsky
Moshe Ravid
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Plasan Sasa Ltd
Original Assignee
Plasan Sasa Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to IL19645609A priority Critical patent/IL196456D0/en
Application filed by Plasan Sasa Ltd filed Critical Plasan Sasa Ltd
Publication of EP2207004A2 publication Critical patent/EP2207004A2/en
Publication of EP2207004A3 publication Critical patent/EP2207004A3/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41HARMOUR; ARMOURED TURRETS; ARMOURED OR ARMED VEHICLES; MEANS OF ATTACK OR DEFENCE, e.g. CAMOUFLAGE, IN GENERAL
    • F41H7/00Armoured or armed vehicles
    • F41H7/02Land vehicles with enclosing armour, e.g. tanks
    • F41H7/04Armour construction
    • F41H7/042Floors or base plates for increased land mine protection

Abstract

An underbelly (14) for an armored vehicle (10) is provided, configured for providing ballistic protection against a detonation of an explosive device detonated substantially therebelow. The underbelly (14) comprises a central portion (20) having a lowermost area (18), sidewalls (22) extending upwardly therefrom, the central portion (20) and sidewalls (18) constituting a main armor of the underbelly (14), and an auxiliary armor panel (30) disposed so as to project downwardly from the lowermost area (18) of the central portion (20). Upper portions of the sidewalls (22) are free of any auxiliary armor panel (30).

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to defensive armor, and more particularly to underbellies of armored vehicles providing ballistic protection thereto.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Vehicles for transporting personnel and/or equipment through area where it may be exposed to live fire, explosions, etc., are typically provided with ballistic armor. Such vehicles typically comprise a passenger cabin, and may further comprise an underbelly therebeneath to protect against explosions, including from fragmentation explosives, and other ballistic attacks directed from below the vehicle.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided an underbelly for an armored vehicle, the underbelly being configured for providing ballistic protection against a detonation of an explosive device detonated substantially therebelow and comprising:
    • a central portion having a lowermost area;
    • sidewalls extending upwardly therefrom, the central portion and sidewalls constituting a main armor of the underbelly; and
    • an auxiliary armor panel disposed so as to project downwardly from the lowermost area of the central portion;
      upper portions of the sidewalls being free of any auxiliary armor panel.
  • It will be appreciated that hereafter in the specification and claims, the term "ballistic protection" is to be understood in its broadest sense, referring to protection against all types of ballistic and similar threats, including, but not limited to, projectiles, fragments, detonations of explosive devices, etc. In addition, reference to higher and lower levels of ballistic protection implies that, in the case of a higher level of ballistic protection, a higher energy threat of the same type can be defeated with armor of the same weight.
  • It will be further appreciated that hereafter in the specification and claims, terms which relate to direction, such as "above", "below", "upward", "downward", "upper", "lower", etc., refer to a typical configuration of the underbelly when attached to the vehicle and the vehicle is in its upright position, with the apex of the underbelly pointing away from the vehicle and towards the ground.
  • The auxiliary armor panel may be attached or connected to the central portion, for example by any appropriate method. It may comprise at least one flexible layer made of ballistic fibers, for example aramid, which may be unidirectional or woven. This layer is useful, for example, for protecting against fragments, e.g., of the explosive device.
  • The auxiliary armor panel may further comprise a lower hard armor layer disposed below the flexible layer. The lower hard armor layer may have a thickness which is less than that of the central portion.
  • The central portion and the sidewalls constitute a single element. Thus, the central portion and sidewalls may constitute portions of the same armor panel, for example made of a sheet of metal or ceramic pellets formed as part of the same panel.
  • The central portion may be distinct from the sidewalls. The may be formed with a gap between the sidewalls, the gap being bridged by the central portion. This facilitates removal of the central portion in order to access the interior of the underbelly from below the vehicle.
  • Each of the upper portions of the sidewalls may have a cross-sectional length, in the same cross-section as the V-shape, which is at least half that of the auxiliary armor panel.
  • The central portion may be bolted to the sidewalls.
  • The central portion may have a V-shaped or a substantially V-shaped cross-section defining an apex constituting part of the lowermost area.
  • The hard armor (i.e., both of the sidewalls, the central portion, and of the lower hard armor layer of the auxiliary armor panel) may be made of aluminum, titanium, magnesium, or a ballistic ceramic. It may be made of steel having a Brinell hardness between about 370 HB and 500HB. More particularly, it may be made of steel having a Brinell hardness of about 440 HB.
  • The underbelly may further comprise a plurality of ribs disposed thereabove for facilitating connection to the vehicle, the ribs being designed so as to facilitate a tight connection between the sidewalls and the central portion, by using only mechanical means, i.e., without the need for welding.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an underbelly for an armored vehicle, the underbelly being configured for providing ballistic protection against a detonation of an explosive device detonated substantially therebelow, the underbelly defining an upper reference plane and having one or more distal portions and one or more proximal portion disposed between the distal portion and the reference plane, the distal portion being designed to provide a higher level of ballistic protection than provided by the proximal portion.
  • The armored vehicle may comprise a passenger cabin coincident with the reference plane, the underbelly being configured for protecting the passenger cabin from the detonation.
  • The vehicle may comprise a plurality of ribs disposed below the passenger cabin, the ribs being designed so as to facilitate a tight connection therebetween and the proximal and distal portions, by using only mechanical means, i.e., without the need for welding.
  • The distal portion may be positioned so as to be closer to the detonation that the proximal portion is.
  • The proximal and distal portions may be made of the same material, the distal portion being of a larger thickness than the proximal portion.
  • The proximal and distal portions may be integrally formed with one another, or made of distinct pieces.
  • The proximal and distal portions may be made of materials providing different levels of ballistic protection at similar thicknesses, the distal portion being made of a material which provides a higher level of ballistic protection than provided by the material of the proximal portion at the same thickness.
  • The proximal and distal portions may be made of materials providing different levels of ballistic protection at similar weights, the distal portion being made of a material which provides a higher level of ballistic protection than provided by the material of the proximal portion at the same weight.
  • At least the distal portion may be made of aluminum, titanium, or magnesium, or of steel having a Brinell hardness between about 370 HB and 500 HB. More particularly, it may be made of steel having a Brinell hardness of about 440 HB.
  • The underbelly may be substantially V-shaped having a distally-directed vertex, the distal portion being at least partially located at the vertex.
  • According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided an armored vehicle comprising an underbelly as described in connection with any of the above aspects.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
    • Fig. 1 is a rear partial sectional view of an armored vehicle;
    • Figs. 2A and 2B are, respectively, top and bottom perspective views of ribs of the armored vehicle illustrated in Fig. 1 with an underbelly attached thereto;
    • Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a rib and an underbelly according to the present invention, taken through a rib;
    • Fig. 4 is a side view of an additional example of an underbelly according to the present invention;
    • Fig. 5 is a closeup view of an auxiliary armor panel attached to a portion of a central portion of the underbelly according to the present invention; and
    • Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view of an underbelly according to another example of the present invention.
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • As illustrated in Fig. 1, there is provided an armored vehicle 10 having a passenger cabin 12. The vehicle 10 is provided with ballistic armor to defend against expected ballistic threats. In addition, the vehicle comprises an underbelly 14 to protect the passenger cabin from ballistic threats originating therebelow, such as explosive devices (e.g., an IED - improvised explosive device) arranged to detonate below the vehicle.
  • The vehicle, according to one design, comprises a plurality of ribs 16, better seen in Figs. 2A and 2B, which span between the passenger cabin 12 and the underbelly 14, thereby connecting the two. Examples of designs of these ribs is described in greater detail in co-pending applications IL 192447 and IL 195167 , both to the present applicant, the full contents of both of which are incorporated herein by reference. These applications describe arrangements which facilitate attachment of the ribs 16 and the underbelly 14 by mechanical means, so that no welding is necessary for the attachment, for example by increasing the pressure between the ribs and the underbelly before a simple mechanical securing mechanism, such as a bolt/nut assembly is applied. However, any attachment between the underbelly 14 and the ribs 16, or any other part of the vehicle 10 depending on its configuration, is possible without departing from the spirit and the scope of the present invention.
  • As illustrated in Fig. 3, the underbelly 14 is provided as a substantially V-shaped form. It is arranges such that its apex 18 (i.e., vertex) is at the lowest point, i.e., closest to the expected location of an explosive threat. It comprises a distally disposed central portion 20, which contains the apex 18 at a lowermost area thereof, and two proximally disposed sidewalls 22 adjacent thereto on either side. As seen, there is a gap between the sidewalls 22, which is bridged by the central portion 20. According to the example illustrated in Fig. 3, the central portion 20 and sidewalls 22 each contain apertures 24, 26 for passing therethrough teeth 28 of the ribs 16 in order to implement the mechanical attachment as described in the above-mentioned co-pending applications. Furthermore, additional apertures may be provided therethrough in order to facilitate the introduction of other attachment mechanisms, such as additional bolts (not illustrated).
  • The central portion 20 is designed to provide a level of ballistic protection which protects against a close detonation of an explosive device, for example one which is in direct contact therewith during detonation. The sidewalls 22 are designed to provide a level of ballistic protection which protects against a farther detonation of the explosive device, as it is typically located a greater distance from the expected location of detonation than the central portion 20 is.
  • The difference in levels of ballistic protection (e.g., the difference in the amount of energy each is adapted to absorb) between the central portion 20 and sidewalls 22 may be realized by forming the portions of the same material as one another, but of different thicknesses. For example, the central portion 20 may have a thickness of 12.7 mm, while the sidewalls 22 may have a thickness of 8 mm. The central portion 20 and sidewalls 22 may be made of any appropriate material, such as steel having a Brinell hardness in a range between 370 and 500 HB. According to one particular example, the metal has a Brinell hardness of 440 HB.
  • Examples of steel which may be used to make the central portion 20 and sidewalls 22 are Armox 440T, manufactured by SSAB Svenskt Stål [Swedish Steel] AB (Sweden), and Bisplate® 450, manufactured by Bisalloy® (Australia). Alternatively, the central portion 20 and sidewalls 22 may be made of panel comprising ceramic pellets.
  • Alternatively, the difference in levels of ballistic protection between the central portion 20 and sidewalls 22 may be realized by forming the portions of different materials as one another, which may or may not be of the same thickness.
  • It will be appreciated that while an underbelly 14 having a single central portion 20 and a V-shaped form is described in reference to Figs. 1 through 3, an underbelly may be provided having multiple central portion and being of a different form. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 4, the underbelly 14 may have a "double V-shaped" form and two central portion 20. According to this example, three sidewalls 22 may be provided.
  • As illustrated in Fig. 5, the central portion 20 may be formed as part of a "sandwich", with an auxiliary armor panel 30 disposed therebelow. The auxiliary armor panel 30 comprises a lower hard armor layer 32 disposed below the central portion 20 and together therewith surrounding an inner flexible layer 34 made of fibers, such as an aramid material. According to this arrangement, the central portion 20 constitutes an upper hard armor layer of the "sandwich". The aramid material may be formed in any appropriate way, including, but not limited to, unidirectionally or woven, or a combination of two or more thereof.
  • The flexible layer 34 is useful for stopping and/or absorbing energy of fragments which impinge upon it. These fragments may be, for example, from the explosive device, or secondary projectiles from the lower hard armor layer 32 formed by the force of the explosion. In addition, it acts as a buffer between the central portion 20 and lower hard armor layer 32, preventing them from impacting one another.
  • Alternatively, as illustrated in Fig. 6, the sidewalls 22 may be formed without a gap, i.e., as a continuous armor panel. According to this arrangement, the central portion 20 constitutes an upper hard armor layer of the "sandwich". The flexible layer 34 and lower armor panel 32 are attached below the central portion 20 at the apex 18.
  • The placement of the auxiliary armor panel 30 below the central portion 20 of the underbelly 14 may provide several advantages. For example, it is less likely to itself become a secondary projectile by the force of an explosion. In addition, the lower armor layer 32 may be thinner (i.e., not as heavy) as the central portion 20 or as the sidewalls 22.
  • According to all of the examples disclosed above, upper portions 38 of the sidewalls 22 (i.e., those closest to the vehicle) are free of an auxiliary armor panel 30. As the center of the underbelly 14 is disposed closest to an explosive threat such as an IED, the extra weight which would be associated with providing auxiliary protection at the upper portions is not necessary. Thus, each of the upper portions 38 may have a cross-sectional length Lupper which is at least half as long as that of the cross-sectional length Lauxiliary (i.e., at least half of the underbelly 14 is free of the auxiliary armor panel 30). It will be appreciated that the amount of the underbelly 14 which is covered by the auxiliary armor panel 30 is to be determined by the designer, and may depend on the level of protection required, the level of protection provided by the sidewalls 22, etc., without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will readily appreciate that numerous changes, variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention mutatis mutandis.

Claims (15)

  1. An underbelly for an armored vehicle, said underbelly being configured for providing ballistic protection against a detonation of an explosive device detonated substantially therebelow and comprising:
    • a central portion having a lowermost area;
    • sidewalls extending upwardly therefrom, said central portion and sidewalls constituting a main armor of the underbelly; and
    • an auxiliary armor panel disposed so as to project downwardly from
    said lowermost area of the central portion; upper portions of said sidewalls being free of any auxiliary armor panel.
  2. An underbelly according to Claim 1, wherein said auxiliary armor panel comprises at least one flexible layer made of ballistic fibers.
  3. An underbelly according to Claim 2, wherein said ballistic fibers comprise an aramid material.
  4. An underbelly according to any one of Claims 2 and 3, wherein said auxiliary armor panel comprises a lower hard armor layer disposed below said flexible layer.
  5. An underbelly according to Claim 4, wherein said lower hard armor layer has a thickness which is less than that of the central portion.
  6. An underbelly according to any one of Claims 4 and 5, wherein said central portion and said sidewalls constitute a single element.
  7. An underbelly according to any one of Claims 4 and 5, wherein said central portion is distinct from said sidewalls.
  8. An underbelly according to Claim 7, being formed with a gap between said sidewalls, said gap being bridged by said central portion.
  9. An underbelly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of said upper portions of said sidewalls has a cross-sectional length which is at least half that of the auxiliary armor panel.
  10. An underbelly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said central portion is bolted to said sidewalls.
  11. An underbelly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said central portion has a substantially V-shaped cross-section defining an apex constituting part of said lowermost area.
  12. An underbelly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of said central portion and lower hard armor layer is made of a material selected from the group comprising steel, aluminum, titanium, magnesium, and ballistic ceramic.
  13. An underbelly according to any one of Claims 1 through 11, wherein at least one of said central portion and lower hard armor layer is made of a metal characterized by at least one of the following:
    • it has a Brinell hardness between about 370 HB and 500 HB; and
    • it has a Brinell hardness of about 440 HB.
  14. An underbelly according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a plurality of ribs disposed thereabove for facilitating connection to the vehicle, the ribs being designed so as to facilitate a tight connection between said sidewalls and said central portion, by using only mechanical means.
  15. An armored vehicle comprising an underbelly according to any one of the preceding claims.
EP10150510.5A 2009-01-12 2010-01-12 Underbelly for an armored vehicle Withdrawn EP2207004A3 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
IL19645609A IL196456D0 (en) 2009-01-12 2009-01-12 Uderbelly of armord vehicle

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP2207004A2 true EP2207004A2 (en) 2010-07-14
EP2207004A3 EP2207004A3 (en) 2014-04-30

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP10150510.5A Withdrawn EP2207004A3 (en) 2009-01-12 2010-01-12 Underbelly for an armored vehicle

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US (1) US20100218667A1 (en)
EP (1) EP2207004A3 (en)
AU (1) AU2010200111A1 (en)
IL (1) IL196456D0 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
US20100218667A1 (en) 2010-09-02
EP2207004A3 (en) 2014-04-30
AU2010200111A1 (en) 2010-07-29
IL196456D0 (en) 2009-12-24

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Effective date: 20140801