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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:26 AM
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Less bulk, more protection
Less bulk, more protection
By Kris Osborn - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Dec 8, 2008 6:15:23 EST

The future of the Armys land vehicles is taking shape on a cement slab in a grassy field at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where a medium-caliber gun blasts away at point-blank range at an aluminum hull hung with pads of exotic new armor plate.

After the murderous fire pierces, bends and shreds the protective materials, Army engineers study the damage and draw lessons for the next try.

Its all part of the high-stakes effort to develop lightweight composites that outperform traditional steel.

We will shoot whatever threat we want to get feedback on. Then, we will use high-speed video and X-rays so we can see the bullet as it impacts and see what it does to the armor panel, said Lt. Col. Andrew Dimarco, deputy project manager for survivability.

The Armys vehicle plans depend on the effort. The research is intended to help create vehicles that are light and mobile enough for 21st-century battlefields, yet can adapt to diverse and changing threats, said Thomas Killion, deputy assistant Army secretary for research and technology and the Armys head scientist.

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