The military has to constantly seek to improve the protective (survivability) qualities of its equipment as well as the offensive capabilities, maneuverability, accuracy and firepower. As far as the military is concerned the Army with the best technology will win the battle.
Modern combat has evolved from the force on force slug fest that it used to be. Very seldom will troops face off and fight hand to hand on a modern battlefield although it will happen from time to time. the object of modern warfare is to kill the enemy before he can get close to you in order to increase your chances for survival.
When we refer to modular armored protection we are talking about a system of protection rather than just having protective armor. Compare armor to the shields that were used in ancient warfare. they were to protect their users from being injured by whatever weapons were being used against them. Armor protects the crew of heavy weapons systems from heavy projectiles and missiles that may be used against them.
The very first tenet of advanced modular protection is to not to be seen at all. I like this concept and I could improve on it because as far as I’m concerned the best way to not be seen is to not be there at all. Unfortunately troops on the modern battlefield don’t have that choice but I’m sure that most of them would like to.
Modular protection would incorporate using stealthy tactics such as remaining under cover or concealment so as not to be seen. Vehicles are painted to match the predominant color in the background. Brush and other objects will be added to break up their shape and make them look like something other than what they really are.
This will also include stealth materials, technology, and paints to help them to evade radar or other detection techniques. Noise and radio emissions will be muffled and their heat signature which will be reduced as much as possible.
The military has also developed directional sensors that can calculate where a projectile or missile is coming from, determine where it’s point of impact will be, and fire countermeasures to either destroy it or knock it off course before impact. This would be the next layer of protection.
Worst case scenario is a complete miss but the next worst scenario is a glancing blow. Even this would probably break the projectile apart and almost totally reduce it’s effectiveness. A direct hit would destroy it altogether thus saving the high priced armored vehicle and the lives of the troops inside.
If by chance the vehicle suffered a direct hit after all the protective features the party has just begun. The vehicle armor is composed of different layers which each may have a special function and purpose. The bottom line of the entire matter is to stop the incoming projectile before it can penetrate the vehicle and either take it out of commission of harm the crew. It may be stopped, shredded, splintered, or redirected before it breaks through the armored skin of the vehicle.
The different layers of armor (composite armor) are made of different materials. Each material has a different effect on the incoming projectile. The purpose of this is to defeat different aspects of it’s potential explosive or penetrating power.
Reactive armor contains explosive charges. Once the reactive armor is hit it will explode. This causes the projectile to be stopped or broken up.