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What is ASL 3D Moulded Armour and why do we need it?

As the threats to which covert armoured vehicles are exposed to are being pushed ever higher, there is a corresponding increase in the requirement for physical protection systems.

Traditional steel based armours are no-longer practical due to the extreme weight and impact the centre of gravity these systems have on a vehicle. More recently, 3D hot formed steel solutions have become popular which dramatically reduces the part count, weak joins and bulk of the amour system.

Even this steel technology has its limitations and cannot practically be used at thicknesses greater than 9-10mm, which is insufficient for some of the armour piercing threats which must now be defeated. Furthermore, even if steel thicknesses of 12mm or more could be formed this still poses a huge weight penalty of almost 100kgs per square meter which translates to more than 1.5t of armour for a typical 4×4 or sedan vehicle before roof, glass or belly armour is considered.

ASL 3D Moulded Armour is designed to work in conjunction with thin hot formed steel armour solutions allowing a standard B6 vehicle to be up-armoured to BR7 / STANAG 4569 level 2/3 without the need for a new steel design and the associated tooling costs. The weight of the 3D composite mouldings are far more manageable to fit inside a vehicle when compared to thick steel panels.

A further benefit of the ASL 3D Moulded Armour is that it is available in standalone configurations making it suitable for use in specialist applications and small production runs. These standalone armour systems avoid the need for any complicated steel fabrication work, can be bonded directly to an existing steel monocoque vehicle body, aluminium wheel house.

By exploiting ASL’s 3D moulding technology it is possible to improve the efficiency and coverage of armoured vehicle design through the reduction in part counts and associated panel gaps / overlaps etc. Furthermore the removal of welding processes (and their associated heat effected zones which reduce the performance of armoured steel) speeds up and simplifies the armour installation process.

A further obvious benefit is the reduction in vehicle weight over a conventional steel solution, this is especially important high on the vehicle for example in the roof line. The ability to mould roof armour to closely match the roof profile of the target vehicle reduces the total space claim of the armour system allowing the retention of OEM trim panels, especially important on high end VIP vehicles.

Benefits of ASL 3D Moulded Armour:

  • Stand alone protection levels up to BR7 (no steel requirement)
  • Significantly lighter than steel alternative
  • Convenient to fit
  • Reduction of part count
  • No welding or mechanical fastening required
  • Ideal for spall liners – adding a liner to the hull of a vehicle can increase the protection by 1 level*.

*Not applicable to STANAG Level III or higher.