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back to article Brit firm stops anti-tank warheads with cloth

Cunning new UK technology will see British troops' vehicles in Afghanistan protected from armour-piercing rocket warheads - by cloth. The MoD was pleased yesterday to unveil its new TARIAN "textile based" vehicle protection system, which will see lightweight cloth attached to the sides of military vehicles in Afghan combat. …

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Is it just me ...

or is a simple work-around to this just to fire an incendiary round first to burn the shit out of the cloth layer, and THEN hit it with an RPG?

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Anonymous Coward

@Wolf

and you presume it's flammable?

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@Wolf Clostermann

Don't you think they would have thought of that? I highly doubt they will use "cloth" susceptible to flame.

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Anonymous Coward

Banging on empty barrels

Protection against shaped charge devices by forcing premature proximate detonation by way of netting or whatnot has been known and used for years. So what is new here? Cloth? Brit firm? Empty barrel?

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Bronze badge

@Wolf

Yeah I hear they're using shell suit material. They considered non-flammable materials, but thought they didn't look cool.

Good spot.

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@Wolf

"is it just me or is a simple work-around to this just to fire an incendiary round first to burn the shit out of the cloth layer, and THEN hit it with an RPG?"

One might imagine that an armament manufacturer might base such a technology on a non-flammable textile...

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Flame

@WClostermann...

Aren't flame retardant materials pretty common these days?

What I'd do is chuck a huge load of ninja throwing stars at 'em first, to rip it to shreds. :)

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re. Is it just me ...

I think their "cloth" might be fairly flame-resistant; the company also makes things like airbags for automotive use and smoke-curtains for aircraft.

Flames (hopefully not though)

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Grenade

@Is it just me

i imagine this super high tech cloth is fireproof, shirley.

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@Wolf

But for the incendiary-then-shaped-charge idea to work, you either have to have a very well-engineered dual-warhead rocket (which is no longer cheap and easily available) or hit the vehicle in the exact spot that your first warhead burned through the cloth layer.

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Burning? nope

My guess is that this "cloth" is fire resistant, and mainly made of cordura or a stronger fiber... along with fire retardants.

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Coat

This explains why

all the women in Afghanistan wear burkas.

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Silver badge

In related news

British Forces in Afganistan, in an apparent nod to the local customs, put burkas on their fighting vehicles.

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Coat

Always said

my old greatcoat would stop a bullet.

The one with ceramic tiles in the pockets

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WTF?

Lewis? Complimentary? WTF?

Hey Lewis, are you feeling OK? I do believe this is the first article I've seen penned by you which is complimentary, rather than distinctly disparaging! A change for the better - more please!

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Coat

Fashion?

I'll wager the vertical stripes could be quite slimming for your armoured kit!

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Coat

Carry on up the Kyber

So we are basically fitting tanks with Kilts!

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It's a wrap

Does the cloth protection work twice? So, if they fire one RPG then another, will the second be also stopped? I suppose what I'm trying to say is does the cloth get damaged by the first RPG? You'd think it would, wouldn't you?

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Grenade

Machine gun first, RPG later

This has been tried in a different war at a different time.

The predecessor of wire bars was stand-off ceramic plating developed by Russians and Germans in WW2. It was abandoned for a very simple reason - machine guns could easily damage it to a point where it will no longer protect against sabots and shaped charges.

So in fact it is a bit too early to say goodbye to good old wire bars and hello to cloth ones.

Granade... Old fashioned one (in the absence of RPG17 icon).

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See Icon

See title

(There's no way it's not flame retardant though)

I never knew RPGs were shaped charges, always thought they were "dumb".

Does it work against CBU-97 skeets?

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Grenade

Re Is it just me ...

You'd hope that they have specified fire retardant cloth.

The more relevant question would seem to be how many warheads it can take before being torn into shreds and a comparison with the bars.

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Grenade

Will still not help against my BFG9000

Obviously.

As for "first incendiary, then detonator, then piercing" round as proposed by Clostermann --- well, that's making it all rather fragile and complicated (if you realize the average weapon is an IED, this may be too much engineering and retrofitting effort).

It wouldn't normally work, as it wouldn't get the protection out of the way fast enough. So you want a small explosive that pushes the protection away, then the detonator-plus-piercer... both to be delivered in the same place, close after each other but not too close. You're in Quake-weapons territory with that.

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Go

Best protection

The best protection of course would be to bring the troops home.

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RE: Is it just me ...

Unless, of course, they do something tricky like use flame retardant or fireproof fabric.

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Terminator

I look forward to the day...

..when I can wear RPG proof trousers. Not that I have any need for them where I live as RPGs flying through the air is a rare* event. However you never know when Skynet will unleash its mechanical horrors upon us**, its best to be prepared as no man wants a jet of molten copper to the dangly bits!

Good Job boffins!

* never in recorded history

** Sorry, but I just wanna use the new terminator piccy thing!

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Shield

FWIW, tarian is Welsh for shield.

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fire ?

Why use fire,

Hit the thing with a AK47 firing in auto mode, will cut the cloth into shreds that the RPG will then go through. The thick "chicken mesh" currently used is very hard to hit with the AK47.

The article does say the cloth has to be taught to work, after being hit with from the AK47, it won't be taught.

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Coat

Gives a whole new perspective on...

...touching cloth.

Mine's is the one with Andrex Super Absorbent in the pocket....

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@So we are basically fitting tanks with Kilts!

yes, you can choose your own tartan.

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@Martin 6 & kilts

That's TARIAN not TARTAN.

As to those suggesting that all the enemy has to do is make a hole in the cloth first, I would imagine that the first slug of molten copper that gets smeared over one's tank (or sporran, as the case may be) might just be a hint that it's time to get the hell out of there smartish. Two shots in the same place on a moving target?

Now let's see if this British company can turn trials into money-making production. Good luck to them.

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@Martin 6 re. Carry on .....

"So we are basically fitting tanks with Kilts!"

No, it's TARIAN, not TARTAN.

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Terminator

@Peter Fielden-Weston 2

Popular guy.

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Alert

Didn't Bhangraman save the planet

from a meteor strike just using some cloth!

No wonder the Talliban wear turbans.

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TARIAN?

TARTAN would have been so much funnier

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Joke

Touching cloth

Bring a new meaning to the armour crews Afghanistan experience..

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DT
Grenade

money well spent?

So, with all these references to afghanistan...how many tanks have been lost to RPGs there?

er, none. Contrast that to how many troops have died because they didn't have the basics, like body armour? Not better to spend the money where it would protect the most number of soliders, rather than the highest value kit?

Many troops lost to homebrew shaped charges and assorted booby traps,friendly fire and so forth, but the numbers of taliban who will attempt to take on a tank are tiny and diminishing - basic darwinism at play.

Not saying the cloth isn't effective in that one situation, but give it a week and some bright spark at will have invented a two stage RPG. 'tis the way the arms industry works; a self perpetuating cycle of bigger guns, better armour, bigger guns...ed-209 enforcement 'bot in a frock, shark in a waistcoat with frickin lasers

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TARIAN "textile based" vehicle protection system?

Surely that should be TARTAN "textile based" vehicle protection system. If it's good enough for the Devils In Skirts...

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childhood instincts

So we WERE right to hide under the duvet

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Paris Hilton

Available in a wide range of styles and colours...

I'd go for a nice velvet leopard print number, darlings.....

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LPF
Grenade

@Anonymous Coward

Maybe he is being complimentary because this is not the usual story of a defence firm blatantly

ripping off the British taxpayers to provide inferior and highly expensive kit to our troops.

Look forward to BAE buying them up, replacing the cloth with wet tissue paper and charging

a 100K per square meter to ensure future British technical expertise in the field :S

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Pirate

I believe the technical term for this is....

....touching cloth.

that is all.

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Paris Hilton

Where...

... is the Eurofighter = Bad angle?

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M7S
Bronze badge

Could it pay to be shot at by an RPG?

Now that the copper is splashed over the side of the vehicle, and presumably cools nicely in a "splat" shape by the time one returns home for tea and medals, given the price of copper on the market at the moment, is it worth some enterprising squaddie scraping these off for a bit of "hazard pay"?

Reminds me of time spent collecting shell casings on the range....

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Paris Hilton

It looks like

There is a pic on the Times. It looks like a bunch of sofa cushions.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6570369.ece

MOD meets DFS, buy one get one free. Do they have it in blue leather?

Paris, coz she knows how to stop a missile whilst lying seductively on a cushion

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Boffin

It's just the start

At the speeds involved most materials act as a fluid. The safest way to avoid damage is to have non ablative layers of angled material of increasing density that will refract incoming munitions. Candyfloss then bubblewrap, taut textiles, wood and then steel. Fluffy tanks!

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Paris Hilton

that much lighter?

We're talking about tanks here, they can move a lot of weight... I'm guessing you would still need a top and bottom rail to hold the cloth up and away from the armor. So the only weight this is saving is the middle part of the cage, which I believe they can make out of aluminum anyways... So I don't really get how much weight they are saving. 40lbs... on a tank? It's still in you way as far as maintenance etc. Although it would make a nice pet project I guess? Maybe 40lbs is worth whatever extra this stuff costs, I'm no military strategist.

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Happy

@Rob 30

And don't call me Shirley... Honestly, what are readers up to these days?

What's wrong with good old Kevlar? Or a kevlar-nomex mix?

Thankfully we don't need this in "chav-ville" yet.

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Care instructions

Wonder what temperature you wash it at. All my garments have shrunk.

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Run like hell

Some of the comments above have foreshadowed several methods of defeating this cloth covering ie. machine guns, incendiary rockets etc.

My take on this is ,approaching is one or more armoured vehicles, you have shoulder use RPG's. What you desire to do is to pop up, fire, then run like hell. Not, pop up, fire, wait for a result, then fire again or worse, wait while your mates hose the vehicle down, then with the crew fully alert, pop up, take aim and fire. These are well armed armoured vehicles, perhaps with supporting vehicles of some description, the crew is not going to give you the sporting chance of a second shot, they are going to be banging away at you with everything they have, they and any support they may have.

Anything that means that the attacker takes longer to complete an attack means that the balance of power swings away from the attacker and to the defender.

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Coat

@ The Indomitable Gall

But by the time the tellybannies (say Eh oh!) have fired enough rounds to make it useless the APC's will probably have enough time to use their Heavy Machine Gun on them... or called in an airstrike or make a cup of tea and then take them out with a few mortar rounds...

mines the one with the Kevlar inserts and the militarily colours....

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