US Army vehicles get extra protection

The first two LROD rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) protection systems have been fitted on US Army RG31 and RG31A1 mine-protected vehicles.

The lightweight, modular bar-armour system, developed by BAE Systems, is made from aluminium alloy. BAE says it provides protection against RPGs without compromising operational effectiveness.

The company claims the system weighs less than half of comparable steel designs and can be bolted on to the vehicle without welding or cutting. It can also be maintained in the field.

The army will buy 12 more kits for delivery this year to operational units and has expressed interest in buying additional ones for the entire RG31 and RG31A1 fleet.

BAE developed LROD as part of a fast-response US DARPA programme to provide RPG protection for high-mobility multipurpose-wheeled vehicles. The army carried out more than 50 live-fire tests to validate the performance and optimise the modular design. This proved effective at preserving the integrity of the vehicle and safety of the crew.

Based on the system’s success with army and marine corps combat units, BAE is now designing kits to protect other combat vehicles, including the BV-206 light armoured vehicle and the amphibious assault vehicle, both manufactured by the company. Small boats could also be protected.

‘The LROD system provides lightweight, low-cost RPG protection that is easily adapted to virtually any armoured vehicle,’ said Dr Jim Galambos, director of business develop-ment for BAE Systems’ Advanced Technologies.

Defended: the LROD system protects vehicles against RPG attacks