|Groups search result 3 for "spaced armor" heat|
Most of what you are discussing is obsolete technology from WWII. Today's armor
uses "arrays" which consist of a lot more than just spaced armor, but composite
armor panels which are made from disparate elements and perform different
The Iraqi "Al Khafji" armor, for example, consisted of layers of rubber,
aluminum, plastic, and steel, and was considered capable of stopping a TOW or
even TOW 2 HEAT warhead cold. It would have had some capability against sabot
(APFSDS) rounds but would not have been able to stop them.
Most of the newer turret arrays like those in the T-72A and B and T-80U, plus
all of the welded turret tanks, use a similar concept but of softer metals. The
softer armor "bulges" when hit and absorbs the penetration capability of a
sabot round, plus disrupts the jet from a HEAT round and therefore provides a
higher level of protection than a solid armor array would. They're also lighter
-- an M-1A1 with solid armor instead of arrays would probably go around 130
tons, and instead it goes 62-70 tons.
Some of the WWII add-on or applique stuff worked against early generation APC
and APCBC armor penetrators, as once they lost their windscreens they were
basically as aerodynamic as a beer can. But the armor had to be pretty thick
(20-40mm) and thus wasn't all that helpful in lightweight armor protection.
Skirts did little but stop HEAT rounds or an occasional bullet.