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RUSSIAN EXPO ARMS and International Defence Exhibition of Land Forces.


As usual, our company showed some new products in the field of combat material protection, body armor, new materials (Figs.1 and 2).

Most attention of the visitors was attracted to the following exhibits:
- new ERA box with new 4S24 ERA tiles;
- Nakidka radar-absorbing package;
- reduced-signature ballistic helmet;
- new family of helmets made of ballistic fabric and polymer materials;
- electromagnetic protection system;
- DUBLON (ZASLON) protective ensemble;
- RYS heavy helmet;
- Electroshock batons.


Fig.1 The exhibition stand of JSC NIISTALI

Fig.2 A display stand for demonstration of radar-absorbing
performance of Nakidka material in 8-12 GHz frequency band.


For the first time our electromagnetic system was demonstrated on T-72B MBT in real environment. Nakidka RAM package was demonstrated on two tanks (T-72B and T-90S).

Our exposition at Moscow exhibition was practically the same. For the first time we tried to actually demonstrate how ERA operates when hit by PG-7 AT grenade. The interest to our products was higher at Moscow exhibition. More than 40 foreign delegations visited our stand whereas there were only 8 delegations in Nizhniy Tagil (Fig. 3).


Fig.3 US delegation visiting our exhibition stand

Fig.4 �-72B MBT fitted with "Relict" ERA package,
electromagnetic protection system and Nakidka RAM


New Products for Ballistic Protection: REA - Nizhniy Tagil

The organizers of REA exhibition in Nizhniy Tagil intended to make upgraded T-72B tank (Fig.4) the hit of the exhibition. The tank is equipped with a new 1000 hp engine, FCS, new armament and communication system. But the main object of upgrading is the ballistic protection system. The tank is equipped with RELICT new generation ERA package (designed by NII STALI). It differs from earlier generation ERA not only by its higher efficiency against KE penetrators and HEAT warheads (though this kind of efficiency is twice higher as compared to CONTACT-V ERA package), but also by its versatility. It features a modular design and can be fitted to any tank.

Along with the new ERA package this tank is fitted with a new electromagnetic protection system which guarantees complete protection against magnetic mines. Such mines are scattered by mine-dispensing ammunition into tank concentration areas or armored columns. The electromagnetic protection system enables the tank to cross such minefields without waiting for the engineer vehicles to clear them (Fig.5a). The electromagnetic system was also designed by NII STALI.


Fig.5 (a) T-72B entering minefield

Fig.5 (b) Magnetic mine detonates in front of the tank,
and not under its belly


And one more new system fitted to upgraded T-72B tank is the signature reduction package based on Nakidka RAM. The system is not actually new, but it has become the standard component part of this tank.

Speaking about the signature reduction package we'd like to make two critical comments concerning preparation of T-72B for this demonstration.

The first one concerns the outward appearance of Nakidka package. It was shabby and threadbare and didn't look like an exhibit; though if the visitors had been informed that this package had run 2000 km as trials it would have been appreciated much higher.

The second comments concerns the evident non-compatibility of Nakidka package and side grill screens. In fact, it is stupid to reduce the tank signature by covering its front and fit perfect angle reflectors to the sides (Fig.6).

Actually, our company offered several T-72B upgrading options to tank designers for different combat situations. One of the options was fitting with Nakidka RAM and special rubber side screens which also reduce the radar reflection of the vehicle. This option was meant for large-scale military conflicts when the probability of using long-range surveillance systems and precision-guided weapons by the enemy is high.

Fig.6 �-72B: compatibility of Nalidka RAM and grills

Fig.7 BMP-2 IFV with a new add-on passive armor


The option with the grill screens was offered as an economic solution enabling the tank to quickly adjust to urban combat conditions, when it is highly probable that AT grenades will be used against the vehicles at different course angles, and there's no need to reduce the tank signature. This option does not imply using Nakidka RAM package.


Combination of these two options is just nonsense.

Some experts suggested that Nakidka RAM is put over the grill screens. In this case the grills cannot perform their main function and become actually useless.

We think these blunders did not allow T-72B tank to become the hit of the exhibition.


Another interesting product demonstrated at the exhibition for the first time was upgraded BMP-2 (Fig.7). Actually it was meant that, besides add-on passive armor screens which increase the bullet-proof performances of the vehicle, it would have some other novelties, among which grill screens, add-on ERA package, explosive-proof fuel tanks, etc (we could see a lot of bosses on the add-on screens which were meant for some of these systems). What made the chief designer to curtail complete upgrade package is still a puzzle. The upgrade option shown at the exhibition only slightly increases BMP-2 protection level.



As for Kurganmashzavod company's exposition as a whole, we think that in terms of protection issue there's an evident step backwards. The company didn't think it necessary to demonstrate either active or reactive methods of IFV protection, though earlier the company advertised such systems as applied to BMP-3 IFV.

Against this background the new products of NII STALI for light combat vehicles protection looked somehow aloof. Really, due to new 4S24 ERA tiles and a new ERA boxes (Fig.8) the protection level of LAV has been brought to 600 mm RHA (which is the highest in the world at the moment). Survivability of the ERA package has increased twice; its dimensions have been reduced by 30%. There are also other advantages over our previous systems (designed 5 years ago) and over foreign counterparts. But why our domestic IFV designers are in no haste to use this system on their vehicles? This was the most frequent question asked at our exhibition stand by the visitors. At the same time, there was great interest to this system from foreign companies.

Fig.8 A new ERA box with 4S24 ERA tiles for BMP IFV
(as compared to older ERA box with 4S20 tiles))

Fig.9 P26 new ballistic helmet (6B26) - one of the lightest in the world.


NII STALI demonstrated a series of new polymer/ballistic fabric helmets (P26, P27, P28, see Fig.9) which are the commercial versions of army helmets (6B26 light army helmet; 6B27 assault helmet; 6B28 commando helmet) in service of the Russian Army from 2006. Their main advantage is low weight (0.9-1.25kg) at high level of fragmentation protection (V50 = 600�650 m/s). They also feature a more comfortable and reliable internal harness system, and their outer shape is close to the shape of the new NATO helmet (ACH). It is quite natural, because optimization of the helmet shape is going in the same direction in all countries.


NII STALI showed its RYS assault helmets for the first time though their prototype (K6-3) has been in production for a long time already. The new helmet is adjusted to the police requirements; it features an optimized protection structure and has an integrated head-set. RYS-T helmet is made of titanium, RYS-A helmet is made of aluminium.


A low-signature ballistic helmet designed by NII STALI was also demonstrated for the first time. The helmet features very low contrast against the background and cannot be detected by thermal viewers. Besides, it has an fragment-resistant visor which screens the face impeding detection of the soldier's face by thermal imageing systems.

The photos made at the exhibition by a high-sensitive thermal imaging system (FLIR) vividly show this effect (Fig.10a, 10b).

Fig.10 Thermal image of a reduced-signature ballistic helmet:

a) with the visor up;

b) with the visor down


There were some interesting products in camouflage of combat equipment and soldiers demonstrated by a Czech company BOIS.

First, the company offers multispectral camouflage nets operating in the optical, IR and radar ranges (but the nets are efficient in the wavelength band up to 1 cm, whereas Nakidka RAM is efficient in the wavelength band up to 12 cm). The resulting thermal contrast is not higher than 30%; the radar reflected signal is reduced by 6 dB (but: Nakidka RAM reduces the radar signal by 10 dB!). The company produces camouflage nets for forest, sand and winter backgrounds.

Second, the company makes camouflage-colored uniform for soldiers and snipers with the same performances as the camouflage nets.
The camouflage covers weigh no more than 300 g per square meter (just to compare: Nakidka RAM weighs 2 kg per square meter).

New Products for Ballistic Protection: MVSV-2006, Moscow

There were quite few new products at MVSV-2006 exhibition.

Fig.11 BMD-2 assault vehicle with a landing system

Fig.12 Multi-purpose fighting compartment ("Bakhcha")

Fig.13 BMP-3 IFV with ARENA active protection system


Volgograd tractor plant showed a complete family of BMD assault vehicles completed with parachute landing system (Fig.11). It's a pity BMD-4 was demonstrated only as a mock-up and there was very little information on the vehicle.

A multi-purpose fighting compartment ("BAKHCHA") (Fig.12) was demonstrated by KBP. In fact it is an alternative to BMP-3 turret designed by KMZ. The new fighting compartment is different not only by FCS and armament, but also by the very base. It is a sectional welded aluminium turret up-armored by steel screens. The level of protection is the same as that of BMP-3 turret. The new turret is supposed to be installed on BMP-3 and BMP-2 IFVs, BTR-80 APC, BMD-4 assault vehicle and some other vehicles.

KMZ demonstrated a mock-up of BMP-3 IFV fitted with ARENA active protection system. It is difficult to understand why the Kurgan designers completely ignore ERA (Fig.13).

Fig.14 BMP-2 IFV with thermal screen on the turret

Fig.15 Thermal screen: close-up


There were a lot of discussions concerning the upgraded BMP-2 IFV (Fig. 14-15) which was presented by mass media as "BEREZHOK" IFV. There are thin screens on the turret of this vehicle. The aim of these screens was unclear. The solution is quite simple: these screens have nothing to do with ballistic protection. This vehicle was designed for export to southern countries with hot climate, and the screens protect the hull from heating. So the ballistic protection level of the vehicle has not changed, and the vehicle has nothing to do with "BEREZHOK".

The amored version of Ural 4350 truck (designed by NPO "Technika") had been demonstrated more than once. There was nothing new in the ballistic protection of this truck. As before, it offers protection level 5 (GOST standard). The armoring is overt, the hood protection hampers engine cooling. The cab is armored by 6.5mm thick steel panels; the truck body is armored by 13mm steel plates which is apparently too heavy for this vehicle (Fig. 16,17).

Fig.16 Armored URAL-4350 truck cab

Fig.17 Armored URAL-4350 truck body


Two new products were demonstrated by car designers. GAZ showed its version of armored Hummer (Fig.18), and Combat company (former Laura) from St. Petersburg demonstrated their own version of the same car (Fig.19). Both cars are made according to the same principle: they feature an armored body frame. But the workmanship of the cars is clearly different: the GAZ's car reveals all its welds which are already rusty, the finish quality is bad, the armoring is overt; whereas the Combat's car looks as a quite decent armored cross-country vehicle. The armored body is well thought-out, the armoring is covert, the interior and exterior finish is quite good. The protection level is also quite high: up to Level 6, including windows. The company used German armor steel for ballistic protection. High protection level is gained not only due to steel plate thickness, but also due to spaced armor made as honeycomb structure. According to the designers, this structure offers protection even against AT rocket-propelled grenades at some particular impact angles. But we strongly doubt it.

Fig.18 GAS multi-purpose armored car

Fig.19 COMBAT armored car

Fig.20 Decoy: S-300 rocket system


It seems it was the first exhibition where ground vehicle decoys were demonstrated. Such method of deception has been used by foreign armies for a long time. The decoys (in this case they were vehicles made parts of S300 MLRS) operate in optical, IR and radar bands (Fig.20). Today the efficiency of such systems is decreasing because the detection systems are improving much quicker and at the performances shown at this exhibition they are able to distinguish the actual vehicle and the decoy.


A whole series of explosive device suppressors was shown by ARLY company. Among them were concealable hand held, car-transportable and stationary ones operating in frequency bands from 20 to 2600 MHz. The suppression zone radius is from 5 to 50 meters. Their disadvantage is that all of them are not multi-purpose but designed for very restricted problems.

These were the new protection products shown at the exhibition. It can be seen that there were not many of them.


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