eli5 How does ERA work?

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(explosive reactive armour )

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6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It used to be that you could just shoot a chunk of metal at some armor and as long as your chunk of metal was heavy enough and moving fast enough it would penetrate. Then as armor got better different techniques like super-hard narrow rods of metal encased in carrier material were used.

But in the modern age penetrating armor tends to be all about “EFPs” or explosively formed penetrators. This kind of projectile has explosives precisely formed around a metal cone such that when the explosives detonate it creates an extremely high speed jet of metal. Think like how a pebble or something can be dropped into water and as water rushes back to fill the cavity formed by the dropped object it forms a splash that shoots extremely high. When this is a hypersonic jet of metal it can penetrate armor much better than a conventional projectile.

Explosive reactive armor tries to combat this technique as well as previous designs by using explosives. As a projectile is nearing the surface of the armor the ERA will explode, throwing out its own shock wave and plates of metal towards the incoming projectile. This disrupts the projectile before it actually arrives at the armor itself, scattering the EFP jet and deflecting or breaking up an incoming penetrator round.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It used to be that you could just shoot a chunk of metal at some armor and as long as your chunk of metal was heavy enough and moving fast enough it would penetrate. Then as armor got better different techniques like super-hard narrow rods of metal encased in carrier material were used.

But in the modern age penetrating armor tends to be all about “EFPs” or explosively formed penetrators. This kind of projectile has explosives precisely formed around a metal cone such that when the explosives detonate it creates an extremely high speed jet of metal. Think like how a pebble or something can be dropped into water and as water rushes back to fill the cavity formed by the dropped object it forms a splash that shoots extremely high. When this is a hypersonic jet of metal it can penetrate armor much better than a conventional projectile.

Explosive reactive armor tries to combat this technique as well as previous designs by using explosives. As a projectile is nearing the surface of the armor the ERA will explode, throwing out its own shock wave and plates of metal towards the incoming projectile. This disrupts the projectile before it actually arrives at the armor itself, scattering the EFP jet and deflecting or breaking up an incoming penetrator round.

Anonymous 0 Comments

[Here’s a handy graphic](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Image_Explosive_Reactive_Armor.png)

General idea is that most anti tank rounds that are effective against modern armor are either shaped charge rounds or kinetic penetrators

Shaped charge rounds use explosives to take a copper cone and flip it around into a very narrow and very fast copper jet that can bore through armor (think water jet cutter but with molten metal). Kinetic penetrators are long thin rods moving at high speeds. Both of these require that they go straight and not get broken up or the stream just splatters and the rod shatters

ERA takes two steel plates and puts explosives between them. When they get hit the explosive goes off and causes the top plate to move outwards. Unless the round hits 100% dead on 90 degrees the top plate is going to move sideways through the stream/rod. This makes the stream cut a slash instead of a hole which eats up a lot of its energy and can push against the side of the rod causing it to shatter

Anonymous 0 Comments

It used to be that you could just shoot a chunk of metal at some armor and as long as your chunk of metal was heavy enough and moving fast enough it would penetrate. Then as armor got better different techniques like super-hard narrow rods of metal encased in carrier material were used.

But in the modern age penetrating armor tends to be all about “EFPs” or explosively formed penetrators. This kind of projectile has explosives precisely formed around a metal cone such that when the explosives detonate it creates an extremely high speed jet of metal. Think like how a pebble or something can be dropped into water and as water rushes back to fill the cavity formed by the dropped object it forms a splash that shoots extremely high. When this is a hypersonic jet of metal it can penetrate armor much better than a conventional projectile.

Explosive reactive armor tries to combat this technique as well as previous designs by using explosives. As a projectile is nearing the surface of the armor the ERA will explode, throwing out its own shock wave and plates of metal towards the incoming projectile. This disrupts the projectile before it actually arrives at the armor itself, scattering the EFP jet and deflecting or breaking up an incoming penetrator round.

Anonymous 0 Comments

[Here’s a handy graphic](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Image_Explosive_Reactive_Armor.png)

General idea is that most anti tank rounds that are effective against modern armor are either shaped charge rounds or kinetic penetrators

Shaped charge rounds use explosives to take a copper cone and flip it around into a very narrow and very fast copper jet that can bore through armor (think water jet cutter but with molten metal). Kinetic penetrators are long thin rods moving at high speeds. Both of these require that they go straight and not get broken up or the stream just splatters and the rod shatters

ERA takes two steel plates and puts explosives between them. When they get hit the explosive goes off and causes the top plate to move outwards. Unless the round hits 100% dead on 90 degrees the top plate is going to move sideways through the stream/rod. This makes the stream cut a slash instead of a hole which eats up a lot of its energy and can push against the side of the rod causing it to shatter

Anonymous 0 Comments

[Here’s a handy graphic](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Image_Explosive_Reactive_Armor.png)

General idea is that most anti tank rounds that are effective against modern armor are either shaped charge rounds or kinetic penetrators

Shaped charge rounds use explosives to take a copper cone and flip it around into a very narrow and very fast copper jet that can bore through armor (think water jet cutter but with molten metal). Kinetic penetrators are long thin rods moving at high speeds. Both of these require that they go straight and not get broken up or the stream just splatters and the rod shatters

ERA takes two steel plates and puts explosives between them. When they get hit the explosive goes off and causes the top plate to move outwards. Unless the round hits 100% dead on 90 degrees the top plate is going to move sideways through the stream/rod. This makes the stream cut a slash instead of a hole which eats up a lot of its energy and can push against the side of the rod causing it to shatter