2 Vehicle Makers Adopt RUAG’s Anti-RPG ‘Fence’
By ANDREW CHUTER – A Swiss-developed armor system that resembles a wire fence has been adopted by two of Europe’s leading military vehicle producers to fend off rocket-propelled grenades.
A new variant of General Dynamics European Land Systems Eagle and the VBCI armored vehicle being made by France’s Nexter will both be available with slightly different versions of RUAG’s new SidePRO protection system, the Swiss company announced in Paris.
SidePRO, which offers protection from RPGs and shaped ordnance, already fitted aboard Danish military M113 armored personnel carriers deployed to Afghanistan.
The steel mesh system is said to weigh less than half as much as the conventional anti-RPG systems such as slat and bar armor. And compared with reactive protection systems, RUAG says, the SidePRO-RPG system being offered on the VBCI is 80 percent lighter and offers at least the same coverage, if not more.
The deformation-resistant mesh used by RUAG is produced by fellow Swiss company Geobrugg, better known for nets designed to stop avalanches and rock falls.
General Dynamics is using the SidePRO-LASSO version of the armored protection system as it takes the wraps off a new Eagle variant that can carry more payload than the existing vehicle.
LASSO is aimed at light- to medium-weight vehicles; the SidePRO-RPG, for medium and heavy machines.
The VBCI is already in production for the French Army and being offered on the export market.