Kontakt-5

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The advanced Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour on this Indian Army T-90S is arranged in pairs of plates with a triangular profile

Kontakt-5 is a type of third-generation explosive reactive armour (ERA) originating in the Soviet Union. It is the first type of ERA which is effectively able to defeat modern armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds.[citation needed]

Introduced on the T-80U tank in 1985, Kontakt-5 is made up of "bricks" of explosive sandwiched between two metal plates. The plates are arranged in such a way as to move sideways rapidly when the explosive detonates. This will force an incoming kinetic energy penetrator or shaped charge jet to cut through more armour than the thickness of the plating itself, since "new" plating is constantly fed into the penetrating body. A kinetic energy penetrator will also be subjected to powerful sideways forces, which might be large enough to cut the rod into two or more pieces. This will significantly reduce the penetrating capabilities of the penetrator, since the penetrating force will be dissipated over a larger volume of armour.

Newer KE penetrators like the US M829A2, and now M829A3, have been improved to defeat the armor design of Kontakt-5.[citation needed] The M829A2 was the immediate response, developed in part to take on the new armor bricks.[citation needed] The M829A3 is a further improvement of this as well and designed to fight future armor protection methods.[citation needed]

Relikt was designed by the Russian army in response to the US M829A3 round.[citation needed] Relikt is the most modern Russian ERA, and is claimed to be twice[1][2] as effective as Kontakt-5. It detonates on command before the round hits based on information from radar. It can be installed on T-72B and T-90 tanks and is being tested in the Leningrad Military District.[citation needed] As of 2013, only the T-72BM 'Rogatka' introduced in 2006 has Relikt ERA.[3] The Russian and Indian Army T-90AM Armada main battle tank (MBT), and the future Russian T-99 Universal Combat Platform will incorporate Relikt.[citation needed] Developed by NII Stali, Relikt utilizes a completely new composition of explosives to achieve dynamics protection. Unlike Kontakt-5, it works equally reliably against both low-velocity and high-velocity missiles, doubling protection against shaped charges and increasing anti-tank guided missile protection by 50 percent.[4] Relikt defends against tandem warheads and reduces penetration of APFSDS rounds by over 50 percent.[5]

Kontakt-5 armour is employed by Russia, Ukraine and Serbia (on M-84AS MBT).[citation needed]

Ideas have been drawn up for a new type of ERA called Kaktus which has been developed, although it has yet to be deployed.[citation needed]

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