|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Belt armor article.|
|WikiProject Ships||(Rated Start-class)|
"Belt armor is a layer of armor-plating outside the armored hull of a battleships, armored cruisers and early aircraft carriers, typically about five feet away."
Belt armor is the hull armor. It makes no sense to speak of it being "outside" the armored hull. Furthermore, there were a few ships (such as the Iowas) that had an internal armor belt.
Five feet away from what?
"hen struck by a shell or torpedo, the belt armor triggers the fuse and detonates the device before it can penetrate or seriously damage the main hull, protecting the integrity of the ship."
Not a terribly accurate description of how armor works. Designers of armor-piercing shells expected the shell be triggered by impact with armor plate. The fuses were designed to have a slight delay to allow time for penetration. The point of the armor plate was to prevent penetration regardless of when the shell's fuse went off. The plate might stop the shell cold, or it could shatter or deflect the shell.
"The air-space between the belt and the hull also adds buoyancy."
I would also like to point out that sloped or angled armour DOES NOT work by deflecting the penetrator. It works by the geometric effect of actually putting a greater amount of amour between the penetrator and the protected space. Consider a penetrator horizontally impacting at 90 degrees to the armour, in this situation the path of the penetrator will be equal to the thickness of the plate. If the armour is angled at some degree then the penetrator will actually travel along the hypotenuse of the right angle formed by the plate thickness and its height. (draw a diagram yourself to visualise this). As the hypotenuse is the longest side of a right angled triangle then there is a greater amount of armour to travel through for a given thickness of plate. Based upon the angle of the plate you can work out what is known as the effective thickness. This is crucial in mobile armour as weight reduction is key.
Also it must be realised that most heavy guns do not fire horizontal trajectories and in the end phase of its flight path it will be traveling at some angle downwards hence there is the very real likelihood that it will actually hit angled armour at 90 degrees or close to this value, hence it would not be deflected by angled armour.