Firing Trials on Chobham Armour

The title says it.


The exact composition, materials, layout, thickness, specifications, and penetration ranges of Chobham are a Top Secret among the nations that use it.

Combined with Depleted Uranium, the recipe of Chobham/Burlington armor composite sandwich most likely changed over the decades.

One thing is for sure, Chobham armor is very heavy, very expensive, and cannot be rolled, hence the flat sides you see on MBT turrets and hulls that use this armor. Also, being so heavy and expensive, the entire MBT cannot be clad in Chobham, only the frontal arc.

Chobham, like composite armor, is understood to be a sandwich of steel, ceramics, metals, and a Kevlar spall liner backing.

It is unknown if the AbramsX demonstrator has Chobham armor, and if so, where.

1 Like

The composition is fairly well, if perhaps not exactly, known by now, at least for the original versions. It’s not a sandwich, it’s NERA made from interconnected steel plates positioned at an angle, and in such a way that a round or HEAT jet hitting them will push them down, thereby pulling more plates into the path of the attack. The whole is encased in outer steel plates that mainly serve to absorb explosive blast, so that plates near the impact point won’t be damaged.

Here’s a good article about it, including original cross-section drawings of this type of armour as a proposed upgrade to Chieftain.

Or maybe you would like the full version of the report that that page’s drawings came from :slight_smile:

The early M1 Abrams armour is not all that different from those, either.

1 Like

M1 Armored Breaching Vehicle (ABV) captured by Russian Forces. It might not be Chobham, but it shows the M1 ABV’s armored sandwich and the layout of the plates. Photos courtesy of TheWarZone.

1 Like

Yes, that shows the kind of armour explained in the articles I linked to — check the report about the early Abrams armour and compare to this picture. There are also photos of Abramses blown up in Iraq that show this kind of armour construction, and also of damaged Merkavas, Russian T-whatevers, and others.


Whether it has or not, the munitions desigend to defeat it have evolved greatly since that video was made.


How times have changed! An old friend who worked on gun design for Chally 2 once told me that when he needed to talk to the turret-design guys he knocked on the locked door, waited a minute while he heard feet scurrying inside, and then when the door was opened he saw a spotless office of clean desks, empty drawing boards, and locked cabinets! These days you can get the armour recipe off YouTube…


Sort of off-topic, but I always thought the Sov solution, or rather initiative, on the T-64 was quite interesting:

1 Like

So instead of spalling on impact, the T64 turns into a shrapnel round?.. :thinking:


I imagine so - if say, a Chieftain’s 120mm was dealing out death and destruction; however, wade through this (a translation - for example “tower” means “turret” etc - and probably not entirely unbiased), it would see off the Sov’s own 115mm apparently:

How ultra-porcelain balls appeared in the T-64 turret (

As I dimly recall, one of the reasons for an improved armour - in the NATO inventory - was due to the T-64’s new main armament of 125mm.

1 Like

With its HESH rounds, you mean? I suspect this armour would work pretty well against HESH, because that has a major problem overcoming changes in armour density. Or, to put this another way: I highly doubt Soviet researchers would have come up with this if they didn’t think it would be better protection than plain steel or spaced armour …

1 Like

What I really meant - in referring to Tom’s comment about turning a T-64 into a shrapnel round - was that Chieftain was probably about the only tank for around a decade or so that could prevail against T-64, not least as it was then the only NATO equipment with a 120mm. Its APDS round I’m sure, would have been sufficiently lethal.

1 Like