M1A1 Panels...Need some info

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Glock Perfection
Apr 12, 2005
Washington State
Take a look at the attached scanned AP photo. The resolution is not too good on my scan, but the pic contains an M1A1 with green panels on the turret fascia that have some writing across the middle. On the left side of the turret appears to be a structure that consists of slats of the same color.

Any insight from the vehicle experts?



  • scan0001_210.jpg
    35.9 KB · Views: 702
If I recall from talking to some tanker guys down in Iraq when I was there. It is a type of reactive armor. It is desigend to break up the incoming round and keep it from penetrating the main armor or the hull of the tank. I may be wrong but this is what I can remember from talking to some of them.
Kinda what I was thinking. I also don't want to violate any COMSEC or INFOSEC over my own curiosity. I have read about and seen video of reactive armour that is being developed for protection against RPGs. It provides a counter explosion to detonate the RPG a dozen feet or so away from the vehicle. I have also read speculation that the Russians may have imported some new version of RPGs that are more effective against armour. What seems odd would be their use on M1A1s vs Hummers or Strykers. But then again...
Nothing there violates COMSEC or anything because it can all be found in newspapers and on the internet. Yes there is a new armor being developed. I dont know about anything of a new version of the RPG but as for the M1A1's I have seen several ones get destroyed so that shows that they are not invincible. The new UP Armored Humvee's that we have are LIFE SAVERS! The Stryker is not the greatest thing like it was made out to be. The armor is not as good as it was said to be. The military is pretty pissed off about it right now.
Yeah I too having been reading about the Stryker. I get conflicting reports. Fort Lewis is just down the street so you can imagine their Stryker Division gets lots of press. I have read some negative press, but have also seen quite a bit of positive reviews from those who actually ride in them. They claim comfort, security, maintainability and maneuverability are great. I have read reports about the armour, but lets be honest, it is not a tank in any traditional sense. The cage skirts that have been added are apparently adequate, though I do understand that the engines/transmissions are being looked at to maintain original or better power to weight ratio. I have also read that survivability of the Strykers are rather remarkable for such a thin skinned beast. Seems like rather good press from the field on a vehicle that was expedited in design and manufacture.
It is reactive armour. The M1 is fitted with chobam armour as standard but can be converted with reactive armour in the field, or shop.

It's to counter missiles or RPGs but there is a type of missile that explodes twice that counters reactive armour. It explodes to explode the reactive armour, then it penertrates the tank and explodes again! Quite ingenius, if I may say so myself.
Very true. I have also seen a round that explodes ones and then fires off a second projectile to penetrate the hull of the tank.
I know that Chobham (you would have thought they could come up with a better name than using the common outside the development center) armour uses a reactive effect and I know that re-active explosive amour is used as add ons but I cant think of the reason for the slats seems a bit self defeating doesn't it.
I think so Adler surface mounted re-active counter explodes against the projectile thus keeping it away from the main amour Chobham uses as part I repeat part of its internal structure ceramics that expand at ultrahigh speed when heated by IE amour piercing or HESH rounds and react in oposition to the projectile but most external reactive armour that I know of is placed as slabs rather than slats thats why i found the pic a bit puzzling also it is only covering a very small percentage of the tanks surface area un like for example the Bradley in the pic below


  • bradley-detailed_492.jpg
    5.8 KB · Views: 587
Don't know if this helps, but I did see some information on technology used to counter RPGs that actually used explosives to activate RPG warhead about 3-5m from the vehicle. Could the slats located on the sides be perhaps some form of active protection?
It is some kind of active or reactive armour. I know the M1 can be fitted with the explosive reactive armour, I've just never seen pictures of it.

Russian tanks show explosive reactive armour much better than Western tanks. Those big blocks of explosives.

I wonder what they told the first tank crews when they were sticking that on their tank.

Tank crew: "What are you doing to my tank?"
Engineer: "We're sticking explosives on it"
Tank crew: "Oh...right.......GET THE FUCK OFF MY TANK!!!"
Good one D :lol: It does sound a bit barmy dont it I just wouldn't like to be a tank commander with me head out the top if it went off. Im not sure just how much of a clout it takes before it reacts ie small arms or RPG or if you take a corner too tight and bounce off a wall
The active explosive armour that I am referring is not "reactive" in the sense that a projective must strike it to activate it. Rather, this "armour" actually explodes prior to contact and thus is intended to initiate explosion of the incoming round about 3-5m from the equipped vehicle. It must use some sort of millimeter wave radar to predict the incoming projectiles trajectory.

It's my understanding that this type of 'active' armour is being reviewed for installation on Humvees and Strikers to counter RPGs.
That has existed for a while now on Russian vehicles but it doesn't explode a few millimetres away. The RADAR on the tank picks up the incoming projectile and it sends out explosives to blow the missile or round.

millimeter wave radar is the wavelength of the high frequency energy emissions used to "paint" the incoming round.

This 'active' armour even allowed for friendly personnel to be standing within the 3-5m radius of the target vehicle, the 'active' armour would be intiated, and the friendly personnel would be protected from the resultant explosion. Pretty damn slick actually.
How does it save personel standing around the tank, exactly? You explode a missile, you can't control the direction of the explosion.

Anyway, as I said, the technology isn't new. It's obviously been improved though. I have never heard of the M1 carrying that armour though.
I actually saw a video of it with dummies set up around a Humvee. The 'active' armour allowed for precision interception of the incoming round and initiated an explosion whose primary forces/shrapnel were directed back parallel, but opposite to the incoming projectile's velocity vector. These forces apparently were enough to virtually cancel all concussive forces and shrapnel from continuing back towards the target vehicle and personnel. Quite amazing. The video did show some concussive forces acting upon the dummies, but TOTALLY out of relation to the HUGE explosion one would expect from the combined 'active armour' and incoming projectile. While the dummies did appear to fall over from some concussive forces, they did not suffer any violent effects that one would normally encounter with such apparent energy. The announcer noted that post review of the dummies indicated on slight injurings would have occurred (minor scrapes and potential hearing damage were noted).

From the video, it appeared very similar to a multiple flare release from a modern aircraft such as a C-130, but obviously on a much smaller scale and time frame. Multiple objects popped off the target vehicle, the rather significant explosions occur and the concussive and shrapnel effects chewed the ground up 3-5m and further away from the vehicle, but within that radius suffered little effect.

Brilliant bit of engineering. But, hey, if it was so brilliant (and cost effective), it would be implemented already.
...oh, did not wish to imply that I am aware of this technology being fielded. But the slatted device in the above pic did make me think of this technology only because I couldn't think of what the hell it could be.

Users who are viewing this thread