Saab Barracuda Soft Armor System

Saab Group (out of Sweden) has developed a new type of modular armor which can be utilized in buildings or vehicles. It is lower cost than full ceramic (and composite) solutions, and adds in the ability to reuse and reconfigure the setup. The idea is that it is basically a hollow box (that can be assembled with standard tools), that is filled with a type of ceramic pellet. The ceramic pellets appear to be consumed as they absorb the incoming projectiles. “Resetting” the wall is as simple as refilling the wall with pellets. The boxes can also be joined to other boxes giving a near unlimited configuration.

The armor can stand up against small arms up to NATO 7.62mm AP ammunition (STANAG level III). Here is a great video demonstrating it in use:

I can see the utility for buildings, but not for vehicles. The armor weighs in at a hefty 180kg per square meter at 4.75 inches thick. For comparison that is about on par with the doors we had on our crappy HMMVVs in Iraq in 2007 (did anyone else have the super awesome 500 pound doors?). It does, however, beat out concrete, which weighs in a little over 500 kg (for the same dimensions).

You can find out more information at:

Thanks to Jim T. for pointing us to this.

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


  • Jack Morris

    I think the most interesting aspect of this article is the realization that Saab makes gun related products. Cool!

    • patrickiv

      You’d be surprised at what Samsung makes.

      • Adam aka eddie d.

        You made me curious!

  • William Litten

    I’m a little ashamed that I don’t recognize that first rifle.

    • Raven

      Bofors AK5, Swedish modified version of the FN FNC.

      • William Litten

        Ah, OK. It is neat looking.

        • kipy


      • Seburo

        FN FNC still going strong. FN and Bofors made non AK gas piston rifles before the cool kids started doing it.

  • I always welcome new developments in armor but if this is intended for buildings, why not just put sand or gravel filled hesco barriers around it? its cheaper and just as effective..

  • sianmink

    How many pie crust weights can I buy in bulk?

  • Jack Morris

    Woah! They were into weapons before they ever touched the car market. I like Saab a lot more now.

    • Random Swede

      Mossberg worked in a bicycle plant (in Norway) before starting his own business with his two sons in 1919.
      Husqvarna started out as a state owned rifle factory in 1689, they manufactured shotguns for some 200 years.

      Bofors only recently moved into weapons with cannons in 1883, it was founded as an ironworks in 1646, it also used to be a part of the Saab umbrella.

  • But hesco barriers and sandbags dont cost whatever saab wants to charge for this thing.

  • gunsandrockets

    Well done. Interesting experiments. You’ve replicated an idea I’ve been mentally toying with, except for the water filling the gaps between the marbles.

  • Wetcoaster

    Hard ceramic balls… What’s soft about it?