BAE Systems has announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with a Canadian company called Helios Global Technologies to further develop liquid armor technologies. Although liquid armor developments have started a while ago (the early 2000s), this announcement from BAE Systems seems to be a move towards the creation of a certain military product.
Anne Healey, BAE Systems’ General Manager – Canada said:
Liquid armour could offer our troops increased protection but be lighter, allowing for greater manoeuvrability.I’m pleased we have been able to sign this MoU with Helios as their reputation in ballistic and blast protection means they’re well placed to help deliver this capability to Canada in the future.”
According to BAE, liquid armor has an advantage of being lighter than other armor materials at comparable protection levels. When combined with Kevlar, it also allows 45% of body armor thickness reduction as well as allows more motion freedom for the soldiers. So when the projectile hits such armor, the special liquid media (similar to non-Newtonian fluids) immediately hardens at the point of impact and restricts the motion of Kevlar yarns making it harder and more resistant to the impact. At the same time, when there is no stress of impact, it keeps the armor flexible enough not to constrain the dexterity of soldier’s motions.
If this liquid armor technology works “as advertised” and gets deployed anytime soon, that would be a real challenge for ammunition designers to develop small arms projectiles that could effectively penetrate this type of body armor. So the endless race of ammunition and armor designers continues.