Defence Research and Development Organisation in its Publication has revealed that it has started the development of 3rd generation Explosive Reactive Armour called Next Generation Explosive Reactive Armour (NGERA) for the Next Generation Main Battle Tank (NGMBT) or Future MBT (FMBT) program.

Under the NGERA program, DRDO will develop ERA capable of defeating anti-tank missiles equipped with tandem-shaped charge warheads in addition to mono-shaped charges and kinetic energy projectiles. NGERA technology is based on a newly developed less sensitive explosive composition, which contains two types of explosives along with other ingredients. The composition and thickness of an explosive sheet
were finalized based on a large number of optimization experiments.

NGERA comprises modules of reactive elements housed in metallic panels, which are either welded or bolted on the surface of the tank. The internal shock attenuator in the reactive elements prevents sympathetic detonation of adjacent modules inside the panels. The explosive being insensitive as compared to that used in previous versions of ERA, it is safer in handling, storage and operation.

NGERA has been developed in association with DMRL and CVRDE as per the protection requirements of NGMBT and it can be adaptable to any tank as per the requirement. NGERA has been evaluated against two types of in-service tandem-shaped charge warheads and tank-fired 125mm FSAPDS ammunition.

NGERA has consistently been able to reduce the penetration of tandem-shaped charge warheads by more than 50 per cent and kinetic energy projectiles by more than 30 per cent. Further, a mockup fitment of NGERA on the T-72 tank was carried out at CVRDE to finalise the fitment aspects.

The salient features of NGERA are:
•Capable of protection against tandem-shaped
charge warheads and KE projectiles.
• Reduction in penetration
• Tandem-shaped charge warheads: >50 %
• KE projectiles (FSAPDS) :>30 %
• New low-sensitivity explosive with a long shelf life
(>15 years)
• Immune to detonation against small arms
• No sympathetic detonation of adjacent modules of
reactive elements
• Common size of reactive element for all the panels
on tank imparting flexibility for fitment.
• Additional weight on the tank: ~1.65 T

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