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Armor could form 'force field'

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
London (UPI) Mar 20, 2009
A new type of armor would use pulses of electrical energy to repel projectiles away from an armored vehicle, British scientists say.

Researchers at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, better know as "Dstl" and located at four sites in England, say it is possible to corporate material known as supercapacitors into armor that would turn a vehicle into a kind of giant battery, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Dstl is the research and development arm of the Ministry of Defense.

The report said when a threat from an incoming projective is detected, the energy in the supercapacitor can be rapidly pushed into the metal plating on the outside of the vehicle. That produces a strong electromagnetic field.

The researchers say this would produce a momentary "force field" which in theory could repel incoming projectiles. Although the force field would last for only a fraction of a section, correctly timed it could repel a projectile, such as a rocket-propelled grade, the report said.

Scientists claim this would produce a momentary "force field" capable of repelling the incoming rounds and projectiles.

The supercapacitor would then be rapidly recharged.

The idea is similar to force fields in science fiction that produce an invisible deflector around a vehicle or object.

Professor Bryn James, head of Dstl's armor and protection science and technology center, said the electric armor could dramatically decrease the weight of vehicles and tanks.

"You would think this would require huge amounts of energy, but we have found it can be done with surprisingly small amounts of electrical power," he told the Telegraph.

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