Manufacturer: Nexter  
Product type: Ballistic Protection  
Name: Explosive reactive armour  


Giat Industries is the sole producer of MBTs in France and in recent years has developed and produced a wide range of tracked and wheeled vehicles for the home and export markets.

These include the AMX-30 MBT, AMX-30 B2 MBT, AMX-30 Roland SAM, AMX-30 D ARV, AMX-30 AVLB, (export only), GCT 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, AMX-10P family of tracked infantry vehicles and the AMX-10RC (6 x 6) 105 mm armoured vehicle.

Production of these vehicles has now been completed by Giat Industries. As of mid-1999, the only armoured vehicle in quantity production by Giat Industries was the Leclerc MBT.

Until the 1960s Giat Industries worked mainly in steel armour, but then also became involved in building Studies in composite materials commenced in 1966 and covered a wide range of materials used either individually or in combinations to produce armour of better quality and lighter weight.

In 1970, the above developments led to the introduction of CERALU armour, a weldable structure consisting of a ceramic and aluminium base offering a 50 per cent weight saving over steel. This concept was the precursor to all other French composite armour One current application of this material is in helicopter seats.

In 1972, projects using ceramic, laminates and resin bases for use on French Army helicopters were carried out and this material has formed the basis for all other armours of this type produced in France to date.

At the same time, with encouragement from Giat Industries, Creusot-Loire finalised the development of its original dual-hardness, high-performance material. This consisted of two layers of differing hardness steel which offered the additional advantage of weldability.

Studies that previously had examined metal processing and protection against small and medium calibre armour-piercing projectiles were extended to cover the fields of anti-tank penetrators and shaped charge projectiles. Research was also undertaken into all aspects of attack on the widest possible ranges of materials. Original concepts were developed in the fields of passive and Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).

The Giat Industries Leclerc MBT is in production for the French Army and the United Arab Emirates. This has many advanced features and also incorporates advanced armour in its design, giving a high degree of battlefield survivability. The armour is of the passive type and in the case of the turret it can be removed and replaced by improved modules. This feature allows new armour packages to be introduced as the threat changes or as new armour systems are evolved.

Giat Industries is now offering a range of add-on armour packages for a variety of tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles, including one for the Giat Industries TS 90 90 mm turret and one for the US United Defense M113 series of APCs.