|Manufacturer:||WITU Military Institute of Arms Technology|
|Product type:||Ballistic Protection|
|Name:||Explosive reactive armour|
Building on the experience in the design of the ERAWA-1 and ERAWA-2 series of Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) systems, originally developed for the Polish-built T-72M1 MBT and more recently fitted to the latest PT-91, the Polish Military Institute of Armament Technology has now developed the CERAWA-1 ERA system. Details of the Polish ERAWA-1 and ERAWA-2 armour, one version of which is fitted to the PT-91 MBT (a further development of the Russian T-72M1 MBT) now in service with the Polish Army, are given in the previous entry.
In the designation CERAWA-1 the CERA stands for Composite Explosive Reactive Armour, WA are the initials of the designer Wisniewski Adam and 1 denotes that it has a single layer of second-generation composite explosive blocks.
On the modified BMP-1 chassis, CERAWA-1 has been installed on the glacis plate, under the lower front hull, upper parts of the hull sides and forward part of the new turret. The total area protected by the CERAWA-1 is about 3 m2. The complete system can be installed on the vehicle in less than 60 minutes by the crew of the vehicle.
Although designed to provide protection against Chemical Energy (CE) attack, according to the design authority CERAWA-1 also provides some protection against Kinetic Energy (KE) attack.
The design authority claims that the BMP-1 fitted with the CERAWA-1 armour system provides protection over a 140° arc (70° left and right) against weapons with a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead that will penetrate up to 350 mm of armour and small arms fire including 7.62, 12.7, 14.5 and 23 mm Armour-Piercing (AP) rounds.
In addition it is claimed that the CERAWA-1 armour is resistant to burning by napalm, inflammable materials such as petrol and materials with a high combustion temperature up to 3,000°C.
The new locally developed turret is armed with a 23 mm cannon and an externally mounted 73 mm SPG-9 recoilless anti-tank weapon. The turret is also fitted with a 60 mm mortar with a bank of three 81 mm smoke grenade launchers mounted either side of the turret.
In addition the turret is fitted with the Polish PEO laser radiation warning system originally designed for installation on MBTs. In total, four detector heads are fitted to give coverage through a full 360°.
The actual weight of the armour system has not been disclosed but the amphibious characteristics of the BMP-1 have been retained. For improved speed in the water a propeller has been mounted either side at the rear. This is run from a power take-off and when not required is swung upwards through 180°.
As of mid-1999, a prototype of the modified BMP-1 fitted with the CERAWA-1 had been completed but there were no known plans for it to be placed in production for the home or export markets.
Development complete. Ready for production.