The SANTA BARBARA Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), usually referred to as the Sistema SBBR (SANTA BARBARA Blindaje Reactivo) has been developed by the company to improve the battlefield survivability of armoured fighting vehicles.
The first application of the system is the upgraded locally built AMX-30E MBTs of the Spanish Army.
It has also been fitted on to prototypes of the Pizarro infantry fighting vehicle.
On the Pizarro, the explosive reactive armour is fitted to the glacis plate and the frontal arc of the turret.
The principle of operation of the SBBR is similar to that of the Blazer ERA covered earlier in this section under Israel.
The SBBR is a modular ERA system with simple assembly due to standardised sizes and its original anchorage systems. It can be fitted to virtually all types of armoured vehicle without expensive remodelling.
According to SANTA BARBARA, its ERA system helps to increase the protection of the armoured fighting vehicle by reducing the penetration of a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) charge by 95 per cent.
Vehicle hull thickness should be equal to or greater than 20 mm of steel or 35 mm of aluminium.
The modules consist of two steel plates which sandwich the explosive sheet. A sealed silicon rubber gasket ensures perfect watertightness and three anchorage points are used to attach the upper panel while three anchorage points pass through drill holes to the lower module.
The modules have the following features: detonation by hollow charges; insensitivity to the impact of kinetic energy ammunition; insensitivity to chain detonation; high heat and direct fire resistance.
SANTA BARBARA has developed several dynamic protection modules that are compatible with the panels to meet different operational requirements: MDPA1 - 5 mm thick steel, hardness over 600 HB, weight of panel 2.2 kg, surface density 37 kg/m2 MDPA2 - 10 mm thick steel, hardness over 600 HB, weight of panel 4.4 kg, surface density 74 kg/m2 MDPC1 - 26 mm thick aluminium and alumina, weight of panel 2.76 kg, surface density 46.5 kg/m2 MDPC2 - 42 mm thick steel and aluminium, weight of panel 7.30 kg, surface density 125.2 kg/m2.
The MDPA1 and MDPC1 provide protection against attack from the Euromissile MILAN 1 Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW) and 106 mm M40 recoilless rifles. In addition to providing protection against chemical energy attack, the panels also provide some protection against kinetic energy attack.
If required, two layers of ERA modules can be fitted for increased battlefield survivability. Each module is 250 x 100 mm, although in some cases mechanical or visual obstruction may require the use of a smaller module.
Production as required. Has been supplied for the Spanish Army for installation on upgraded AMX-30E series MBTs. Fitted to prototypes of the Pizarro infantry fighting vehicle.