Bradken - Army Technology
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Sleeman Compass Lightweight Steel Armour Plate

Dawes Lane,
North Lincolnshire,
DN16 1DN Other,
United Kingdom

Dawes Lane,
North Lincolnshire,
DN16 1DN Other,
United Kingdom

Bradken are the suppliers of Sleeman Compass® steel armour plate. Compass steel armour plate is produced to the highest quality standards in some of the finest steel processing facilities

Compass B555 ballistic armour and B300 blast armour are low-alloy quenched and tempered steel, designed to give consistent through-hardness and maximum ductility in a plate that can be cut, drilled, formed and machined and has excellent welding properties.

B555 ballistic armour plate, with its low cost / penetration resistance ratio and multi-strike protection capability, it is the ideal solution for light armouring problems.

B300 blast armour plate, with its lower hardness and increased ductility and toughness is recommended for the blast protection of vehicle floors and static blast doors.


Sleeman Compass steel armour plate can be supplied from stock in thicknesses from 3mm to 45mm, ballistically certified, as prime plate or cut and worked to customer’s specifications in Bradken’s own workshops. Cutting is carried out by a high definition underwater plasma process, which reduces the Heat-Affected Zone (HAZ) distortion and heat-induced stress to a minimum.

Sleeman Compass steel armour plate undergoes ballistic testing at Bradken’s own UK MoD approved 50m range. A comprehensive technical service with advice on design and ballistic application is available at all times.


Compass B555 is a low-alloy steel armour plate with strength, hardness and toughness properties above ISO 6831/1V-1970 and US Mil-S-46100B-1977 requirements.

Extensive ballistic testing and experience have shown Compass B555 steel armour plate to be 25% to 33% superior to conventional armour (US specifications Mil-A-12560 or similar). It more than meets the requirements of the high hardness armour plate specifications (US Mil-S-46100B-1977) both in regard to hardness and toughness. Moreover it has exceptional multi-hit capability.


The ballistic protection / weight as well as cost / penetration ratios of Compass B555 are superior to that of normal armour plate. Hence it is particularly suitable for lighter military vehicles, bullion security vans and stationary guard posts.

Sleeman Compass B555’s ballistic and weight properties have allowed designers to create not only lighter armoured personnel carriers, but also armoured version of Land Rovers and similar vehicles, tractors, buses and trucks, saloon cars and ambulances, with full protection against small arms attack without destroying the essential performance, handling or appearance of such vehicles.

On armoured personnel carriers and scouting vehicles experience has shown that thinner sections of Compass B555 steel armour can be used to achieve the same degree of protection and allow an overall lighter vehicle to be produced.

When the hull has a modern unitised design exterior suitably shaped as deflection surfaces, such vehicles are capable of defeating 7.62mm armour piercing rounds and provide greater load carrying capacity, together with lower weight, fuel requirements and tyre wear than a similar vehicle with conventional armour.


Bradken can supply armour in kit form for armoured vehicle assembly line; or as complete conversion kits for saloon cars (including transparent armour), which can be fitted in any commercial workshop.

Compass steel armour is used by the UK MoD and by manufacturers of armoured vehicles around the world. The company has been assessed and registered by the UK MoD as operating quality procedures in accordance with AQAP 4.


Compass armour is also used on naval ships for protection of magazines, electronic equipment and other sensitive areas; and also on advanced military aircraft where it affords protection for the pilot and critical controls. Compass B555 steel armour plate is also suitable for earth moving parts of military support vehicles. It may also be used for emergency-fabricated replacement high-strength cast steel gear casings, turrets, treads etc.

Firth Rixson Divests Castings Business

Firth Rixson Limited has sold the entire share capital of Firth Rixson Castings Limited ("Castings") to Bradken Operations Pty Limited, a company based in Australia. Castings is an operation specialising in wear resistant "sand" castings, with sites in the UK at Scunthorpe and Dar


Dawes Lane


North Lincolnshire

DN16 1DN


United Kingdom