Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems (ABBS) has developed an active belly plate system to help double the protection of military vehicles, such as light armoured vehicles (LAVs) and main battle tanks (MBTs), against a range of under-belly mine blasts.

According to the company, the new blast defence mechanism applies a force against the floor of the armoured vehicle in order to reduce floor deformation and to help stop the vehicle from being thrown into the air, following the blast.

ABBS managing director and inventor of the system, Roger Sloman, was quoted by The Engineer as saying that the technology deals with global acceleration and works on a very simple concept of actively opposing the force of the mine.

Sloman said the technology can further be developed to provide specific forces which would match each explosion.

"Either you can set everything off, or you can analyse the strength of the shockwave and get an estimate of the size of the mine and where it is and therefore you can tune the response," Sloman added.

The technology, which has been developed in collaboration with the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE), counteracts the force of the mine by exploiting the short delay between a mine going off and the explosion hitting the underside of the vehicle.

The active belly plate system, which has been demonstrated to proof-of-concept stage, detects the shockwaves of a blast, travelling at the speed of sound and arrives around 20 milliseconds before the mass of the explosion, providing sufficient time for reaction.

The company is now seeking additional funding to build a commercial prototype of the device so as to safeguard light civilian / VIP cars and SUVs to a significant level.