Title:
Modular armor assembly and method for using the modular armor assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular armor assembly is provided in parts that can be assembled at a desired location without the need for special tools or for structurally modifying the host structure. A plurality of panels are connected together to assemble a self-supporting (i.e., free standing) armor assembly within the host structure. Once assembled, the self-supporting armor assembly can be easily disassembled and removed from a host structure and reassembled in a different host structure.



Inventors:
Labock, Yosef (Hallandale, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/145778
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/06/2005
Assignee:
Labock Technologies, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
89/36.09
International Classes:
F41H5/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CLEMENT, MICHELLE RENEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOSEF LABOCK (HALLANDALE, FL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A modular armor assembly, comprising: an armored front portion including a protective window portion; a first additional armored portion; a second additional armored portion; and said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion being removably connected to each other, and forming a free-standing armor assembly when said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion are connected to each other.

2. The modular armor assembly of claim 1, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly is additionally sized to fit in a cabin of a vehicle.

3. The modular armor assembly of claim 1, further including a third additional armored portion, said third additional armored portion being removably connectable to at least two of said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion to form a free-standing modular armor assembly enclosing a protected area within.

4. The modular armor assembly of claim 3, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly is additionally sized to fit in a cabin of a vehicle.

5. The modular armor assembly of claim 4, wherein said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion said second additional armored portion and said third additional armored portion are constructed so as to be singly brought into the cabin and to be assembled together in the cabin to from said free-standing modular armor assembly.

6. The modular armor assembly of claim 4, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly may be further secured to the cabin.

7. The modular armor assembly of claim 6, wherein said first additional armored portion is an armored back panel including a second protected window portion therethrough.

8. The modular armor assembly of claim 4, wherein said first additional panel is a first side panel, and said second additional panel is a second side panel, at least one of said first side panel and said second side panel including a door portion.

9. The modular armor assembly of claim 8, wherein at least one of said first side panel and said second side panel is formed including at least one side protection piece connected to a door panel piece.

10. The modular armor assembly of claim 4, wherein at least said armored front portion, includes an overlap portion to overlap at least one of said first additional armored portion, said second additional armored portion and said third additional armored portion, said free-standing modular armor assembly additionally including a connector to connect said overlap portion to said at least one of said first additional armored portion, said second additional armored portion and said third additional armored portion.

11. The modular armor assembly of claim 4, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly is sized to be non-permanently assembled in a self-supporting manner within the cabin of a VOLVO® Truck, Model FH12.

12. The modular armor assembly of claim 4, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly is sized to be non-permanently assembled in a self-supporting manner within the cabin of a MERCEDES-BENZ® Truck, Model 3848.

13. The modular armor assembly of claim 12, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly may be further secured to the cabin.

14. The modular armor assembly of claim 5, wherein said free-standing modular armor assembly is constructed to be nonpermanently assembled in the cabin and disassembled from the cabin and reassembled in the cabin of another vehicle.

15. A method of assembling a modular armor assembly, comprising the steps of: providing an armored front portion including a protective window portion; providing a first additional armored portion; providing a second additional armored portion; and removably connecting the armored front portion, the first additional armored portion and the second additional armored portion being to each other, to form a free-standing armor assembly.

16. The method of claim 15, which further comprises performing the removably connecting step inside a cabin of a vehicle.

17. The method of claim 15, including the steps of: providing a third additional armored portion; and further removably connecting the third additional armored portion to at least two of the armored front portion, the first additional armored portion and the second additional armored portion to form a free-standing modular armor assembly enclosing a protected area within.

18. The method of claim 15, which further comprises performing the removably connecting step and the further removably connecting step inside the cabin of a vehicle.

19. The method of claim 18, including the further steps of disassembling the free-standing modular armor assembly after the further removably connecting step, removing the pieces of the modular armor assembly from the cabin and reassembling the pieces in the cabin of another vehicle to form a free-standing modular armor assembly.

20. The method of claim 19, including the further step of securing the free-standing modular armor assembly to the cabin prior to the disassembling step.

21. A modular armor retrofit kit, comprising: an armored front portion including a protective window portion; a first additional armored portion; a second additional armored portion; and said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion of said retrofit kit being removably connectable to each other to form a free-standing armor assembly when said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion are connected to each other.

22. The modular armor retrofit kit of claim 21, wherein said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion of said retrofit kit may be replaced by a respective one of an armored front portion, a first additional armored portion and a second additional armored portion from another retrofit kit.

23. The modular armor retrofit kit of claim 21, wherein said modular armor retrofit kit is provided in pieces and nonpermanently assembled in a cabin of a vehicle to form said free-standing armor assembly.

24. The modular armor retrofit kit of claim 23, wherein said free-standing armor assembly is manufactured and assembled so as to be disassembled from the cabin and reassembled in a cabin of another vehicle.

25. The modular armor retrofit kit of claim 24, further including a third additional armored portion, said third additional armored portion being removably connectable to at least two of said armored front portion, said first additional armored portion and said second additional armored portion to form a free-standing modular armor assembly enclosing a protected area within.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to an apparatus for armoring an enclosed body, such as a vehicle cabin, and, more particularly, for a modular armor assembly for protecting an enclosed body against different levels of ballistic and/or explosive threats.

Armored solutions have been sought since the beginning of history. Shields appeared very early in the history of mankind. Later, several different types of armor developed to protect the body or head, or machines of war.

To date, the basic armor solutions have essentially been the same, i.e. build special equipment, such as helmets, that include the desired armor protection. This has been accomplished by: 1) using thicker parts made of the same material, so as to withstand the threat (as seen in the case of shipbuilding technology, where thicker walls provide greater protection); or, 2) the use of different materials, such as metal, in the construction.

Because the common trend was that of using more dense materials to provide better protection, there arose the new technological problem of developing structures to hold the denser materials. With the addition of both denser materials, and structures to hold the materials, weight itself becomes a problem. In the last century, plastics and composite materials were developed that, in some cases, were better than traditional materials. However, the way these materials are incorporated in armoring systems has not changed.

In existing structures, such as a room, a cabin or a vehicle, the current trend in the armoring industry is to either: 1) dramatically modify the existing part, parts or whole by substituting, changing, upgrading or modifying parts; or 2) attach armor materials to the existing volume by creating reinforcements, modifying the basic existing structure or creating new fixation points on the structure that can hold the added materials and weight. These approaches require a long period of time for appropriate parts to be produced, modifies the unit in ways not intended by the makers, is expensive, involves the use of special tools and methods and is permanent and irreversible. If the procedure is not properly followed, it may additionally result in weakening the original unit.

What is needed is an armoring solution that avoids the disadvantages of the prior art systems. What is also needed is an armoring solution that is reusable, interchangeable, assembled both easily and quickly, and can be easily repaired. What is further needed is an armoring solution that fully respects the original receiving structure and can be assembled anywhere with no special tools.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a modular armor assembly and method for using the modular armor assembly, which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the heretofore-known devices and methods of this general type and which.

A modular armor assembly is provided in parts that can be assembled at a desired location without the need for special tools or for structurally modifying the host structure. A plurality of panels are connected together to assemble a self-supporting (i.e., free standing) armor assembly within the host structure. Once assembled, the self-supporting armor assembly can be easily disassembled and removed from a host structure and reassembled in a different host structure.

Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in modular armor assembly and method for using the modular armor assembly, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention. Additionally, like reference numbers represent like parts.

FIG. 1 is a top, front perspective view of an armor device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top, rear perspective view of the armor device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an top, perspective view of the armor device of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of an armor device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a top, rear perspective view of an armor device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a top, front perspective view of an armor device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a top, rear perspective view of the armor device of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an top, perspective view of the armor device of FIGS. 6 and 7;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of an armor device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a top, rear perspective view of an armor device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary, diagrammatic, exploded, perspective view of two panels that can be used in accordance with one particular embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary, diagrammatic, perspective view after the connection of the two panels of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary, diagrammatic illustration of the interconnection of three panels that can be used in accordance with one particular embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary, diagrammatic illustration equivalent to FIG. 13 but highlights a second panel for better comprehension.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Referring now to the figures of the drawings in detail and first, particularly to FIGS. 1-5, there is shown a modular removable, self-supporting armor assembly 100 in accordance with one particular embodiment of the present invention. The armor assembly 100 is shown with its interlocking parts already assembled inside the cab of a vehicle 300 (shown in dashed line in FIGS. 1 and 3), in particular, a truck. The interior portion of the self supporting armor assembly 100 is made up of a front protective windshield assembly 110, 120, side protection elements 150 and a rear protection panel 160, which are brought into the cab of the vehicle 300 in modular pieces, and assembled therein to form a free-standing armored cage within the cab of the vehicle 300.

Each piece that makes up the self-supporting armor assembly 100 is, most preferably, sized to particularly fit into the vehicle model for which it was made. Alternatively, the panels can be sized to be less tailored to a particular vehicle, and therefore, can be more generically used in a variety of different vehicles having similar corresponding sizes. For purposes of example, the modular self-supporting armor assembly 100 of the particular embodiment of FIGS. 1-5 has been specifically tailored of a size and configuration to fit within a MERCEDES BENZ® Truck, model 3848, with removable door protection.

Referring again to FIGS. 1-5, the front portion of the self-supporting armor assembly 100 includes a windshield assembly including the protective windshield 110, which is fitted into a windshield holding frame 115 (see, e.g., FIG. 5), the entirety of which is fixed into and supported by the protective structural windshield frame 120. The windshield assembly parts 110, 115 and 120, can be carried into the cab of the vehicle 300 and easily assembled therein. If desired, certain portions of the subassembly, such as the protective windshield 110 and the windshield holding frame 115, can be preassembled before being placed in the cabin of the vehicle 300.

The protective structural windshield frame 120 is connected on either side to side protection panels 150. If desired, the side protection panels, for ease of assembly, can be made of separate pieces that are assembled inside the vehicle. For example, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, the side protection panels 150, are made from the interconnection of side protection elements 150a, 150b and 150c. Side protection elements 150a, 150b and 150c, may be integrally formed, bolted together, and/or fixed together in some other way, as desired, in order to form the side protection panel 150. The protective structural windshield frame is connected on each side to a side protection element 150a. To provide further protection to the sides of the self-supporting armor assembly 100 and to provide for egress, a protective armor door 140 is hingedly connected to one of the side protection elements 150a, 150c. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, the protective armor door 140 is hingedly connected to the side protection element 150a. Thus, the rear of the door 140 swings outward on its hinge.

The protective structural windshield frame 120 can be connected to the side protection panels 150 in a variety of ways. For example, the panels of the armor assembly 120 can be designed to include overlapping connection portions 120a at the edge, as shown in FIG. 2, wherein a portion of the frame 120 can be formed to overlap the panel 150 and be bolted thereto. Such overlap between the parts additionally provides better protection because of the double thickness, for example. Alternatively, tabs on the frame 120 and/or panels 150 may be used to bolt the frame 120 to the panels 150. (See, e.g., FIGS. 11 to 14). External connectors, such as the corner brackets 165 shown in FIG. 3, may be used. This alternative is not meant to be limiting, as other types of generic or specialized connectors or bonding agents may be used. Preferably, the panels that make up the self-supporting armor assembly are sent with and/or include whatever locking mechanism is needed for assembly either attached to or integrated with the particular panels. It is important to note that no special tools are needed for assembling the self-supporting armor assembly 100, because all connection parts are already present and/or are connected using standard bolts and/or other fasteners.

Additionally, if desired, the self-supporting armor assembly 100 can be secured to the interior of the structure in which it is placed in order to provide increased resistance. Optionally, an upper holding bracket 170a may be provided to secure the assembly 100 to the upper portion of the cabin in which it is placed. Again, a simple bolt may be used to secure the assembly 100 using the upper holding bracket 170a, so as to permit the entire assembly to be detached, disassembled and reassembled in another vehicle. The ease of assembly and disassembly additionally ensures that the parts were not damaged or weakened upon removal from a previous structure (i.e., they are not pried off of or de-welded from the frame of the another structure, which can cause bending, cracking and/or structural changes in the materials of the panels).

Similarly, if it is desired to actually secure the self-structured armor assembly 100 to the interior of the vehicle, lower holding brackets 170b, may be provided. Upper and lower body holding brackets 170a and 170b may either be integrally formed with a portion of the self-supporting armor assembly 100, or may be separate, detachable brackets, which are bolted or otherwise fixed to the assembly 100, such as is shown in FIG. 5. If the brackets 170a and 170b are removably attached, they can be particularly affixed to the assembly 100 when needed. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the upper and lower holding brackets 170a and 170b are removably attached to the side wall panels 150.

In both brackets 170a and 170b, it is preferable if the brackets align with and engage to existing fixating points in the host vehicle. Alternatively, special fixations to the host can be devised for the purpose of locking down the self-supporting armor assembly 100.

The modular, self-supporting armor assembly 100 further includes a rear protection panel 160, which is connected to the side protection panels 150. The rear protection panel 160 can be removably connected to the panels 150 using corner brackets 165, as shown in FIG. 3, or by some other method. When assembled together, the front protective windshield assembly 110, 120, the side protection elements 150 and the rear protection panel 160 form, in the cab of the truck 300, a self-supporting (i.e., free standing) protective structure. Optional additional protection may be affixed external to the vehicle 300. For example, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, there is also provided an external protective shield 130 which is, itself, not permanently affixed to the vehicle structure, but rather, mounted in combination with the removable, external supports 190. The external supports 190 are mounted to the front face of the vehicle 300, preferably at existing fixation points, or alternatively, at special fixation points on the vehicle devised for this purpose. The external supports 190 are particularly sized to conform to the particular vehicle 300. The external protective shield 130 includes a front facing portion 130a connected with two side portions 130b. The side portions 130b may be removably attached to the front facing portion 130a, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. The external supports 190 permit the external protective shield 130 to be removably mounted to the vehicle 300, without requiring any structural modification of the vehicle 300. Thus the addition of external protective shield 130 does not compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle 130.

Additionally, as shown in FIGS. 1-5, external blast protection shields 180 may be provided, if desired. The external blast protection shields 180 protect against bomb blasts or mine explosions, or other explosions that could occur under the vehicle 300. As with the external protection shield 130, the external blast protection shields 180 do not require structural modification (and possible weakening) of the host vehicle 300. The external blast protection shields 180 may be removably bolted to the vehicle 300 or otherwise removably attached using connectors, whether as described herein or conventional in the art.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-10, there is shown a self-supporting armor assembly 200 that is similar to that of the self-supporting armor assembly 100 of FIGS. 1-5. However, the self-supporting armor assembly 200 has been adapted for use in a different vehicle 300′. For example, the self-supporting armor assembly 200 of the particular embodiment of FIGS. 6-10 has' been specifically tailored for use within a VOLVO® Truck, model FH12, also with removable door protection.

As with the previously described embodiment, the self-supporting armor assembly 200 is made up of a front protective windshield assembly 210, 215, 220, side protection panels 250 and a rear protection panel 260. Because of the design of the truck 300′, the rear protection panel 260 has been split into an upper rear protection panel portion 260b and a lower rear protection panel portion 260c, as shown in FIG. 8, to accommodate the restrictive environment within the interior of the truck 300′. A protective door portion 240 is hingedly attached to the side protection panels 250 to allow the rear of the door 240 to swing outward on its hinge.

The modular self-supporting armor assembly 200 can be brought into the cab of the truck 300′ and assembled therein to form a free-standing armored cage within the cab of the truck 300′. As with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, the panels can be held together using overlay portions formed into the panels, corner brackets, such as corner brackets 265 of FIG. 8, tabs or other structures for removably joining the panels. If desired, a connection to the enclosing body (see, i.e., truck 300′ in FIG. 10) can be made using specialized brackets (i.e., 270a and/or 270b) or other means, as is appropriate to the particular case. The upper and lower holding brackets 270a and 270b, respectively, of the present embodiment have been particularly adapted to the present model of truck 300′. If possible, they are laid out to mate with an existing fixation point in the vehicle 300′. Otherwise a special fixation point can be made.

The present self-supporting armor assembly 200 includes a rear window portion 260a window portion 260a formed in the rear protection panel 260 and aligned with a window in the vehicle 300′. A further armored window panel may be affixed to the rear protection panel 260 over the window portion 260a, as shown in FIG. 9, to provide further protection. The panel 260 can be locked and unlocked to retain visibility through the window in the vehicle 300′. This is yet another example of how the armored panels that make up the self-supporting armor assembly of the present invention can be particularly adapted to each structure in which it is to be used.

As with the previous embodiment, additional external protection may be added to the modular self-supporting armor assembly 200, for further protection. For example, an external protective shield 230 and external blast shields 280 affixed to the vehicle 300′ by external supports, such as supports 290, or may be otherwise connected. Note that the supports 290 differ from the supports 190 of FIGS. 1-5, because the supports 290 have been particularly adapted to the external contour of the vehicle 300′, whereas the supports 190 have been adapted to that of the vehicle 300.

The invention can be assembled in a short period of time and, because it does not require any modification of the enclosing cabin, can be removed following the assembly steps in reverse order. Because the parts are not altered, they can be reassembled later in another vehicle of the same kind (or similar kind if parts are interchangeable). Further, because of the nature of the assembly, replacement parts can be used to repair an affected unit without modifying any of the other parts or the host cabin itself. If any part of the assembly 100, 200 becomes damaged, thereby compromising its integrity, the need for repair is not required because the part can be exchanged for a like, standardized part.

Using the present invention, additional protection can be provided based on the choice of the type of armor materials and a focus upon the directions from where the threat is coming. For example, if desired, a roof (not shown) can be attached to the structures 100, 200. Additionally, if desired, a floor can be provided (i.e., a specially fabricated armoring blanket) to provide protection from bomb blasts that may occur below the vehicle.

To provide for optimum protection, the structure, 100, 200 should be fitted particularly to the specific case. Additionally, the parts chosen for the assembly should be chosen from materials suited to provide the best performance for the desired environment where the assembly 100, 200 is to be used. Additionally, the parts can be fabricated so as to be useful in any of the structures, so that they can be interchangeable, as needed.

Additionally, several possible armor assemblies 100, 200, can be fabricated for each vehicle, yet having a different weight and/or thickness of materials so that a particular assembly may be chosen to achieve protection against different levels of ballistic and/or blast threats in a non-intrusive way. For example, there can be light armor or heavy armor versions that, because of the system design, can be interchanged into the same vehicle. Or, because of the design of the system, the armor assembly 100, 200 can be removed entirely, without having modified or compromised the structure of the vehicle.

Because the armor assemblies in accordance with the present invention are: 1) preferably, custom fitted to a particular model of truck; 2) need no modification or preparation of the cabin into which they are to be assembled; and 3) need no special tools to assemble, the assemblies can be delivered as a retrofit kit to vehicles in the field and assembled immediately without difficulty.

As described above, the armored panels for the self-supporting armor assembly 100, 200 can be particularly formed to promote easy connectivity. The protective structural windshield frame 120 is designed to curve at the edges to form, as shown in FIG. 2, an overlapping portion 120a, which overlaps the side protection panels 150 and is used to connect the two pieces together with a bolt or other fastener or bonding agent. Additionally, the panels can be straight edged panels, such as is shown in FIGS. 3 and 8, wherein the panels meet at substantially a right angle, and are joined by corner brackets 165, 265. Alternatively, the panels may have or receive interlocking mechanisms that, attached to each part as needed, enables them to be assembled within the interior of the host in one or more assemblies

Alternatively, the armored panels used to form the self-supporting structure can be of another type having edges that, themselves, form inter-locking connections. In one particular embodiment of the present invention, panels may be formed as is taught in the commonly assigned patent application Ser. No. 10/886,226, filed on Jul. 6, 2004 and entitled “Method of Connecting Rigid Bodies and Rigid Body”. In that commonly assigned application, armor panels are formed as rigid bodies that include form-locking connections.

A form-locking connection is one that connects two elements together due to the shape of the elements themselves, as opposed to a force-locking connection, which locks the elements together by a force external to the elements. For example a nut and bolt holding two elements together is a force-locking connection because of the external force provided by the nut and bolt. In contrast, a ball and socket are held together because the shapes of the ball and socket interconnect with each other and provide the connection without the application of an external force.

Particular embodiments of those rigid bodies are shown in FIGS. 11-14. More particularly, if it is desired that armor panels used to make the self-supporting armor assemblies 100, 200 include their own form-locking connections, they can be of the forms taught in that co-pending application, which include panels having edges with a square wave shape, a dove-tail shape, and/or a tongue and groove type shape. Once the form-locking connections are made, other types of connectors or bonding agents (i.e., bolts, cotter pins, etc.) can be used to removably secure the panels together.

For example, in FIG. 11, there is shown a portion of a first armored panel 1 having a slot 2. A portion of a second armored panel 3 has a protrusion or tab 4 that has been precisely cut to fit into the slot 2. As shown in FIG. 12, the panels 1, 3 are mechanically fixed to each other by use of the precision cut tab 4 and the slot 2. The tab 4 of the second armored panel 3 is inserted into the slot 2 of the first armored panel 1. Once the tab 4 is inserted into the slot 2, the second armored panel 3 has mechanical resistance to stresses from every direction except an insertion direction defined by a main axis of the slot 2. Analogously, the first armored panel 1 has the same stress properties. The panels 1, 3 can be further fixed to each other with corner brackets, bolts, pins or other fasteners or bonding agents and parts. By so fixing the panels 1, 3 together, there is an added resistance against stresses on the connectors holding the panels together, while still providing the capability of removing the self-supporting armor assembly formed from the panels 1, 3 and reassembling the assembly elsewhere.

Referring to FIG. 13, three armored panels 11, 12, 13 are assembled together. The third panel 13 is connected to the first panel 11 using the slot and tab technique taught in regards to FIGS. 11 and 12. It can be seen from FIG. 13 that the slots 2 and tabs 4 require a small surface area. FIG. 14 is equivalent to FIG. 13 with the exception that panel 13 is shown colored for better identification.

All of the panels 11, 12, and 13 may be formed additionally with intricate edging 14. More specifically, the edges have a dovetail or square wave type interconnection. When the two panels 11, 12 are place next to each other, the edgings 14 interlock with each other. The edgings can then be joined together using removable connectors, as taught above. If it is determined that the assembly should be permanently affixed in the vehicle, the parts can be welded, glued, melted or fused to achieve the desired permanency. Like the embodiment of FIGS. 11 and 12, the edging 14 provides resistance in the main stress directions.

In FIGS. 13 and 14 the edgings have a square wave shape. However, the edging can have any interlocking type shape such as dovetail shaping. The opening may take many different types of shapes such as rectangular shapes, square shapes, slot shapes, oval shapes, circular shapes and triangular shapes. The critical feature of the presently described embodiment is that a form-locking connection is formed between the panels 11, 12, 13.

In an embodiment where the assemblies 100, 200 are formed using armored panels, as described in connection with FIGS. 11 to 14, ideally, the tabs and slots take up less than 50% of the width of the panel and preferably less than 35%. As the spacing between the slots increases, the change to the mechanical properties of the panels decreases. However, the degree of spacing is also limited by the desired structural integrity.

It can be seen from the foregoing, the type of materials that can be used in this invention can be several of different nature. For example, the materials used to make the parts of the present invention can include, specialized materials such as armor steel, armor composites, armor glass, high resistance fibers or fabrics and other materials chosen in accordance with the level of protection it is desired to achieve. Further, combinations of the above materials may be used to make a single assembly in accordance with the present invention. Any armor material meeting the protection criteria required for the specific threat can be used. Additionally, some of the chosen materials can be connected in different ways, such as the example provided by the door protection, which necessarily must overlay the vehicle or other structure's own door.

Armor assemblies made in accordance with the present invention, because they are modular, are easy to assemble and easy to transfer from a location to the vehicle in which they are to installed (or even from vehicle to vehicle). An armor assembly in accordance with the present invention is cheaper to implement and retrofit than current technology, yet it is equally reliable and offers easy removal.

Although the self-supporting armor assembly of the present invention is described as being assembled in a vehicle, this is not meant to be limiting, as it is easily understood that the principles and concepts of the present invention can be applied to other vehicles or even stationary structures. Also, because the self-supporting armor assembly 100, 200 need not be mounted to a structure or other support assembly, it can be assembled and used in the absence of an external enclosing body.

Additionally, although the self supporting armor assemblies of the present invention are designed to be removable, it is understood that, if it is desired to make the assembly a permanent addition to the vehicle, the armor assembly can be more permanently affixed to the vehicle or structure. For example, instead of being connected by brackets, fixtures, bolts and/or connectors, the parts can be welded, fused, melted or otherwise bonded together.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

PARTS LIST

  • 1 armored panel
  • 2 slot
  • 3 armored panel
  • 4 tab
  • 5 insertion direction
  • 11 armored panel
  • 12 armored panel
  • 13 armored panel
  • 14 intricate edging
  • 100 self supporting armor assembly
  • 110 protective windshield
  • 115 windshield holding frame
  • 120 protective structural windshield frame
  • 120a windshield frame overlapping portion
  • 130 external protective shield
  • 130a front facing portion
  • 130b side portion
  • 140 protective armor door
  • 150 side protection panel
  • 150a side protection element
  • 150b side protection element
  • 150c side protection element
  • 160 rear protection panel
  • 170a upper holding bracket
  • 170b lower holding bracket
  • 180 blast protection shield
  • 190 external supports
  • 200 self supporting armor assembly
  • 210 protective windshield
  • 215 windshield holding frame
  • 220 protective structural windshield frame
  • 230 external protective shield
  • 240 protective armor door
  • 250 side protection panel
  • 260 rear protection panel
  • 260a window portion
  • 260b upper rear protection panel portion
  • 260c lower rear protection panel portion
  • 265 corner bracket
  • 270a upper holding bracket
  • 270b lower holding bracket
  • 280 blast protection shield
  • 290 external support
  • 300 truck
  • 300′ truck