Title:
Drag inducing armor and method of using same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drag inducing armor includes a projectile hindering layer and a pliant layer operably associated with the projectile hindering layer to envelop a projectile that has passed through the projectile hindering layer. A drag inducing armor includes a forward face sheet, a projectile hindering layer disposed adjacent the forward face sheet, a rear face sheet, and a pliant layer disposed between the projectile hindering layer and the rear face sheet. A method for using a drag inducing armor includes providing a projectile hindering layer and a pliant layer disposed behind the projectile hindering layer, hindering a projectile with the projectile hindering layer, and enveloping the projectile after the projectile passes through the projectile hindering layer.



Inventors:
Melin, Roger W. (Arlington, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/195013
Publication Date:
02/08/2007
Filing Date:
08/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41H5/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KUCAB, JAMIE R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIS PATENT SERVICES, LLC (GRANBURY, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A drag inducing armor, comprising: a projectile hindering layer; and a pliant layer operably associated with the projectile hindering layer to envelop a projectile that has passed through the projectile hindering layer.

2. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 1, wherein the pliant layer is affixed behind the projectile hindering layer.

3. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 1, further comprising: a rear face sheet, the pliant layer being disposed between the projectile hindering layer and the rear face sheet.

4. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 3, wherein the pliant layer is affixed to at least one of the projectile hindering layer and the rear face sheet.

5. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 1, further comprising: a forward face sheet, such that the projectile hindering layer is disposed between the forward face sheet and the pliant layer.

6. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 1, wherein the pliant layer comprises: a plurality of sheet portions.

7. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 6, wherein the pliant layer defines portions of reduced tensile strength between the plurality of sheet portions

8. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 6, wherein the plurality of sheet portions comprises: a plurality of separate sheet portions.

9. A drag inducing armor, comprising: a forward face sheet; a projectile hindering layer disposed adjacent the forward face sheet; a rear face sheet; and a pliant layer disposed between the projectile hindering layer and the rear face sheet.

10. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 9, wherein the projectile hindering layer comprises: at least one of a ceramic, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, steel, titanium, a metal-matrix composite, and a ceramic-matrix composite.

11. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 9, wherein the projectile hindering layer comprises: a plurality of tiles disposed edge-to-edge.

12. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 9, wherein the pliant layer comprises: one or more plies of woven fabric.

13. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 12, wherein the woven fabric comprises: at least one of aramid fibers, high molecular weight polyethylene fibers, and p-phenylene-2,7-benzobisoxazole fibers.

14. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 12, wherein at least one of the one or more plies of woven fabric comprises: a plurality of sheet portions.

15. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 9, wherein the pliant layer comprises: a first ply of woven fabric, comprising: a plurality of separate sheet portions disposed edge-to-edge forming joints therebetween; and a second ply of woven fabric, comprising: a plurality of separate sheet portions disposed edge-to-edge forming joints therebetween; wherein the plurality of separate sheet portions of the first ply of woven fabric extend across at least some of the joints formed by the plurality of separate sheet portions of the second ply of woven fabric.

16. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 9, wherein the pliant layer comprises: a first ply of woven fabric, comprising: a plurality of sheet portions separated by portions of reduced tensile strength; and a second ply of woven fabric, comprising: a plurality of sheet portions separated by portions of reduced tensile strength; wherein the plurality of sheet portions of the first ply of woven fabric extend across at least some of the portions of reduced tensile strength between the plurality of sheet portions of the second ply of woven fabric.

17. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 16, wherein the portions of reduced tensile strength of at least one of the first ply of woven fabric and the second ply of woven fabric comprise perforations.

18. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 16, wherein the woven fabric of at least one of the first ply and the second ply is woven to create the portions of reduced tensile strength.

19. The drag inducing armor, according to claim 9, wherein the forward face sheet is adapted to hinder a projectile.

20. A method for using a drag inducing armor, comprising: providing a projectile hindering layer and a pliant layer disposed behind the projectile hindering layer; hindering a projectile with the projectile hindering layer; and enveloping the projectile in the pliant layer after the projectile passes through the projectile hindering layer.

21. The method, according to claim 19, wherein the step of hindering the projectile comprises: at least one of breaking, blunting, fragmenting, deforming, and tipping the projectile.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to armor for inhibiting the effectiveness of ballistic projectiles. In particular, the present invention relates to a drag inducing armor and a method of using the armor.

2. Description of Related Art

It is often desirable to protect vehicles, such as tanks, personnel carriers, and the like, from serious damage caused by ballistic projectiles. Accordingly, these types of vehicles are known to have armor to reduce the likelihood that such projectiles will penetrate the vehicle. If the projectiles penetrate the vehicle, the occupants of the vehicle may be injured or the vehicle's ability to operate may be impaired.

FIG. 1A illustrates one particular example of a conventional anti-ballistic armor 101 with an approaching ballistic round or projectile 103. In the illustrated example, armor 101 includes a ceramic layer 105 and a ballistic fabric layer 107 captured between a forward face sheet 109 and a rear face sheet 111. Ballistic fabric layer 107 is made up of a woven fabric of aramid or other high tensile strength yarns, fixedly held between ceramic layer 105 and rear face sheet 111. Typically, ballistic fabric layer 107 is continuously, adhesively bonded to substantially an entire rear surface 113 of ceramic layer 105 and/or to substantially an entire front surface 115 of rear face sheet 111. Face sheets 109, 111 typically protect ceramic layer 105 and ballistic fabric layer 107 from inadvertent damage and environmental effects, in addition to face sheet 111 holding ballistic fabric layer 107 in a fixed position. In some conventional armors, forward face sheet 109 provides additional ballistic protection.

FIG. 1B illustrates ballistic projectile 103 impacting armor 101. The impact of ballistic projectile 103 on ceramic layer 105 shatters at least a portion of ceramic layer 105. The reactive force produced by the impact of ballistic projectile 103 and ceramic layer 105 breaks apart, tips, and/or otherwise damages projectile 103, as shown in FIG. 1C. Ballistic fabric layer 107 captures and retains broken or tipped ballistic projectile 103 within armor 101. Ballistic fabric layer 107 also captures and retains spall 117 from forward face sheet 109 and spall 119 from ceramic layer 105. Accordingly, armor 101 relies upon ballistic fabric layer 107 to remain attached to ceramic layer 105 and/or rear face sheet 111. Armor 101 completely halts the progression of ballistic projectile 103, such that the residual velocity of ballistic projectile 103 is essentially zero.

It should be noted that the thicknesses of ceramic layer 105 and ballistic fabric layer 107 are sized based upon, for example, the maximum mass and maximum velocity of an expected ballistic projectile 103. Generally, the thicknesses of ceramic layer 105 and ballistic fabric layer 107 are proportional to the mass and velocity of ballistic projectile 103. In other words, a ballistic projectile 103 having a greater mass and/or velocity will require a thicker ceramic layer 105 and/or ballistic fabric layer 107 to be halted, as compared to a ballistic projectile 103 having a lesser mass and/or velocity. Greater thicknesses of ceramic layer 105 and/or ballistic fabric layer 107 result in greater overall weight and size of armor 101.

While protecting the vehicle and its occupants is generally of primary importance, other factors may play a role in the design of armor for the vehicle. It is typically desirable for the vehicle to be as lightweight as possible. Generally, fuel consumption by the vehicle increases as its weight increases. A heavier vehicle usually requires a heavier drive train than a lighter vehicle, which further increases weight. Increased weight may also reduce the mobility of the vehicle and, thus, reduce the utility of the vehicle in evasive situations. As the weight of the vehicle's armor can contribute to the overall weight of the vehicle, it is desirable for the vehicle's armor to be as lightweight as possible. Many known armor systems, while protecting the vehicle from ballistic damage, add significant weight to the vehicle and provide little or no additional structural strength to the vehicle.

It is also not desirable for the vehicle's armor to greatly increase the overall size of the vehicle (e.g., the vehicle's height, width, length, volume, and the like). It is desirable for existing transportation equipment (e.g., trucks, trailers, aircraft, and the like) to be capable of transporting the vehicle. If the size of the vehicle is increased over previous vehicles, the existing transportation equipment may not be capable of transporting the vehicle, or the existing transportation equipment may be limited to carrying fewer vehicles per load. Moreover, if the vehicle's size is increased over previous vehicles, the vehicle may not be able to pass through existing roadway or railway tunnels.

The overall size of the vehicle may also be a factor in combat situations. Generally, smaller targets (i.e., smaller vehicles) are more difficult to hit with artillery, such as rockets, mortars, missiles, ballistic rounds, and the like. Thus, it may be desirable for the vehicle's overall size to be smaller, rather than larger, to reduce the likelihood of an artillery hit.

Cost is also typically a consideration when designing or choosing vehicle armor. Armor that uses exotic materials may be quite effective in defeating or limiting the damaging effect of ballistic projectiles but may be unaffordable.

While there are many types of armor well known in the art, considerable room for improvement remains.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is a need for an improved apparatus and method for hindering a projectile.

In one aspect of the present invention, a drag inducing armor is provided. The drag inducing armor includes a projectile hindering layer and a pliant layer operably associated with the projectile hindering layer to envelop a projectile that has passed through the projectile hindering layer.

In another aspect of the present invention, a drag inducing armor is provided. The drag inducing armor includes a forward face sheet, a projectile hindering layer disposed adjacent the forward face sheet, a rear face sheet, and a pliant layer disposed between the projectile hindering layer and the rear face sheet.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, a method for using a drag inducing armor is provided. The method includes providing a projectile hindering layer and a pliant layer disposed behind the projectile hindering layer, hindering a projectile with the projectile hindering layer, and enveloping the projectile after the projectile passes through the projectile hindering layer.

The present invention provides significant advantages, including: (1) providing an armor having less areal density than conventional armor; and (2) providing improved protection for projectile impacts at joints between armor tiles.

Additional objectives, features and advantages will be apparent in the written description which follows.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. However, the invention itself, as well as, a preferred mode of use, and further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which the leftmost significant digit(s) in the reference numerals denote(s) the first figure in which the respective reference numerals appear, wherein:

FIG. 1A is a stylized, partial cross-sectional view illustrating an exemplary, conventional armor and a ballistic projectile approaching the tile;

FIG. 1B is a stylized, partial cross-sectional view illustrating the ballistic projectile impacting the conventional armor, all of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1C is a stylized, partial cross-sectional view illustrating the conventional armor capturing the ballistic projectile, all of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 2 is a stylized, perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of a drag inducing armor according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a stylized, cross-sectional view of the drag inducing armor of FIG. 2 taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2 illustrating various particular ways of attaching a pliant layer to adjacent layers in the drag inducing armor;

FIG. 4 is a stylized, cross-sectional view of the drag inducing armor of FIG. 2 taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 2 illustrating an alternative way of attaching the pliant layer to adjacent layers in the drag inducing armor;

FIG. 5A is a stylized, cross-sectional view of the drag inducing armor of FIG. 2 taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2, illustrating a ballistic projectile approaching the drag inducing armor;

FIG. 5B is a stylized, cross-sectional view of the drag inducing armor of FIG. 2 taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2, illustrating the ballistic projectile impacting the drag inducing armor;

FIG. 5C is a stylized, cross-sectional view of the drag inducing armor of FIG. 2 taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2, illustrating the ballistic projectile traveling into the drag inducing armor;

FIGS. 5D-5F are stylized, cross-sectional views of the drag inducing armor of FIG. 2 taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2, illustrating the ballistic projectile urging the pliant layer of the drag inducing armor through a rear face sheet of the drag inducing armor;

FIG. 6 is a stylized, perspective view of a portion of an alternative, illustrative embodiment of a drag inducing armor according to the present invention, illustrating a one particular illustrative embodiment of a pliant layer disposed behind a plurality of ceramic tiles; and

FIG. 7 is a stylized perspective view of a portion of an alternative, illustrative embodiment of a drag inducing armor according to the present invention, illustrating an alternative, illustrative embodiment of a pliant layer disposed behind a plurality of ceramic tiles.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Illustrative embodiments of the invention are described below. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developer's specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

The present invention represents a drag inducing armor and a method of making the armor. Generally, the drag inducing armor of the present invention provides a pliant layer that, when contacted by a projectile, envelops the projectile. As used herein, the term “pliant” means “easily bent, flexed, or twisted without breaking.” The projectile, spall fragments, and the pliant layer, urged by the projectile, exit the rear face of the drag inducing armor at a much reduced velocity, as will be discussed in greater detail below. The pliant layer and the projectile have a very large aerodynamic drag, since the pliant layer has a very large surface area as compared to the projectile. Accordingly, the velocity of the projectile is greatly reduced. Moreover, the leading surface of the pliant layer enveloping the projectile (or projectile fragments if the projectile has fragmented) is more blunt than the leading edge of the projectile or projectile fragments alone. For at least these reasons, the drag inducing armor of the present invention lessens, or in some cases eliminates, the behind-armor damage caused by the projectile.

FIG. 2 depicts an illustrative embodiment of a drag inducing armor 201 according to the present invention. In the illustrated embodiment, drag inducing armor 201 comprises a forward face sheet 203, a projectile hindering layer 205 disposed adjacent forward face sheet 203, a rear face sheet 207, and a pliant layer 209 disposed between projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207.

Face sheets 203, 207 house projectile hindering layer 205 and pliant layer 209. In some embodiments, face sheets 203, 207 comprise a material such as a polymeric composite, steel, aluminum, or the like. In other embodiments, forward face sheet 203 provides additional protection from ballistic projectiles. In these embodiments, forward face sheet 203 comprises a material such as steel, tungsten, or other such protective or projectile hindering material. It should be noted that face sheets 203, 207 may comprise elements of another device or apparatus. For example, if drag inducing armor 201 is implemented on or in a vehicle, face sheets 203, 207 may comprise elements of the vehicle. In one particular implementation, rear face sheet 207 may comprise a vehicle panel, such a body panel.

Projectile hindering layer 205 comprises a material suitable for breaking, blunting, fragmenting, deforming, tipping, or otherwise hindering a ballistic projectile, as will be discussed in greater detail below. In preferred embodiments, projectile hindering layer 205 comprises at least one of a ceramic material, such as silicon carbide or silicon nitride; steel; titanium; a metal-matrix composite; a ceramic-matrix composite; or the like.

Still referring to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, pliant layer 209 comprises one or more plies of woven fabric disposed between projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207 such that, when a ballistic projectile encounters pliant layer 209, the ballistic projectile is enveloped by pliant layer 209. The force produced by the ballistic projectile carries the ballistic projectile and the pliant layer through rear face sheet 207 and out of drag inducing armor 201, as will be discussed in greater detail below. Generally, in one embodiment, pliant layer 209 comprises high tensile strength yarns woven into a fabric. Pliant layer 209 comprises one or more plies (e.g., 8-10 plies) of such fabric. It should be noted that the scope of the present invention encompasses pliant layer 209 comprising any number of plies. In various embodiments, pliant layer 209 comprises aramid fibers, such as Kevlar®, produced by E. I. du Pont de Nemours of Richmond, Va.; high molecular weight polyethylene fibers, such as Spectra®, produced by Honeywell Specialty Materials of Morris Township, N.J.; and/or p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole (PBO) fibers, such as Zylon®, produced by Toyobo Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Pliant layer 209, however, may take on other forms that are encompassed by the present invention.

As discussed above, pliant layer 209 is incorporated into drag inducing armor 201 such that a ballistic projectile can be enveloped by pliant layer 209 and pliant layer 209 can be urged from drag inducing armor 201 by the ballistic projectile. Accordingly, pliant layer 209 is removably disposed between projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207. Pliant layer 209 is held in place between projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207 prior to the ballistic projectile impacting drag inducing armor 201. As will be more fully described below, pliant layer 209 is adapted to envelop the ballistic projectile and be urged from drag inducing armor 201 by the ballistic projectile.

In one embodiment, pliant layer 209 is compressively held within drag inducing armor 201 without the use of any adhesive. For example, pliant layer 209 may be compressively held in place between projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207. Other ways of retaining pliant layer 209 in a removable configuration within drag inducing armor 201, such that a projectile may be enveloped by pliant layer 209 and may urge the projectile and pliant layer 209 from drag inducing armor 201, are within the scope of the present invention. For example, as shown in FIG. 3 pliant layer 209 is adhesively attached at discrete locations to projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207. In one implementation, pliant layer 209 is adhesively attached to both projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207 by adhesive portion 301. In this implementation, adhesive portion 301 extends through the thickness of pliant layer 209 and is adhesively bonded to a rear face 303 of projectile hindering layer 205 and to a forward face 305 of rear face sheet 207.

Alternatively, pliant layer 209 is adhesively bonded to rear face 303 of projectile hindering layer 205 via an adhesive portion 309 and/or a rear portion 311 of pliant layer 209 is adhesively bonded to a forward face 305 of rear face sheet 207 via an adhesive portion 313. In either implementation illustrated in FIG. 3, forces applied by a projectile to pliant layer 209 readily detaches pliant layer 209 from projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207. Note that, in one drag inducing armor 201, pliant layer 209 may be attached to projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207 by one or more adhesive portions 301, 309, 313 or by a combination of adhesive portions 301, 309, 313. As presented above, pliant layer 209 may be retained between projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207 omitting adhesive portions 301, 309, 313.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4, one or more adhesive portions 401, 403 extend across pliant layer 209 alone or in conjunction with adhesive portions 301, 309 and/or 311. As specifically illustrated in FIG. 4, adhesive portions 401, 403 extend partially around a periphery of pliant layer 209. The scope of the present invention, however, encompasses a single adhesive portion 401, 403 extending around a periphery of pliant layer 209. Other particular configurations of releasable adhesive attachment are within the scope of the present invention, such as minimally spot gluing pliant layer 209 to projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207. It should be noted, however, that if pliant layer 209 is adhesively retained between projectile hindering layer 205 and rear face sheet 207, a projectile encountering pliant layer 209 will fail adhesive portions 301, 309, 313, 401, and/or 403 prior to pliant layer tearing, such that the projectile can be enveloped by pliant layer 209.

FIGS. 5A-5F depict drag inducing armor 201 in one particular use at certain time intervals. In each of FIGS. 5A-5F, pliant layer 209 is depicted as being adhesively bonded to projectile hindering layer 205 via adhesive portions 309 and to rear face sheet 207 via adhesive portions 313. As discussed above, however, the present invention is not so limited. Rather, other ways of releasably retaining pliant layer 209 are within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 5A illustrates a projectile 501 approaching drag inducing armor 201. Upon impact with drag inducing armor 201, as shown in FIG. 5B, projectile 501 encounters forward face sheet 203 and projectile hindering layer 205. In the illustrated embodiment, projectile hindering layer 205 comprises a hard, brittle, high compressive strength material, such as a ceramic. The impact of projectile 501 shatters or cracks projectile hindering layer 205. The collision between projectile 501 and projectile hindering layer 205 blunts, breaks, fragments, and/or tips projectile 501, as shown in FIG. 5C.

Still referring to FIG. 5C, the collision between projectile 501 and projectile hindering layer 205 also reduces the velocity of the projectile 501, whether intact or fragmented. Projectile 501, however, still exhibits considerable velocity and, thus, momentum. Projectile 501 continues to travel into drag inducing armor 201, encountering pliant layer 209. Pliant layer 209 is deformed, as is rear face sheet 207.

Referring now to FIG. 5D, projectile 501 applies sufficient force to pliant layer 209 to break through rear face sheet 207, creating an opening 502, and to urge pliant layer 209 through rear face sheet 207. Note that, if pliant layer 209 is originally attached to projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207, pliant layer 209 becomes detached from projectile hindering layer 205 and/or rear face sheet 207. Pliant layer 209 is constrained by rear face sheet 207 as projectile 501 urges pliant layer 209 through opening 502, reducing the velocity of projectile 501. Moreover, friction between pliant layer 209 and projectile hindering layer 205 and between pliant layer 209 and rear face sheet 207 resist the movement of pliant layer 209 through opening 502, further reducing the velocity of projectile 501.

As shown in FIG. 5E, the momentum of projectile 501 continues to urge pliant layer 209 through opening 502, until projectile 501 and pliant layer 209 are free of rear face sheet 207, as shown in FIG. 5F. Pliant layer 209 envelops projectile 501. While projectile 501 and pliant layer 207 are still moving after exiting rear face sheet 207, projectile 501 enveloped by pliant layer 209 exhibits an increased aerodynamic drag than projectile 501 alone, further reducing the velocity of projectile 501. Moreover, the velocity of projectile 501 and pliant layer 207 is generally insufficient to cause serious harm to personnel and/or equipment behind drag inducing armor 201. It should be noted that, in implementations wherein drag inducing armor 201 is disposed outside of a vehicle or the like, structural elements disposed behind drag inducing armor 201 may be of sufficient strength to completely halt projectile 501.

As shown in FIG. 6, it should be noted that drag inducing armor 201 may include a plurality of tiles 601, disposed edge-to-edge, comprising projectile hindering layer 205. Moreover, pliant layer 209 may comprise a plurality of plies 603, 605 of woven fabric, such as the woven fabric described above. In one embodiment, at least one of plurality of plies 603, 605 extends across joints 607 between tiles 601. In the illustrated embodiment, at least one of plurality of plies 603, 605 comprises a plurality of sheet portions 609 of woven fabric, such as the woven fabric described above, separated by perforations 611. Perforations 611 reduce the tensile strength of plies 603, 605 in portions between sheet portions 609. Thus, when a projectile encounters a particular sheet portion 609 of plies 603, 605, perforations 611 defining the particular sheet portion 609 allow the particular sheet portion 609 to be broken away from the rest of ply 603, 605, so that the projectile can be enveloped by sheet portion 609. Alternatively, one or more of plies 603, 605 may comprise a woven fabric that incorporates, as part of the weave, reduced tensile strength portions corresponding to perforations 611.

If, for example, plies 603, 605 each comprise separate sheet portions 609 of woven fabric, ply 603 may be positioned such that perforations 611 between sheets 609 of ply 603 are not aligned with perforations 613 between sheets 609 of ply 605. In other words, sheets 609 of ply 603 extend across at least some of perforations 613 between sheets 609 of ply 605. Such a configuration provides additional protection from projectile impacts occurring at joints 607 between tiles 601. Preferably, at least two plies, such as plies 603, 605, are used when a plurality of tiles 601 are incorporated in drag inducing armor 201.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 7, at least one of plurality of plies 701, 703 may also comprise a plurality of separate sheet portions 705 of woven fabric, such as the woven fabric described above, disposed edge-to-edge. If, for example, plies 701, 703 each comprise separate sheet portions 705 of woven fabric, ply 701 may be positioned such that joints 707 between sheet portions 705 of ply 701 are not aligned with joints 709 between sheet portions 705 of ply 703. In other words, sheet portions 705 of ply 701 extend across at least some of joints 709 between sheet portions 705 of ply 703. Such a configuration provides additional protection from projectile impacts occurring at joints 607 between tiles 601.

Generally, in either of the embodiments of FIGS. 6 or 7, it is generally desirable for a projectile to encounter as many sheet portions 609, 705 as possible to decrease the projectile's velocity. Moreover, it is preferable, in embodiments wherein tiles 601 comprise projectile hindering layer 205, to include at least two plies 603, 605, 701, 703 adjacent tiles 601. It should also be noted that, while sheet portions 609, 705 are illustrated herein as being rectangular, the present invention is not so limited. Rather, sheet portions 609, 705 may take on any shape, such as triangular.

The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the invention may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. Furthermore, no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown, other than as described in the claims below. It is therefore evident that the particular embodiments disclosed above may be altered or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the protection sought herein is as set forth in the claims below. It is apparent that an invention with significant advantages has been described and illustrated. Although the present invention is shown in a limited number of forms, it is not limited to just these forms, but is amenable to various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof.