Made in Rostec: Bomb Suppression Blanket

Made in Rostec: Bomb Suppression Blanket

Photo: Kalashnikov Concern

According to the current battlefield statistics, fragment injury is the second frequent damage effect. And while soldiers generally have various types of body armor, non-combatants and critical facilities may be protected using bomb suppression blankets. They are designed for fragment absorption and shock wave reduction.

Production of such blankets started last year at the Research Institute of Steel included in Kalashnikov Concern. The Egida blanket has been recently improved to protect against detection by night vision devices and thermal sights.

 

What types of materials are used to make bomb suppression blankets

A bomb suppression blanket generally has several layers of high-strength materials such as ballistic nylon, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene and aramid fabrics, for example, kevlar. These materials have high fracture and puncture resistance allowing them to effectively absorb and dissipate the blast energy and to restrain fragments. Dimensions and shape of the blankets vary with particular purpose and degree of threat.


Bomb suppression blankets are used when there is an explosion and fragmentation risk. For example, such blankets may be used by engineers and de-miners when handling suspect items and explosive devices. Moreover, the blanket can protect critical infrastructure facilities against fragmentation.

 

Innovations of the Research Institute of Steel

Protective equipment is known firsthand at the Research Institute of Steel included in Kalashnikov Concern. Materials and designs for protection of weapons, vehicles and people have been developed here for more than 80 years. Besides armor for almost all types of Soviet and Russian armored vehicles, the Institute has also developed unique products such as protection of the sarcophagus for Vladimir Lenin's body, protection for Chernobyl liquidators, Central Bank vault, etc.

The Research Institute of Steel launched batch production of the Egida bomb suppression blanket in 2023. This is a multilayer package with a soft protective structure made of high-strength ballistic aramid fabric and UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene). The package is placed in a bag made of a strong, abrasion-resistant material.

Dimensions – 1 m x 2 m – allow the blanket to be used for individual protection and to cover items, vehicles, window and door openings. The blanket is space-saving, easy-to-carry and can be quickly deployed for utilization. Weight is from 8.4 kg to 10 kg.

As to blanket versions, the Research Institute of Steel has currently two versions – the Egida-U is heavier than the conventional Egida, but features higher fragmentation resistance. Fragmentation resistance of protection is evaluated by a so-called ballistic limit. This is a standard fragment velocity at which the protection is penetrated or not with a probability of 50%. A steel ball 6.3 mm in diameter and 1.05 g in weight is assumed as a standard fragment in Russia. In terms of this parameter, fragmentation resistance of the Egida and Egida-U blankets is 450 m/s and 550 m/s, respectively.

However, the fragmentation range during grenade and mine detonation, on the one hand, differs both in velocity and weight, and, on the other hand, fragments generally have sharp edges that can easily cut ballistic fabrics.

The Research Institute of Steel upgraded the product in spring this year. In particular, masking properties of the blanket were improved and vehicles covered with the Egida are now invisible through night vision devices and thermal sights. High radio transparency of the blanket has been also proved and, thus, it may be used to protect radar station components.