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Kanchan Armour is the name informally given to a modular composite armour developed by India. Kanchan Armor uses the same principle as the Chobham armour, but the composition is different.[1] The Kanchan Armour got its name from Kanchan Bagh,[2] Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India where the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) is located.

Although the construction details of the armour remain a secret, it has been described as being made by sandwiching composite panels between Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). The number of layers may vary based on the user requirements. This armour is able to defeat APDS and HEAT rounds and is believed to withstand APFSDS.[3]

During development in the 1980s, the Kanchan armour defeated a 106 mm RCL gun which was tried on the Arjun Tank. During the trials in 2000, the Kanchan was able to withstand a hit from a T-72 at point blank range, and was able to defeat all available HESH and armour piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds, which included the Israeli APFSDS rounds.[4]

This armour is lightweight and compact and a new honeycomb design non-explosive and non-energetic reactive armour (NERA) is reportedly being tested on the Arjun tanks[citation needed].


When a projectile is fired, the armour stops it via compression and decompression method. As the projectile hits the armour, it faces compression because of the Rolled homogeneous armour, and then it faces decompression because of the composite. When the projectile passes through several such sandwiched layers, it breaks up the APDS or HEAT shot.


In 1980’s the Kanchan composite had a composition of ceramic, alumina, fibreglass and some other such materials mixed. The RHA tried out had two thicknesses, i.e. a 350 mm plate and a 315 mm plate. However these two plates had the same weight as a 120mm RHA. Hence it is said that Kanchan armour is more volume at same weight. The anti-tank munitions have problems in penetrating denser mass.[5]

Kanchan armour composition has undergone massive changes since 1980’s. The volume of the RHA has been reduced to lesser mass because of better metallurgy. The composite has evolved too and it does not use the 1980s technology anymore.


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