Physics of Soldier Protection to Defeat Evolving Threats (PSPDET)

The PSPDET ERP is developing advanced armor technology to defend Soldiers from the next generation ballistic threats and to reduce the armor burden.

The ERP is organized around three thrust areas: research in terminal ballistics, research in armor materials, and research in computational mechanics. The leaders in each of these areas reach out and collaborate with the respective research community in the Department of Defense, other U.S. government agencies, industry, and academia to identify the most promising technologies. From these relationships, we bring resources and knowledge into the ERP so we can operationalize the science in these thrust areas for discovery and delivery to the end user, to improve the survivability to the squadron and individual warfighter.


  • Develop novel armor mechanisms to defeat advanced ballistic threats.
  • Improve the Army’s computational modeling capability to model the relevant fracture and failure mechanisms in ceramic and composite materials
  • Develop improved ceramic and composite materials to reduce the weight of armor systems. 
  • Reduce the burden of armor systems by developing advanced armors based on Soldier operational performance.


  • Revolution in approaches used for dismounted warfighter personnel protection
  • Soldier ballistic protection from future combat threats
  • Enhanced Soldier battlefield effectiveness
Computer model of the fracture of a bullet impacting a ceramic armor system


Christopher Hoppel
Program Manager

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