Researchers have developed a new blast defense mechanism could, according to the investors, double vehicle protection against mine explosions without additional armor. The active belly plate system exerts a force against the floor of the vehicle to reduce floor deformation and help stop the vehicle from being thrown into the air. The technology, which has been taken to proof-of-concept stage, works by exploiting the short delay between a mine going off and the explosion hitting the underside of the vehicle, using this time to counteract the force of the mine. Because it deals with global acceleration, the technology should protect lighter cars as well as armoured vehicles. The system detects the shockwaves of a blast, which travel at the speed of sound and arrive around 20 milliseconds before the mass of the explosion, providing enough time for the belly plate to react. The UK company that developed the technology had received funding from the Ministry of Defense’s Center for Defense Enterprise, and they are now seeking funding to build a commercial prototype of the device.