Armour, spelt as armor in some places, is a covering that is used to protect something or someone from damage by contact. The word has its origins in warfare, where it began being used by soldiers going to war to refer to the protective gear they wore. The word can also be used as a verb to refer to the very act of creating protection.
History of Armour
The use of armour can be traced to as far back as warfare has been known. People have always valued the importance of self-defence in war. The earliest armour was made of leather. Back then, arrows were the main type of weaponry used in war. Heavy leather was thus able to withstand attacks.
As weaponry evolved, however, the need to create a different kind of armour arose. Metal was incorporated and was for a long time used by warring battles. However, the weight of metal made it a hindrance despite its ability to offer better protection than leather.
Also, the use of motor weapons meant that there needed to be armour not just for soldiers but also for the machines they used. This led to the introduction of composite armour that is still the base of what is used in vehicles today.
For humans, ballistic vests have become more commonplace, although metal and ceramic plates still exist. There has been a greater focus on the effect of the vest on the wearer in the event of a blast.
Use of Armour in Modern Warfare
In the last century, there has been great growth in armour technology. As early as the First World War, people had already learned how to armour aeroplanes. The same hindrance from the 17th century however persisted. By armouring a plane or vehicle, it became significantly heavier. This meant that a bigger engine was required to power it, and its speed was compromised. These drawbacks led war scientists to look for alternative ways to protect warships.
Trends in Use of Armour
Armour is still widely used today. However, with reducing physical combat and advancing technology, there are widespread changes in its application. The use of unmanned drones, for instance, has made it unnecessary to apply heavy armour in the planes.
The speed of such weapons also means that they are unlikely to be attacked before they hit their targets. Moreover, there are skills to have such implements go under the radar of enemy battles. Thus, even if they had a way to attack them, they would have little chance of finding them early enough.
Armour is now used mainly in the protection of world leaders. There are armoured vehicles in most convoys of the world’s presidents.