Forget that nasty aluminum stuff, engineers have been testing out a new, trasparent armor that can hopefully stop armor-piercing weapons from getting into the windows of army vehicles. Looks like the Air Force Research Lab's materials and manufacturing directorate is testing out aluminum oxynitride (ALONtm) as the new replacement "for the traditional multi-layered glass transparencies now used in existing ground and air armored vehicles." [Insert audio of Scotty saying "Transparent aluminum" here - JB]
Better than glass and extremely light weight, ALONtm is scratch resistent, impact resistent and has so far held its own against a .30 caliber Russian M-44 sniper rifle and a .50 caliber Browning Sniper Rifle with armor piercing bullets. But here's the rub—traditional armor is about $3 per square inch while the transparent armor is a whopping $10-$15 for the same amount. It's also more expensive to manufacture the new armor, so we'll see how long it takes our fair country to get this stuff up and out.
Air Force testing new transparent armor [Air Force Link]