New Composite Armor Helps Army Choppers Fly Further And Faster

October 28, 2012

The Protective Group Inc. (TPG), developer and integrator of lightweight composite armor for military aircrafts, will incorporate Honeywell’s ballistic composite material into its new armor protection products for U.S. military helicopters. Spectra Shield is made with Spectra® fiber, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fiber that is used in both body armor and vehicle protection applications.The improved armor will be used to upgrade approximately 200 Ch-47 Chinook helicopters over the span of four years. TPG is also working to upgrade the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

Honeywell ballistic materials have been used for the protection of servicemen around the world for more than 20 years. The Spectra Shield combines light weight and strength — 15 times stronger than steel. “Spectra Shield material provides an ideal combination of proven ballistic performance and light weight, which is critical for applications ranging from body armor to aircraft,” says Roy Ash, global marketing manager for Honeywell’s Advanced Fibers and Composites business.

In comparison to the plating currently used by the military, TPG’s use of Spectra composites is expected to reduce the weight of the helicopters armor 40 percent. This lightweighting will allow equipped helicopters to carry heavier loads and save fuel, while also improving protection. [Azom]

Lukas Hanreich is the communications intern at ACMA. 

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