Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and land mines have developed into one of the biggest threats facing allied land forces.

In response, the development in protection systems for armoured vehicles has picked up rapidly and TenCate Advanced Armour Danmark (Vissenbjerg, Fyn) has become one of the world’s leading providers of lightweight composite armour.

It started with an industry co-operation project in the 1990s. The future of mine blast protection systems may be become a reality in Fyn in co-operation with General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS).

When the Danish Army signed its first contract for armoured vehicles from GDELS’s Swiss subsidiary MOWAG nearly 20 years ago, TenCate (at that time Roulunds Fabrikker and later on Roshield) supplied protection components for the PIRANHA 3 armoured vehicles delivered to the Army.

TenCate subsequently became a Tier 1 supplier for General Dynamics European Land Systems’ EAGLE, DURO and PIRANHA platforms and has remained a top supplier of GDELS ever since.

TenCate Active Protection managing director Peter Bertelsen said: "TenCate started the development of composite based protection systems from scratch in the 1990s.

"Through our co-operation with Falck Schmidt Defence Systems, we were introduced to General Dynamics European Land Systems, and the industry co-operation programme worked as a catalyst and enabled us to develop technologies, which were highly effective and competitive on the global market."

In 2007, Roshield became a part of the Advanced Armour division of Dutch Textiles technology group Royal TenCate, a world leader in ballistic and blast protection solutions.

GDELS has remained a business partner for TenCate Advanced Armour Danmark, integrating the Danish company in its global supply chain and providing a steady revenue stream that has consolidated its position on the global market.

TenCate in Denmark employs 40 highly skilled employees, which successfully deliver protection solutions to the global defence industry.

GDELS International Business and Services senior director Jens Bauer said: "General Dynamics European Land Systems has satisfied on or ahead of schedule its industry co-operation obligations coming from our previous vehicle sales to Danish Defence, on schedule, and we have continued our co-operation and generated an additional 700 million kroner in revenue for Danish industry.

"We have done this because the Danish industry has proven to be innovative and competitive, and TenCate is an excellent example of that."

With regard to the acquisition of new armoured personnel carriers (APC) for the Danish Army, General Dynamics European Land Systems is prepared to take its Danish partnerships to the next level.

GDELS signed industry co-operation agreements with 40 Danish companies of all sizes and already defined projects in excess of 3.7 billion kroner covering all technology areas defined in the Danish government’s defence industry strategy.

Among these projects are GDELS sponsored efforts to increase the efficiency of production processes of TenCate by introducing new automation technology at the factory of TenCate’s in Vissenbjerg and to commercialise the future of mine blast protection technology in Fyn.

TenCate Active Protection, based on Danish patented technology developed the revolutionary Ten Cate ABDS active blast countermeasure system, which mitigates the effects of mines and IED blasts and is currently being tested by the US Army Research and Development, Engineering Command.

TenCate ABDS active blast countermeasure system may become a reality in Fyn.

Peter Bertelsen said: "We are extremely excited about our co-operation with General Dynamics European Land Systems and the integration of the TenCate ABDS active blast countermeasure system on GDELS’ EAGLE 5 platform.

"It will be the first time an active blast countermeasure system is certified on a major platform, and it constitutes an enormous market potential for TenCate.

"Together with GDELS, we hope to bring this revolutionary technology to the market and increase the protection level for Danish and allied soldiers."

GDELS International Business and Services vice-president Thomas Kauffmann said: "GDELS believes in partnership and keeps pursuing its innovative long-term industrial growth strategy, which creates sustainable business and future export opportunities for our Danish industry partners.

"That makes the real difference to a project specific blue print production model."