Kidde was founded in 1917 and has long been associated with specialty fire safety products for aircraft and vehicles.
Automatic fire extinguishing systems
Kidde Aerospace & Defense (KAD) is the largest designer, manufacturer and through-life supporter of automatic fire extinguishing systems (AFES) for most military vehicles used by Western armed forces. KAD is a part of Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies Corporation (UTC) company.
Crew automatic fire extinguishing system
Kidde is well known for its crew AFES, installed since the 1980s on all major main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and variants. This system detects and suppresses explosive fires in the crew compartment almost instantaneously.
Explosive fires are caused by the penetration of fuel tanks or hydraulic lines by enemy threats. Less than one pint of fuel burned inside a crew compartment can create lethal overpressures, temperatures and oxygen starvation levels. High reliability, millisecond response optical fire sensors are coupled to fast acting, high-rate discharge extinguishers to prevent explosive fires almost before they get started.
Fire protection for military vehicle exteriors
Recent experience in asymmetric warfare conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has identified the need for additional fire suppression to protect vehicle fuel tanks, engine compartments, tires (and road wheels on tracked vehicles), and other external areas, from roadside bombs, improvised explosive devices and explosively formed penetrators. These threats have been used against both heavily armored vehicles and tactical wheeled vehicles.
Kidde systems to address some or all of these various fire threats are available and being installed on a variety of vehicle types including HMMWVs, MRAPs, APCs and MBTs.
Fire extinguishing systems for smaller vehicles
As the adoption of AFES has spread to tactical wheeled vehicles, so has the demand for lighter weight, more compact systems. Kidde has been a designer and manufacturer of lightweight, compact fire suppression systems for commercial and military airplanes for many years and a wealth of lightweight aviation technologies are already being installed on various vehicles.
KAD supports its military vehicle customers from these locations:
- Kidde Aerospace & Defence Australia serving Australia and New Zealand.
- Kidde Aerospace & Defense USA – Headquarters.
- Kidde Deugra Germany – serving Continental Europe.
- Kidde Dual Spectrum USA – serving Canada, Egypt, Italy, S.Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey and USA.
- Kidde Graviner / Kidde Research England – serving China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa and United Kingdom. Kidde Research engages in fire sciences research for the benefit of all KAD companies and their customers.
- L’Hotellier, France – serving Algeria, France, Romania, Russia and UAE.