Lightweight metals firm Alcoa has secured a contract from the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to upgrade the army’s ground combat vehicles.

Under the $50m contract, the company will support the US Department of Defence’s (DoD) research and development for its ground vehicles and intelligent ground systems.

Alcoa will provide material research, development, engineering, testing, and evaluation related to lightening ground vehicles.

The project will leverage technologies for modelling and simulation, forming aluminium, fastening and joining, armour and material development, fabrication, energy conservation, and coating and corrosion.

""Alcoa’s lightweight solutions have improved troop protection while reducing vehicle weight and assembly time.""

Alcoa Defense president Eric Roegner said: "This agreement with TARDEC builds on Alcoa Defence’s decades-long partnership with the US Army to advance military ground vehicles.

"Alcoa’s lightweight solutions have improved troop protection while reducing vehicle weight and assembly time. We look forward to building on our successful track record to help develop the next generation combat vehicle."

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The first project under the five-year contract is an initiative to advance Alcoa-developed, aluminium-weld wire alloys.

The company had previously worked with the army to develop a single-piece forged aluminium hull for enhanced troop protection.

Image: Alcoa will develop lightweight solutions for the US Army’s ground combat vehicles, such as the monolithic hull for combat vehicles. Photo: courtesy of Alcoa.