Following 12 months of comprehensive blast and mobility tests, materials were selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for integration to enhance the vehicle’s ability to protect crew from roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Honeywell Advanced Fibers and Composites business global business manager Tim Swinger said the Spectra Shield would reduce the vehicle’s overall weight, while also enhancing its ability to repel emerging threats in the battlefield.
"The decrease in weight helps to decrease each vehicle’s maintenance and fuel costs, and can limit the number of re-supply trips through dangerous routes, " Swinger said.
UK Army Headquarters Equipment Operations assistant director colonel Nick Wills added: "Spectra Shield’s very low weight allows the Foxhound to be a very agile and survivable platform."
The material is an advanced hard armour product made with binding of Honeywell’s patented Spectra fibre with an advanced resin system to provide enhanced ballistic protection for military and law enforcement vest and vehicle applications.
Weighing 50% less than legacy vehicle armour, Spectra Shield provides the vehicle with easy-to-transport capability and improved agility, ensuring survival even in challenging environments.
The UK MoD has ordered an additional 100 Foxhound vehicles from GDLS:FPE under a £90m contract signed in June, for use by UK troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Image: The Foxhound vehicles are used by British Army in Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of Force Protection.