The Spectra Shield materials will be incorporated into armoured upgrades that TPG is developing for army helicopters to help lower armour weight by as much as 40%, when compared with existing systems.
TPG business development executive vice president Michael Breslin said the selection was based on the Spectra Shield materials’ proven performance in military applications.
"Honeywell’s materials and expertise enabled us to deliver design solutions that meet the demanding specifications set out by the US Army," Breslin added.
Honeywell advanced fibres and composites business global marketing manager Roy Ash said the Spectra Shield offered a combination of lighter weight and combat-proven ballistic performance, which is important for applications ranging from body armour to aircraft.
"Armour that uses Spectra Shield material provides a superior level of protection for helicopters and the personnel inside, while the material’s lighter weight will allow the aircraft to carry heavier loads and save fuel," Ash added.
TPG has a contract with the army for upgrading the armour of an approximately 200 Chinook and Black hawk helicopters over the next four years.
Spectra Shield is an advanced hard armour product made with binding of Honeywell’s patented Spectra fibre with an advanced resin system to offer enhanced ballistic protection for military and law enforcement vest and vehicle applications.
Weighing 50% less than legacy vehicle armour, the material is expected to provide the helicopters with easy-to-transport capabilities and improved agility, ensuring survival even in challenging environments.
As well as aircraft, the products are also used in a wide range of applications requiring lightweight strength, such as bullet-resistant helmets, vests, breast plates and combat vehicles.
Image: A US Army Chinook helicopter offloading troops and supplies at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. Photo: courtesy of UNC – CFC – USFK.