Armor updates: Composite kits for vehicles, armor capacity expansion

Plasan has won another contract for the delivery of 352 composite armor kits for the U.S. Army's MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) as sub-contractor to Oshkosh Defense.

Plasan North America (Bennington, Vt.), announced on Sept. 21 that it has won another contract for the delivery of 352 composite armor kits for the U.S. Army’s MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) as subcontractor to Oshkosh Defense (Oshkosh, Wis.). The increase follows earlier announcements of a 3,000-unit increase in the $1.05 billion (USD) contract awarded by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to a team led by Oshkosh Corp. to produce M-ATVs for deployment in Afghanistan.

The work involves a modular “kitted hull” concept, developed by Plasan, in which all completed armor parts and components are sent to the vehicle’s manufacturer where they are integrated into the vehicle at the assembly line, thus improving production efficiency and reliability.

Elsewhere, armor developer and supplier Hardwire LLC (Pocomoke City, Md.) will double its lightweight vehicle armor manufacturing capacity at the company’s main production facility in Pocomoke City. The expansion is Hardwire’s second in two years and will take the company’s current nameplate 3 million sq-ft (278,700 sq-m) of annualized capacity to more than 6 million sq-ft (557,420 sq-m), using a high-pressure lamination line.

According to the company, the expansion is anchored by a custom state-of-the-art 12,000-ton high pressure laminating press capable of producing pressed armor plates, flat or curved, up to 50 sq-ft (4.65 sq-m) each. The manufacturing facilities and associated computer numerical controlled (CNC) finishing workcells also will be expanded to support lamination capacity increase. The company says the additional manufacturing capacity will enable it to meet a broader range of programs on a large scale, and with shorter lead times.