Honeywell ballistic material selected for US helicopters
Honeywell has announced that its Spectra Shield ballistic material has been selected by The Protective Group (TPG) for use on US Army helicopters to improve armour quality. TPG will incorporate Spectra Shield into armour upgrades for the US Army UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
According to Honeywell, the new TPG solution is expected to reduce armour weight on the Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters by as much as 40 percent compared with the currently fielded system. TPG expects to upgrade armour on approximately 200 Chinook helicopters over the next four years under a contract from the US Army, and is also working to meet the needs of the Black Hawk community.
Spectra Shield is a composite material made with Spectra fibre, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fibre that, ‘pound for pound, is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float’. Honeywell's patented Shield technology lays parallel strands of synthetic fibre side by side and holds them in place with a resin system. Layers of the material are then cross-plied at right angles and fused into a composite structure under heat and pressure.
Roy Ash, global marketing manager for Honeywell's Advanced Fibers and Composites business, said: ‘Spectra Shield material provides an ideal combination of proven ballistic performance and light weight, which is critical 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.’
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