BAE rethinks suspension systems
BAE Systems is working on a new type of bendable titanium alloy suspension system that will allow suspension systems to ‘bounce back’ into shape following explosive impacts on future military vehicles.
The current approach to protecting vehicles against IED strikes focuses on protecting the vehicle hull to protect passengers. With the suspension left vulnerable, damaged vehicles must be rescued by other another military unit.
Initial tests on a prototype that allows the flexible ‘memory alloy’ suspension to recover after a blast so that the vehicle can continue its mission have proved successful, and BAE Systems believes that it could be made available within a decade.
Using the memory metal - first developed by the US Naval Ordnance Laboratory in the 1960s – also enables the spring to be removed from the suspension.
Marcus Potter, head of mobility at BAE Systems Land UK, said: ‘This unique use of memory metals could prove a real game-changer for combat vehicles taking part in operations. Being able to adapt to changing situations is hugely important to maintaining effectiveness, and this application of bendable titanium could give armed forces the required flexibility – and survivability – to complete tasks in challenging areas.’
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