Ceradyne to provide SPS components
Ceradyne will provide equipment for two components of the US Army’s Soldier Protection System (SPS) under two separate low-rate initial production (LRIP) contracts announced on 1 November.
Under the first, the company will provide next-generation helmet systems for the Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS). This aims to give soldiers a lighter-weight ballistic helmet system that also provides passive hearing protection and increased blunt-impact performance. The helmet system includes accessories such as mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment device, rails and modular ballistic applique.
The company will deliver more than 5,300 IHPS helmet systems under the $7 million LRIP contract, with production set to start in 2017.
Under the second contract the company will supply Vital Torso Protection (VTP) – Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) lighter-weight body armour inserts. This $36 million LRIP calls for more than 30,000 ESAPI, with production also expected to start in 2017.
The SPS will replace the army’s current personal protective equipment (PPE) system. It is designed to defeat current threats while providing an overall weight reduction for soldiers compared to existing PPE.
Cheryl Ingstad, business manager, Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, 3M, said: ‘We are honoured to be the awardee of these prestigious contracts. The SPS programme represents the highest level of lightweight technology to date. Our focus from the onset has been to meet the army’s stringent specifications for the SPS, and that will continue as we move into initial production.
‘As a leading science company, 3M has deep expertise in advanced lightweight materials, which, combined with our proven production history, differentiates our defence offerings.’
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