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BAE Systems Receives First Direct Contract for Tensylon Armor Panel


CINCINNATI, Ohio – BAE Systems has received a contract from the U.S. Army to supply Tensylon® composite armor panels for the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) vehicles. HET vehicles transport, deploy, recover and evacuate combat-loaded main battle tanks and other heavy tracked and wheeled vehicles to and from the battlefield.

Tensylon® is a state-of-the-art material developed exclusively by BAE Systems to improve the readiness and sustainment of survivability products, including ground vehicles such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and individual soldier equipment.

This initial $2.6 million contract is part of the U.S. Army’s Heavy Tactical Vehicle Armor Program and is a direct result of BAE Systems’ Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Army Research Labs (ARL). The partnership with ARL, initiated in 2007, tests and evaluates composite armor solutions to defeat current and emerging threats in Iraq and Afghanistan. These tests and evaluations resulted in the development of a light-weight appliqué armor kit, utilizing Tensylon®, a family of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene tape and composite products.

“Tensylon® is a truly unique material that ultimately increases the protection provided to our men and women in uniform through a cost-effective, light-weight survivability solution,” said Tony Russell, president of the company’s Security & Survivability business. “Our continuous research and development in this area reflects our company’s dedication to helping the Army prepare for and defeat the latest threats.”

With the development of lighter-weight, more cost effective composite materials, militaries around the globe would be able to depend on better protected and more manoeuvrable vehicles. While reducing the weight of the armor system, Tensylon® is ballistically more efficient than other ballistic materials typically used in military ground vehicle platforms.

Tensylon® offers significant advantages when compared to other high performance materials. It offers distinct benefits in both survivability and commercial applications and has a “green” environmental profile, requiring no environmental permits to produce.

Tensylon® is manufactured in the company’s Monroe, North Carolina facility, part of BAE Systems’ Security & Survivability Systems line of business which is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Security & Survivability Systems is a technology leader in light weight materials, including composites, ceramic and transparent armor technologies. Other products include a complete range of survivability systems sold primarily to the government and other defense contractors, including integrated vehicle armor systems, vehicle and aircraft survivability components and accessories; and soldier protection equipment.


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