BAE Systems’ Showcases Its New Ultra Lightweight Warrior

Farn­bor­ough, UK — In today’s mil­i­tary con­flicts, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy often play a vital role in trans­form­ing an inno­v­a­tive idea into a prac­ti­cal advan­tage for the sol­dier. BAE Sys­tems is seek­ing to do just that with its new Ultra Light­weight War­rior (ULW) sys­tem of inno­v­a­tive body armour, which offers dra­mat­ic weight sav­ings and mis­sion-crit­i­cal options to inter­na­tion­al mil­i­taries.

Ultra light armour (left) and stan­dard issue kit (right)
Source: BAE Sys­tems

With appli­ca­tions for land, air and naval forces, BAE Sys­tems is dis­play­ing ULW at the Farn­bor­ough Inter­na­tion­al Air Show 19–26 July 2010.

“The suc­cess of any mil­i­tary oper­a­tion depends heav­i­ly on per­son­nel equip­ment that offers both pro­tec­tion and pow­er to the indi­vid­ual user,” said Joe Colt­man, vice pres­i­dent with BAE Sys­tems’ Per­son­nel Pro­tec­tion Sys­tems busi­ness. “With ULW, we’re not only sig­nif­i­cant­ly light­en­ing the soldier’s load—by up to 35 percent*—with new, lighter weight body armour plates, hel­met, vest/soft body armour and load car­ry­ing equip­ment, but our new Inte­grat­ed Pow­er Sys­tem (IPS) pro­vides the sol­dier with a con­formable, recharge­able pow­er sup­ply that offers weight sav­ings not pre­vi­ous­ly thought pos­si­ble in a num­ber of poten­tial design con­fig­u­ra­tions.”

Since real life com­bat lessons in Iraq and Afghanistan helped to shape the devel­op­ment of ULW and IPS, BAE Sys­tems knew that for a typ­i­cal three-day mis­sion, a sol­dier may have to car­ry as many as 300 AA bat­ter­ies in their pack, trans­lat­ing into more than 16 lbs in bat­ter­ies alone. With IPS, because the sys­tem is recharge­able and designed using a unique con­fig­u­ra­tion of pow­er cells, the sys­tem deliv­ers the same pow­er for the same length of time, while weigh­ing just 12 lbs. Depend­ing on the mis­sion require­ment, the weight sav­ings with IPS can be even more dra­mat­ic.

“Our ULW pow­er sys­tem is com­plete­ly cus­tomis­able, and even though the sys­tem we’re dis­play­ing at Farn­bor­ough is con­fig­ured to con­form to and be worn around U.S. stan­dard issue body armour, IPS can be resized to suit vir­tu­al­ly any military’s require­ments and spec­i­fi­ca­tions,” added Colt­man. “Essen­tial­ly, we can align and stack these pow­er cells into any body armour or tac­ti­cal vest con­fig­u­ra­tion, includ­ing front, back and side armour plates.”

Anoth­er unique fea­ture is that even if one pow­er cell is dis­abled, the oth­ers will con­tin­ue to pro­vide pow­er to the sol­dier. What’s more, sol­diers will no longer have to guess how much pow­er is left in their bat­ter­ies since IPS includes a pow­er meter that tracks ener­gy usage. When the sys­tem does need to be recharged, a sol­dier can eas­i­ly do so by sim­ply con­nect­ing the IPS charg­er unit into a stan­dard out­let, or by using an adap­tor cable to charge the sys­tem through a mil­i­tary vehi­cle, just as you would a cell phone in your car. The sys­tem is ful­ly charged in just one and one half hours.

IPS also comes equipped with a cus­tom device adap­tor, which pro­vides the sol­dier with the abil­i­ty to pow­er a num­ber of portable elec­tron­ic devices, such as radios, GPS devices, AA charg­ers, MP3 play­ers and lap­tops.

ULW is cur­rent­ly sched­uled for rig­or­ous field tri­als in the Unit­ed States and else­where.

*When mea­sured against com­pa­ra­ble equip­ment

BAE Sys­tems is a lead­ing provider of sol­dier pro­tec­tive and load car­riage equip­ment in the Unit­ed States, pro­duc­ing a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the nation’s body armor, tac­ti­cal vests, com­bat hel­mets and load car­ry­ing sys­tems. Not only is the com­pa­ny focused on the design, devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of lead­ing edge sur­viv­abil­i­ty prod­ucts, its inte­gra­tion of advanced mate­ri­als into man­u­fac­tur­ing, rig­or­ous prod­uct test­ing, and field tri­als sup­port the company’s focus on the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

About BAE Sys­tems
BAE Sys­tems is a glob­al defence, secu­ri­ty and aero­space com­pa­ny with approx­i­mate­ly 107,000 employ­ees world­wide. The Com­pa­ny deliv­ers a full range of prod­ucts and ser­vices for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced elec­tron­ics, secu­ri­ty, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions and cus­tomer sup­port ser­vices. In 2009 BAE Sys­tems report­ed sales of £22.4 bil­lion (US$ 36.2 bil­lion).

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact

Jen­nifer Robin­son, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +1 513 341 4073 Mobile: +1 513 833 5389

Bri­an Roehrkasse
Tel: + 1 703.312.6976 | Mob: + 1 703.307.2568

Issued by:

BAE Sys­tems, Farn­bor­ough, Hamp­shire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hot­line: + 44 (0) 7801 717739

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BAE Sys­tems