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
Tel: + 1 703.312.6976 | Mob: + 1 703.307.2568
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
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