Southeast Asia: Honeywell has announced that Craig International Ballistics (CIB), a leading Australian manufacturer of combat-proven body armour systems, is using its Spectra Shield ballistic composite material in five new sets of removable armour for the Australian army’s CH-47F Chinook helicopters. These heavy-lift helicopters are designed to transport artillery, troops, ammunition, fuel and supplies within military theatres of operations. The armour will protect crew and passengers from small arms fire.
Military helicopters need ballistic protection, but the weight is key. Every pound takes its toll and can affect the aircraft’s ability to rescue another person, fly a longer range or manoeuvre more quickly in difficult situations. Therefore, lightweight protection is critical. By using Spectra Shield, CIB can provide armour that is 30 percent lighter compared with armour made with other materials. CIB has used Spectra Shield in its body armour products for more than 15 years and is now extending that use to military aircraft and vehicle armour.
Pound for pound, Spectra is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float. It has up to 60 percent greater strength than alternate aramid fibre. Spectra fibre is made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. It is used to create Spectra Shield, an advanced ballistic-resistant composite material. Honeywell’s Shield technology is a patented Honeywell process designed to optimise the ballistic performance characteristics of Spectra, as well as aramid fibre in Gold Shield materials.
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