Engineered Support Transitions to Full Scale Production of Crew Protection Kits for U.S. Army Vehicles
(Source: Engineered Support Systems; issued June 21, 2004)
ST. LOUIS --- Engineered Support Systems, Inc. is now in full-scale production of its armored cab design for the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV).
The Company’s Radian Inc. (Radian) subsidiary, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is under contract from the Army to produce 773 Crew Protection Kits (CPK), a transportable and reusable vehicle armoring solution installed on vehicles in the field.
The effectiveness of the CPK has already been battle-proven in preventing threat munitions from penetrating the crew compartments of the vehicles and causing injury to its occupants. The highly engineered, bolt-on CPK represents a more flexible and an overall more cost effective armoring solution compared to a fully-integrated cab design, according to Jerry Daniels, Vice Chairman and CEO of Engineered Support
The CPK was first tested on an FMTV at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland last December, where it was the first armor solution for the FMTV to successfully complete Army mobility, safety, human factors, and live-fire testing. Radian was then given the go-ahead for limited-scale production to provide CPKs for vehicles being sent to Southwest Asia. These initial CPKs are currently in use on vehicles supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The CPKs track record in actual combat situations is testimony to the efficacy of the kit’s rapid development, fielding and deployment. The success of the CPK resulted from close teamwork between Radian and the Army’s Product Manager for the FMTV program (PM MTV).
Systems & Electronics Inc. (SEI), another Engineered Support subsidiary, is manufacturing the ballistic components for the CPK at its West Plains, Missouri facility. SEI is also kitting the full complement of CPK components and shipping them for installation in-country.
Daniels commented, “The up-armoring of military vehicles remains an urgent need of American forces during their ongoing stabilization efforts in Iraq. Manufacture of the Crew Protection Kits began early last month at West Plains and we are currently ramping up to full-rate production to meet this demand. We will continue to work closely with our Army customer to ensure that these kits get in the field as fast as possible to help protect our troops. Utilizing the extensive resources of our eleven separate operating units, Engineered Support stands ready to assist the U.S. military any way we are able.”
The CPK provides enhanced protection and increased crew survivability from the array of weapons being used by insurgent forces in Iraq, including small arms, land mines, improvised explosive devices, grenades and rocket-propelled grenades. The CPK was designed and integrated into the FMTV vehicle to protect critical system components and provide the crew with 360-degree protection. Additionally, Radian’s kit design does not interfere with the vehicle’s ability to perform its cargo transport mission, or alter its handling and braking characteristics, even given the increased weight associated with the CPK. Driver safety is maintained to include retaining an FMVSS compliant same windshield size, and increased self-protection is available through the integration of a protected machine gun ring mount and firing ports.
It has also been disclosed that a new Low Signature Armored Cab (LSAC), developed in association with O'Gara, Hess & Eisenhardt, is currently being tested at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. This can be fitted to the FMTV by two people in about four hours and provides the occupants with protection from 7.62mm armour-piercing attack as well as mines. It could also be fitted onto new production vehicles. The LSAC vehicle retains its C-130 transport airportability.