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Marshall Aerospace Certified Latest Lightweight Cockpit Armour

Weight Saving Around 380kg

Marshall Aerospace has successfully certified and installed the latest generation of lightweight cockpit armour on a fleet of C-130J-30s for an unidentified NATO air force, the company announced on 21 March.

The success follows the inking of a July 2020 exclusive agreement to market and install QinetiQ’s new lightweight armour (LAST Armor LWA), simultaneously making Marshall Aerospace the first company able to certify the armour on C-130s.

The company quotes a customer representative as saying “the level of protection from the armour provides a greater probability of mission success in harsh environments or potential conflicts, and has promoted confidence [among] our aircrew[…] The new armour is less than half the weight of its predecessor, which not only makes it easy to install, but has helped to save fuel, reduce the impact on the aircraft’s centre of gravity and allowed for full cargo-carrying capacity across our fleet, [while] still meeting the same ballistic requirement as QinetiQ’s previous LAST Armor.”

The tool-free installation design minimises aircraft downtime and enables damaged panels to be easily replaced while in operation, without having to replace the entire system. Manufactured from high tenacity polyethylene, making it extremely robust, the armour set approximately 380kg lighter than the previous generation solution. Combined with its environmental coatings, this ensures it remains relatively inert throughout its service life, even when operating under the harshest environmental conditions.

Marshall’s Project Manager, Andrew Smith, explains “We’re delighted to have been able to offer this cutting-edge lightweight armour solution that is far more durable and easier to install onto the aircraft. Crew safety is paramount and critical to mission success and we’re pleased to be able to provide this important capability to the air crew through our exclusive partnership with QinetiQ.’’

The LAST Armour LWA offers considerable weight saving for operators. (via Marshall Aerospace)

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