2017 Modern Day Marine Report (Day 2) 20 September
MONS Correspondent Marty Kauchak files this end-of-the-day report from the Modern Day Marine Exposition at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
In 2016, the Composites and Defence Systems business of Morgan Advanced Materials partnered with Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) as the complete composite armour system supplier for their ACV 1.1 programme. The contract has involved supplying the complete armour system, which includes appliqué armour and spall liners, with Morgan also delivering lightweight composite flotation boxes, specifically designed to fit the vehicle’s geometry. Andy Gaskell, Sales and Marketing Executive for Morgan Advanced Materials, pointed out: “In total our armour and floatation boxes will be used on 16 vehicles. The selection of Morgan’s armour solution and composite flotation boxes is the latest stage of a wider tender process from the Marine Corps. SAIC is one of two prime contractors [BAE Systems the other] selected to develop next-generation ACV 1.1s for the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development phase of this competition. Once completed, the company’s prototypes will be tested in 2017, with the potential for both SAIC’s design and Morgan’s CAMAC armour to be down selected for the full programme.”
Morgan completed the delivery of the ACV 1.1 armour system and floatation boxes for all sixteen vehicles to SAIC by the first quarter of this year.
Beyond its ACV work, Morgan Advanced Materials’ Silverback 4020 Elite is the company’s highest performance bomb suit, and within the Silverback bomb suit portfolio the company has a Silverback 3020 Elite search suit and Silverback 2010 de-mining apron. “The Silverback 4020 Elite has been designed to protect against all aspects of blast, this covers flame immersion, high velocity fragment impact, blast pressure wave and ‘tertiary’ effects. In a video on youtube we show how the suit performs against four different blast scenarios including the NIJ [National Institute of Justice] 0117.01 Public Safety Bomb Suit Standard (0.567kg [1.25 lbs.] C4 at 0.6m [1.97 ft.] (kneeling)), as well as common tests including 1kg C4 at 1.0m (standing), 2kg C4 at 2.0m (standing) and 10kg C4 @ 3M (standing). Under controlled conditions, against each test the Silverback 4020 Elite achieved a position on the Bowen Curve showing a greater than 99% survivability probability,” Mr. Gaskell added.
A key defining feature of the Silverback 4020 Elite is that as well as offering high protection, it reportedly has been designed to be as flexible and ergonomically friendly as possible. Gaskell explained, “this helps to reduce the fatigue of the EOD technician and allows them to perform complex movements such as climbing ladders, crouching or crawling – whilst constantly delivering high levels of protection.”
The latest development for the Silverback 4020 Elite suit is the Silverback CBRN Visor, which was launched at last week’s DSEI. “This has been made available in response to increased demand for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protective garments in bomb disposal missions,” the company spokesperson added.
Morgan Advanced Materials is at Modern Day Marine (Booth 2511) also displaying a wide portfolio of armour for personnel and platforms. “A unique characteristic of our covert hard body armour and body armour for NIJ Level III and special threats, is that it is buoyant. This makes the products ideal for marines or any soldier that operates in a marine environment,” Mr. Gaskell emphasised.
Accordingly, Morgan is exhibiting two buoyant hard body armour lines. Further, “We will also be showcasing the LASA LWA III+109 IC06 hard body armour plate. Weighing just 1.6kg/ 3.53lbs, the plate provides ultra-lightweight protection against SS109 ‘Green Tip’ ammunition, NIJ Level III and special threats,” the Morgan spokesperson remarked.
As well as its body armour, Morgan has a tested sample of CAMAC lightweight composite vehicle armour on display. Mr. Gaskell continued: “We produce multi-hit applique armour for STANAG 4569 Levels 1-5 and are able to achieve considerable weight savings in comparison to traditional metallic solutions. There are many benefits to using composite armour to reduce vehicle weight, such as improved mobility, improved air transportability and reduced fuel consumption.”
Morgan’s final product is the Silverback 3020 Elite search suit. Designed to deliver high-level protection for EOD search missions in a high threat environment, the Silverback 3020 Elite search suit is said to be designed for long and enduring missions, “whilst delivering flexibility and comfort through additional cooling systems to reduce fatigue to the operator.” Mr. Gaskell concluded, “The Silverback 3020 Elite has been extensively blast trialled and can be used in-conjunction with our LASA hard body armour plates for additional mission specific protection.”