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17 Feb 11. The 1st Infantry Regiment training zone of the French Army has successfully completed the six-week technical orientation phase of a high-tech integrated equipment suite, FELIN, for French troops. FELIN, developed by Sagem as part of an overall soldier modernisation programme, will further undergo the service entry and tactical integration phase followed by deployment in foreign theatres by the end 2011. The system is equipped with a tactical vest that includes an individual radio with integrated GPS, a miniature terminal that displays data, orders, positions of fellow troops, and images from gun sights for round-the-corner firing. The rifle’s handgrip is fitted with a keyboard to control the vital FELIN functions, radio and sight, while holding the weapon and engaging the target. The company is also providing training sessions to the French soldiers before it can be used under operational conditions. About 22,600 French soldiers will be equipped with FELIN systems by 2015. (Source: armytechnology.com)

16 Feb 11. Composite armour systems specialist Hardwire LLC has developed and successfully demonstrated a blast protection system that utilizes Dyneema®, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre, as part of a suite of solutions that significantly improves the ability of light military vehicles to protect occupants from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The Structural Blast Chimney, or SBC, is a result of highly effective cooperative work between several key organizations within the defense industry. Hardwire LLC and UHMWPE producer DSM Dyneema have put considerable effort into helping to meet the U.S. armed forces’ increasing needs for explosion protection while in the field. The two companies began developing a strong cooperative relationship over four years ago, and as a result, battle tested armour systems have successfully been developed and delivered that have protected U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan against evolving threats. The incorporation of innovative, lightweight materials such the hard ballistic composites Dyneema® HB26, Dyneema® HB50 and others, in combination with Hardwire’s customer focused armour design capabilities and out-of-the-box thinking, have allowed the companies to come up with ultra light solutions for emerging IED and EFP (Explosively Formed Projectile) threats. Hardwire’s SBC technology amplifies the protective properties of a vehicles hull by channelling energy from an explosion under the vehicle toward the center and then vertically away. The effect is not only to shield the occupants from the blast, but also to keep the vehicle firmly on the road. According to Hardwire LLC CEO George Tunis “Solutions with Dyneema® are an integral part of the overall survivability of the vehicle and the Structural Blast Chimney itself. The armour solutions are completely modular, bolt on and off, and can be upgraded anytime or simply taken off for peacetime operations. The fact that armour solutions based on Dyneema® are robust, insulate and sound deadening are factors that make the armour multifunctional and help improve vehicle performance and soldier comfort prior to a life threatening event”. In various tests carried out by Hardwire, the vehicle crew compartment remained intact after the explosion, with the occupants (test dummies) surviving with no injuries. Composite armour systems reinforced with Dyneema® UD products, in conjunction with the Structural Blast Chimney design, have yielded significant and unequalled weight savings in vehicle platforms tested by Hardwire. “These weight savings, along with the unsurpassed survivability of the vehicle, clearly demonstrate that the combination of the right innovative products with an effective design can revolutionize the design of military vehicles”, says David Cordova, VP Business Development at DSM Dyneema.
The Structural Blast Chimney is just the latest example of the ability of Hardwire LLC and DSM Dyneema to work togethe

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