Polaris Defense, a division of Polaris Industries Inc., recently presented two advanced vehicle technologies during the 2012 Association of the United State Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition (AUSA). Looking to increase vehicle survivability, Polaris Defense worked with partners to present new, lightweight vehicle armor and non-pneumatic tires.
Collaborating with M9 Defense, Polaris Defense showcased lightweight armor on a light tactical vehicle and suggests the armor is appropriate for any tactical wheeled or combat vehicle platform. According to a Polaris press release, “This new armor is produced with certified military materials using a proprietary ballistic resistant formulation and manufacturing process and it has the lowest pounds per-square-foot of any armor available in today’s market.” Polaris claims that it’s able to produce the steel-hybrid composite armor in as much time as it takes to process sheet metal.
Polaris Defense showed an example of its new, lightweight armor for tactical wheeled or combat vehicle platforms.
“This armor redefines the iron triangle by restoring vehicle payloads, improving ballistic protection and upgrading vehicle performance and mobility,” said Richard Haddad, Polaris Defense General Manager.
M9 has commercial and military divisions and works to produce ballistic body and vehicle armor, composite sporting equipment, in addition to automobile and aerospace components. They also developed Boroclave technology, specialized machinery which utilizes “modular high pressure, temperature controlled, vacuum assisted hydrostatic pressure forming technology” that allows for “economical mass-production of advanced composites, both ballistic and non-ballistic.”
For non-pneumatic tire technology, Polaris turned to Resilient Technologies and their honeycomb wheel design that, according to Polaris, “allows continuous operation, even if up to 30% of the web is damaged.”
The honeycomb design of this NPT is claimed to remain operational even if 30% of the web is damaged.
“We have tested our NPTs over 5000 miles with a .50 caliber bullet hole and the performance exceeded expectations,” said Haddad. “This capability gives our troops an edge when operating in rugged terrain that destroys tires by eliminating the mission impact associated with flats.”
Resilient Technologies, a Wausau, Wisconsin-based company, has been working with the United States Army for over a year to develop NPT’s for Humvees and received a four-year, 18-million dollar grant from the Pentagon in 2011 while still developing a prototype.
According to their 2011 annual report, Polaris earned enough in defense contracts with the US Military to record over 100% sales growth and was the market leader in ultra-light military vehicles. The advances in lightweight armor and NPT’s will likely allow Polaris to push for additional contracts with the military and offer added protection to soldiers who rely on the vehicles to conduct safe, successful missions.
“Advanced armor and NPT technologies significantly broaden the capability of Polaris Defense platforms and leverage the company’s strength in product innovation and vehicle development,” said Haddad, “Ensuring that Polaris Defense remains the leader in the ultra-light military vehicle market.”