in Defence

BAE Systems to develop liquid armour with Helios

Posted 6 June 2017 · Add Comment

BAE Systems and Helios Global Technologies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further develop liquid armour technology.



In tests, this bullet proof style ‘custard’ has been shown to stop projectiles more effectively, and when combined with Kevlar, the two materials could provide a number of benefits for wider application. What makes the technology so unique is that it features a liquid which actually hardens when struck.

Speaking about liquid armour, Anne Healey, BAE Systems’ General Manager – Canada said: “Liquid armour could offer our troops increased protection but be lighter, allowing for greater manoeuvrability.

“I’m pleased we have been able to sign this MoU with Helios as their reputation in ballistic and blast protection means they’re well placed to help deliver this capability to Canada in the future.”

“It is great to be working on such an important technology that could one day save our soldiers’ lives and the opportunity to work with BAE Systems is outstanding for us,” said Robin Brodhurst, Chief Operations Officer, Helios Global Technologies.

Helios Global Technologies is a safety and survivability technology company. They supply products for tracking and communications in remote and hazardous environments. They have development projects in the area of advanced materials for ballistic and blast protection and sensors for stand-off detection of threats. They work closely with the Surviving and Thriving Applied Research Facility of the University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

Liquid armour is a material that offers increased protection with reduced mass, wider area coverage, greater manoeuvrability and easy integration with other systems. It can also be incorporated into standard Kevlar body armour. In studies when combined, the two materials offer superior freedom of motion and a reduction in overall thickness of up to 45%.

When a projectile impacts the material at speed, it hardens very quickly and absorbs the impact energy. When combined with Kevlar, the reduced flow of the fluids in the liquid armour restricts the motion of the fabric yarns. This means an increase in area over which the impact energy is dispersed. The material is therefore far less likely to distort than standard body armour, which generally bends inwards when a bullet strikes, preventing death, but causing considerable pain.

 

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