Craig International Ballistics (CIB), a leading Australian manufacturer of combat-proven body armor systems, is using Honeywell Spectra Shield® ballistic composite material in five new sets of removable armor for the Australian army’s CH-47F Chinook helicopters.
These heavy-lift helicopters are designed to transport artillery, troops, ammunition, fuel and supplies within military theaters of operations.
The armor will protect crew and passengers from small arms fire.
Military helicopters need ballistic protection, but weight is key.
Every pound takes its toll and can affect the aircraft’s ability to rescue another person, fly a longer range or maneuver more quickly in difficult situations.
Therefore, lightweight protection is critical.
By using Spectra Shield, CIB can provide armor that is 30 percent lighter compared with armor made with other materials.
CIB has used Spectra Shield in its body armor products for more than 15 years and is now extending that use to military aircraft and vehicle armor.
“The Australian military is upgrading all of its equipment to meet the highest industry standards for performance, so our goal was to create helicopter armor that met those expectations,” said James Craig, CEO, Craig International Ballistics.
“Spectra Shield has already proven to be the most advanced ballistic material available for body armor applications, so it was the obvious choice for us to use as we expand our product inventory to include military aircraft and vehicle armor.”
Pound for pound, Spectra is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float.
It has up to 60 percent greater strength than alternate aramid fiber.
Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process.
It is used to create Spectra Shield®, an advanced ballistic-resistant composite material.
(Learn More. Spectra is one of the strongest and lightest man-made fibers in the world. It is used by millions of people around the world for a wide variety of purposes. This slideshow details some of Spectras many uses. Courtesy of Honeywell Industrial & Utilities and YouTube)
Honeywell’s Shield technology is a patented Honeywell process designed to optimize the ballistic performance characteristics of Spectra, as well as aramid fiber in Gold Shield®materials.
“Spectra Shield continues to be the material of choice for innovative companies developing the world’s most advanced armor systems,” added Roy Ash, global vehicle segment manager for Honeywell Packaging and Composites.
“As global militaries set new, higher armor standards, Honeywell is helping to meet those standards by developing and supplying next-generation best-in-class armor technology around the world.”
“We look forward to partnering with companies like CIB to create products that help protect the brave men and women serving worldwide.”
Spectra Shield and Gold Shield products have been widely adopted and proven for the most advanced armor applications globally, from bullet-resistant vests, breast plates and helmets to combat vehicles and military aircraft—all of which require lightweight solutions and superior performance.
Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic materials research program focused on continuous improvement and development of high-performance materials.