Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG) has signed an exclusive agreement with QinetiQ to market, sell and install the latest generation of lightweight armour – known as LAST Armor LWA – for the C-130 HERCULES aircraft, the company announced on 16 July.

Providing the same levels of crew protection at half the weight of the previous LAST Armor solution, the new armour saves fuel, reduces impact on the aircraft’s centre of gravity and allows the C-130-30 variant its full cargo carrying capacity. Marshall ADG will be the first company to certify LWA on the HERCULES.

Being able to offer C-130 operators a lightweight armour solution that provides the same level of threat protection as the current LAST Armor demonstrates our commitment to protecting people in critical situations,” commented Marshall ADG’s Sales Director, Matthew Harvey, adding that “Crew safety is paramount and critical to mission success.”

This increased operational capability allows air forces around the world to operate in hostile environments with the confidence that their crews are protected against small arms fire. Dan Deguire, VP of QinetiQ, Inc., stated “Since 1995, LAST Armor has provided critical protection from small arms fire on hundreds of C-130J, C-130E/H, C-5 and C-17s, as well as several other aircraft platforms. We are excited to have this opportunity to partner with Marshall ADG to launch our next generation of improved lightweight armour products worldwide.”

The armour is manufactured from high tenacity polyethylene, making it extremely robust and approximately 380kg lighter than the current LAST Armor solution specifically on the C -130J.

This, combined with its environmental coatings, ensures that the armour remains relatively inert throughout its service life, even when operating in the harshest of environments. The armour can be quickly and easily installed during scheduled maintenance or as a standalone activity, thus ensuring optimum aircraft mission availability.

QinetiQ’s LAST Armor LWA offers an identical level of crew protection at a 50% weight saving compared with the existing solution. (Photo via Marshall ADG)

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