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At the SHOT SHOW in Las Vegas, Honeywell is building on a heritage of being a supplier of SPECTRA fibre and other ballistic materiels for military and security protective equipment.

Tim Swinger, General Manager for Armour at the firm, called MON’s attention to the fact that the company is the primary supplier for the Enhanced Combat Helmet, a US Army programme to replace legacy-era combat helmets for all the US armed services. “We were also used in the Modular Scalable Vest, various versions of ESAPI plates (side and front), and in a number of different US law enforcement vest and plate applications,” he added.

In one cross-over product application to an adjacent sector, Honeywell is also entering the law enforcement helmet market. To that end, that community’s move toward lighter-weight helmets is reported to be a perfect match for the company’s SPECTRA SHIELD content.

MON reports many instances of the movement towards personal protection equipment in defence and security applications becoming lighter in weight. Lori Wagner, Director of Technology in Honeywell’s armour segment, added some context to that trend, noting that in response to different requirements, her company is observing “a 5% to slightly more than 10% improvement, which is pretty dramatic.” She further observed that, when you translate that into an application, sometimes you can get up to a 20% lighter weight for the same type of performance. Wagner went on to add those reductions are occurring, because in each application, Honeywell is receiving the benefit of the expertise of each of the main manufacturers and their technologies. “By giving them our materiel early, they are able to extract ballistic performance that we won’t get if we measure on a flat plate,” Wagner said.

And while the manufacturer of helmets or articles benefit from the lighter weight of the Honeywell SPECTRA fibre or other similar content, that same supplier is also realizing the increasing levels of ballistic protection provided by that same Honeywell materiel. To that end, Honeywell provides its ballistic materiels for protective systems to major manufacturers around the globe – a “who’s who” roster that includes Ceradyne, Gentex Point Blank, Safariland Group, MKU (India), General Dynamics Canada and many others.

Before SHOT SHOW convened, Honeywell introduced its SPECTRA SHIELD 6472 to bolster protection in military helmets and SPECTRA SHIELD 6360 to enhance soft body armour for law enforcement personnel. Wagner further noted, “And today [21 Jan.] we have also introduced 6166, which is a continuation of the highest performing materiels that we have in the 6000 series. This one is focused on cases where energy absorption is critical in the fight, where you have a ceramic plate and backing materiel is there for energy absorption. The 6166 has the highest level of energy absorption of any materiel that we have.” The 6166 materiel has been delivered to customers who are using it in their protective plate products.

Marty Kauchak in Las Vegas for MON

The US Army’s Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) uses SPECTRA SHIELD to achieve protection against a wide range of threats at a 5% weight reduction. (Photo: Honeywell)

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