Innovation at its finest
From combat vehicles to soldier-worn protective gear, from infrared countermeasures to advanced helmet-mounted displays, we have a long history of providing some of the most cutting edge technology to the U.S. Army. Join us on this journey as we highlight 10 of our most important contributions to the service and our troops.
Thanks to the innovation of our scientists and engineers, the U.S. Army has begun phasing out the use of the explosive TNT in artillery. Its replacement, now in full production, is called IMX-101 and is much safer to handle and store than TNT, yet equally effective on the battlefield. The IMX-101 explosive represents an important technological advancement in the area of insensitive munitions — which are more stable and less susceptible to detonation, making them much safer to use and transport on the battlefield. Its development was so successful that IMX-101 was named one of ‘The 50 Best Inventions of 2010’ by TIME Magazine.
2. Bradley Fighting Vehicle
We have a long history of designing, building, and sustaining vehicles for the U.S. Army. In fact, we are responsible for four out of five U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) vehicles, including the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which is a combat proven platform built to protect and transport Soldiers on the battlefield. Some have described the Bradley as the “workhorse of the Army and the embodiment of American defense industrial base know-how and engineering.” The Bradley will continue to be an integral component of the ABCT formation until at least 2045 as we continue to work with the Army beyond current requirements to maintain the relevance of the vehicle on the battlefield.
3. M88A2 HERCULES
The M88A2 HERCULES, designed and built out of our York, Pa., facility, has a unique history with U.S. Army, as it was the primary 70-ton recovery system during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was used by U.S. troops to pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad on April 9, 2003. This combat-proven, tracked recovery vehicle performs hoisting, winching, and towing operations for today’s heaviest combat vehicle, and with its 70,000 pound capable boom, it’s able to hoist and tow twice the weight of its predecessor, the M88A1.
4. M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer
The M109A7 self-propelled howitzer, formerly known as the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM), is the latest howitzer in our M109 family of vehicles. The M109A7 is a significant upgrade to the combat-proven M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, and includes a new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and improved survivability. Production of the vehicle officially began in spring 2014 at the Anniston Army Depot and our production facility in York, Pa., while final assembly of the M109A7 will take place at our new production facility in Elgin, Okla.
5. M777 155mm Lightweight Field Howitzer
The M777 is a 155mm 39 caliber towed gun and the world's first 155mm howitzer. Developed and manufactured by our company, this system was selected by the U.S. Army as their next-generation Medium Force weapon. Its strengths have been proven in battle, particularly in Afghanistan where it has been in service since 2006. Through its innovative use of titanium and aluminum alloys, the M777 is both rapidly deployable and consistently accurate.
Combat-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are not only increasingly common, they are also malicious; only coming to light some time after the incident which caused them, often with serious medical consequences. We’re helping to identify potentially serious head traumas before they become a problem, through the development of our Headborne Energy Analysis & Diagnostic System (HEADS) sensor. The sensor fits into the wearer’s helmet and records data related to blasts associated with head injuries which can later be downloaded for further evaluation. First introduced to the military in 2008, there are now more than 40,000 HEADS units in use by the U.S. Army, protecting lives every day.
7. Activity-Based Intelligence
As the leading provider of counter-IED analysts to the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army’s counter-improvised explosive device (IED) efforts are of significant importance to us. Over the past two years, our analysts — many of whom are deployed alongside troops in the field — have provided tens of thousands of analytical actions and products to help defeat insurgent IED threats and save lives. Our activity-based approach to advanced analytics, which streamlines the transformation of raw data into actionable intelligence, enables analysts to identify suspicious patterns and better understand adversary tactics, techniques, and procedures in real time. The lessons learned from the battlefield inspire us to continually assess the vulnerabilities our warfighters face and develop better solutions to protect them.
“Check your six” is a term commonly used by troops in theatre, reminding their teams to keep an eye on what’s behind them. Our Check-6 vehicle taillight gives troops the ability to do just that, without having to leave the safety of their vehicle. This unique, patented invention – a thermal imaging camera sensor embedded within the taillight housing of military vehicles – has been providing combat crews in Iraq and Afghanistan with day, night, and all-weather rear vision capability. In fact, eight years after its invention, we’ve proudly delivered more than 40,000 of these Check-6 systems to the U.S. Army for use on a variety of combat and tactical vehicles.
9. CMWS & ATIRCM
For several years, we’ve been committed to advancing our threat management technology, including our Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and the Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasure (ATIRCM) system. Our CMWS acts as the “eyes” of the aircraft, automatically sensing threats and cueing flares to divert missiles away. Designed as the countering component of the CMWS, our ATIRCM system uses lasers to instantly target and jam heat-seeking missiles, diverting them away from the aircraft.
10. Hard and Soft Armor Inserts
We’ve been providing
hard and soft body armor solutions for troops for close to 15 years. Our Hard Armor ballistic inserts, such as the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) and Enhanced Side Ballistic Inserts, provide increased protection and are designed to stop threats that soft armor cannot accomplish alone, and since 1998, we’ve produced and delivered more than 1.25 million inserts. Designed to fit inside tactical vests, our soft armor solutions provide ballistic and fragmentation protection for the torso and through attachable components, can provide extended protection to the throat, neck, groin, lower back and sides.