Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) has signed an exclusive agreement with QinetiQ to market, sell and install the latest generation of lightweight armour (LAST Armor LWA) for the C-130 Hercules tactical airlifter.
The new armour is half the weight and offers air crew the same threat protection as the previous LAST Armor. It also saves fuel, reduces the 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 the new lightweight armour on the C -130 aircraft.
Marshall ADG’s Sales Director, Matthew Harvey said: “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. Crew safety is paramount and critical to mission success and we’re pleased to be able to provide this capability to customers through this partnership with QinetiQ.”
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.
Vice President of QinetiQ Inc., Dan Deguire, said: “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 armor products worldwide.”
The armour is manufactured from high tenacity polyethylene, making it extremely robust, and approximately 380kg (840lbs) 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 within 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.