Rough cutting
Craig S. Cotter, (left) commander of the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, and Dr. P. Anthony Russell, BAE Systems, cut through a composite material ribbon held my Maj. Gen. Nickolas G. Justice, commanding general U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command. The Composite Armor Center at Rock Island Arsenal is a partnership between RIA-JMTC and BAE Systems to produce Composite Armor for U.S. Defense Department and other government agencies.

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - The Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center and BAE Systems officially opened a new Composite Armor Center on Arsenal Island Thursday.

The two have established a manufacturing center designed to produce composite armor for a variety of customers in the public and private sector, including the U.S. Government. While the agreement ensures the continued availability of the most advanced composite armor solutions for customers, the partnership's most important objective is to provide more responsive and timely support to our men and women in uniform.

"It was a historic day for Rock Island Arsenal," said Col. Craig S. Cotter, commander of RIA-JMTC. "Partnering with BAE Systems could lead to some very big things for our manufacturing mission. It is a critical step forward in our efforts to expand our current capabilities."

The partnership calls for BAE Systems to provide the technology and processes to allow the arsenal to produce composite armor utilized in military ground vehicles, commercial armored vehicles, soldier protection equipment and other safety and survivability applications. This will complement BAE Systems' Tensylon® manufacturing. Tensylon is high performance fiber utilized in composite armor, along with other commercially available materials. RIA is the manufacturer, providing floor space, skilled labor and infrastructure, while BAE Systems provides the technical and management oversight.

"BAE Systems is honored to come alongside the U.S. Army in this vital collaboration," said Tony Russell, President of the company's Security & Survivability business. "Without question, there is an ever-increasing demand for lighter weight vehicle and body armor. This partnership provides us with the collective capabilities, resources and expertise necessary to develop and produce new lighter weight armor solutions for our troops," added Russell.

With the development of lighter weight, more cost effective composite materials, militaries and governments around the globe will be able to depend on better protected and lighter weight systems.

The Rock Island Arsenal is the only multi-purpose and vertically integrated metal manufacturer in the Department of Defense, the center possesses the unique technical expertise and equipment to manufacture products high in quality and sustainability.

BAE Systems' Security & Survivability business is a leader in protection, security and survivability systems. It is a technology leader in lightweight materials, including composites, ceramic and transparent armor technologies; integrated vehicle armor systems; vehicle and aircraft survivability components and accessories; and soldier protection equipment, sold primarily to the government and other defense contractors.

Page last updated Fri May 28th, 2010 at 13:56