Armor & Mobility

MAY 2016

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Page 23 of 35 22 | May 2016 | Armor & Mobility | Unmanned Tech Solutions Lighting the Way The PSL-Personal Solar Light™ (PSL) is a new option for survival lights. Compact, lightweight and powerful, the PSL fits in any survival bag, and waterproof housing makes it ideal for life raft use and personal survival gear. The PSL was designed to be a simple light that is user-friendly. Utilizing a bright white LED, the PSL has the ability to work as a lantern, f lashlight, and signaling device. With a high, medium, low and protected S-O-S light selection, the user has the ability to choose the light intensity or light duration needed. A major benefit, of the PSL in housing, command, communication and forward medical facilities is the elimination of external power sources for primary and backup lighting. With little heat signature, the PSL is a high performance asset for concealment and covert operations. Offering 10 hours of light output on high, 15 hours on medium and 24 hours on low, the PSL is your lighting workhorse. The PSL is solar rechargeable to provide reliable operation without battery changes and the need for electrical power. One recharge daily gives one an essential sustainable survival element. PSL can be charged off almost anything, and is equipped with a USB charging port allowing for any electrical source you would use on a cell phone. What sets this light apart from others is the extremely robust design for use in the most rigorous conditions and weighs just 4.2 oz. The PSL can be recharged 1000 times with a high performance Lithium-Ion battery to work in extreme conditions. The PSL Pro is designed for mission critical lighting needs to include infrared, white, and red, green and blue light options. This powerful, multi-function light provides the user the greatest variety of lighting spectrums available of any solar rechargeable light in existence. More info: New Armor, Same Protection Lightweight plastic body armor will replace Kevlar-based protective equipment used by U.S. troops in 2019. The new Torso and Extremities Protection system, which has been undergoing field testing at bases across the U.S., weighs about 23 pounds — 25 percent lighter than gear worn today, said Lt. Col. Kathy Brown, a program manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment at Program Executive Office Soldier. "We are looking at further developing the system," she said. "We think we can lose more weight." Brown also said it will be cheaper than the current equipment and offer the same level of protection. The new armor is designed to offer maximum f lexibility and mobility, she said. It can be scaled up or down depending on the mission so troops working in less-risky environments can wear less cumbersome gear, said Doug Graham, PEO Soldier spokesman. For lower-risk missions, troops can wear a ballistic combat shirt, which protects the upper back, chest, neck and arms, under their jackets, he said. If a threat increases, they can add more protection, such as ceramic plates and a tactical carrier. The key to reducing body armor weight has been changing soft materials from Kevlar to polyethylene — a type of plastic. The Army is also developing polyethylene helmets to replace the Kevlar versions, Brown said. Vendors have also dropped the weight of ceramic plates in the body armor by altering their manufacturing technique. More info: USMC Tanks With Active and EW Protection Systems As anti-tank threats grow increasingly sophisticated, the Marine Corps is looking at protecting its ground vehicles with active protection and electronic warfare systems to fend off incoming rounds the same way ships and planes do. Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, said at a Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee hearing on Wednesday that as technology proliferates, the anti-tank threat is rapidly evolving. The Navy is investing in protecting its ships and aircraft from similar threats, and Walsh said it's time for the Marine Corps to take the same approach for its ground vehicles. "When we start getting threats on our aircraft, our helicopters, our fixed wing aircraft, [from] infrared missiles, we quickly put out a capability to defeat those types of missiles," he said. "Now we're seeing the threat on the ground changing, becoming a much more sophisticated threat on the ground. What we've continued to do is up-armor our capabilities on the ground, put armor on them. We've got to start thinking more with a higher technology capability, with vehicle protective systems, active protective systems that can defeat anti-tank guided munitions, RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) … along with soft capability, which is the technology our aircraft have." To that end, the Marine Corps is partnering with the Army to test out the Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS). The Army is leasing four systems and will experiment with their Stryker combat vehicle and M1A2 tanks. The Marine Corps is currently modifying some of its M1A1 tanks to install mounts for the Trophy system, and the service will later work with the Army to test the protective system on the Marine tanks against anti- tank guided missiles and RPGs, he told USNI News after the hearing. The Trophy system has both an active and a soft component. When sensors detect an incoming threat, the active system fires small rounds to def lect the threat, Walsh said, noting that "when they're going that fast, it doesn't take much to def lect them away." The soft side uses jammers in the same way ship and aircraft self-protection systems do. "The anti-ship missiles are getting better and better, so the Navy's having to continue to put better capabilities on the ships to be able to defeat it," he said, with the Marine Corps now seeing those same advances in anti-tank technologies. "I think that's the side we're really going to benefit from the Navy capabilities, because the Navy has some very good EW (electronic warfare) capabilities. So getting into our warfare centers and working with the Navy on how to get better at electronic warfare capabilities, that's the soft side of it." Walsh added that the Marines are also investing in unmanned aerial systems to help with reconnaissance, to try to find the enemy before they can launch missiles at American tanks. Even with more eyes in the sky, the enemy will still be able to fire off shots, and Walsh said the Marines need to do better than simply adding more armor FutureTech FutureTech PSL

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