Weight Reduction is Critical Commercial Haulers
“Weight reduction is king!”and,as National Defense’s cover asked,“When Will We Have Lighter Body Armor?”Such statements and questions from Soldiers,program managers and vehicle manufacturers alike underlie a critical challenge in armor design.We all know that weight reduction is a critical need in equipping our armed forces,whether for an item worn by a Soldier or components of a vehicle system. With vehicle payload nearly consumed by armor,program engineers are constantly seeking opportunities to reduce weight.To meet battlefield commanders’changing needs,the Army continually modifies vehicles with active protection,auxiliary power systems and situational awareness equipment.Each system,while mission critical, adds considerable weight to vehicles,which can potentially impact vehicle power, performance and mobility.
The lightweight brake drums TARDEC has researched will facilitate better transportation, logistics and sustainment capabilities for theater operations. A Soldier tests the communication system on his Stryker vehicle prior to conducting a presence patrol mission in the Dora District of Baghdad. (Defense Imagery Management Operations Center photo by U.S. Air Force 1st SGT Adrian Cadiz.)