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Battelle Develops Custom Armor Applications for Commercial Vehicles at Low Cost

Challenge

In recent years, the U.S. federal government has identified a need for lower-cost armored commercial vehicles. Commercially available platforms – such as pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles, sedans, and vans – allow military forces to operate in areas without military logistical support. As threats to our national security extend beyond the traditional battlefield, we must leverage technology to enable military forces to fulfill their mission needs.

Solution

For more than eight years, Battelle has produced lightweight armored and upgraded vehicles for clients who sought better operational performance and protection. Given our experience in lightweight armor and upgrade design, engineering, manufacturing, and testing, we can produce very cost-effective armored commercial vehicles. One way in which Battelle has successfully produced low-cost vehicles is through implementation of design for manufacturing (DFM) methodologies. Battelle was able to reduce the armor part count on its vehicle design by 40%. 

Other modifications we have made to purpose-built vehicles include: upgraded suspension and braking systems to provide safe and improved handling characteristics for a substantially increased gross vehicle weight rating; reinforced front and rear bumpers with integrated IR flood lights; high-output alternator to operate additional electronics at idle; and comprehensive personnel protection, including opaque and transparent armor solutions.

Outcome

In addition to improving the overall safety of military operators, Battelle can deliver significant cost savings by implementing world-class design and manufacturing principles that reduce part count without sacrificing safety and functionality. Since our first design in 2004, Battelle has delivered more than 300 commercial vehicles manufactured in our ISO 9001:2008 production facilities.

Today, our commercial vehicle solutions are fully operational and is available for purchase through the General Services Administration (GSA). Our vehicles can range from unarmored to heavily armored and overtly military. Such vehicles are customizable and can support the unique needs of our clients.