U.S. Army taps Dutch firm for IED protection

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Armor material supplied by a Dutch company may well be used for the protection of US military personnel operating in war zones.

Almelo headquartered TenCate Advanced Armor announced in a press release today that it has signed a “multi-year-cooperative research and development agreement” with the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) to evaluate the TenCate ABDS(TM) active blast countermeasure system for enhanced soldier protection. “The technology evaluation program now enters the second phase, ensuring that this protection is robust and ready to reduce injuries and save military lives,” the press release stated.

TenCate said the cooperation enables its engineers to demonstrate the abilities of its product to protect combat and tactical ground vehicle crews from the effects of insurgent mines, roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IED's). “The IED has become a weapon of choice for insurgent forces and is the single largest cause of serious injury during the last ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan,” it said.

The US army invited the company in 2013 to explore and identify ways to prevent, identify and defeat IEDs, as part of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) started in 2006 by the US Department of Defense.

The company said its active blast countermeasure system can save lives and significantly reduce mission compromising injury by minimizing the transfer of mine blast energy witnessed by the mounted crew. “The system efficiently manages the launch acceleration of the vehicle, its flight and the ensuing fall back to earth,” it said, adding that the new agreement offers an opportunity to further test and develop the system's features for future use by the military.

"The US Army has clear vision on the protection of mounted troops and TenCate has developed important lifesaving technologies to meet these requirements," says Mark Edwards, President of TenCate Advanced Armor USA. "We are committed to this world class 'soldier survivability' program and determined to meet or exceed every mil-spec requirement in order to quickly, yet safely, provide this threat protection solution to our troops."