Protecting the Protectors

Arconic’s award-winning monolithic forging is designed to keep troops safer in the field

There are few projects more critical than protecting our troops in today’s ever-evolving defense landscape. Arconic is proud to take on the challenge. We partnered with the Army Research Laboratory on an initiative to develop an aluminum solution to one of the gravest threats to soldier safety: Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).


Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

Our engineers delivered the technology—a single-piece forged aluminum lower hull for ground combat vehicles designed to replace today’s assembled hulls and deliver even greater strength and durability, while providing our troops twice the blast protection.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program honored the project team that developed the monolithic forging and other technologies with a 2017 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award. The panel recognized Arconic as a key contributor to the success of this “Affordable Protection from Objective Threats” project, which was created to improve the military's defense against modern-day threats, like IEDs, using affordable, advanced manufacturing technologies. 

Ground combat vehicles traditionally use underbody armor made of welded plate. However, the welded seams can be susceptible to IED blasts. Our monolithic forging replaces the lower hull of a combat vehicle, significantly improving survivability over traditional welded hulls. Additionally, it enables us to tailor the thickness, making it strongest where it needs to be most protective, while being lighter weight. And by reducing the weight and simplifying assembly, we can reduce fabrication costs for the military. 

Game-changing design, life-saving technology—that’s the value of Arconic innovation.

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