Meggitt, a leading international company specialising in high performance components and sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy, has delivered its first contract for flexible blast-resistant fuel bladders in a ground vehicle. The bladders have been installed in the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle as part of the BUSK III (Bradley Urban Survivability Kits III) Survivable Fuel Cell (BSFC) package, a series of 'rapid development survivability improvements' designed for the urban battlefield.
The initial contract, worth $12 million, covers only a fraction of the 4,600 BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicles in service and further contracts are anticipated as the rest of the fleet is upgraded.
The Bradley is made by BAE Systems Land and Armaments in the United States and is designed to transport infantry with armour protection while providing covering fire to suppress enemy troops and armoured vehicles. The Meggitt fuel bladders will be produced for Robertson Fuel Systems who are providing a complete blast-resistant fuel system for the vehicle.
Meggitt's blast-resistant fuel bladders are similar in design to the group's "crashworthy" fuel bladders fitted to the main and auxiliary systems of virtually every US military helicopter in service. These urethane bladders meet the ultra-rigorous standards of flexibility, strength, impact and cut-and-tear resistance of US MIL-T-27422B and have stopped fuel spillage and reduced fire-related death and injury in survivable helicopter crashes to almost zero. Before installation, over 42% of such helicopter crashes in the US resulted in deaths from fuel fires.
The technology used in this latest blast-resistant model is effective with metal fragments resulting from the detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) associated with ground combat vehicles. The wound is sealed with a proprietary sealant, which suppresses the ignition source and stops fuel leakage almost immediately.
Chief Executive, Terry Twigger commented:
"This first ground vehicle contract for leak-proof, life-saving fuel containment products evidences real success in our strategy to expanding our market beyond aerospace."
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