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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

04 November 2015

D&S 2015 - Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology Revolutionises Ballistic Protection

DSM Dyneema from the Netherlands is showcasing its groundbreaking Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology during this year's edition of the Defence & Security exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand.

Aimed at revolutionising ballistic protection, both for personnel and vehicles, Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology builds on earlier success with Dyneema, which is touted as "the world's strongest fiber" by Dr. Alex Yong, global functional lead for high protective textiles and life protection at Dyneema's application development and technical service. A polyethylene fiber with ultra high molecular orientation, Dyneema is much stronger than aramid or carbonfiber, Yong told MT, and is even capable of floating on water due to its relatively low density. Hence, Dyneema has many applications including life protection. Due to its light weight and exceptional ballistic performance, the ultra strong fiber has proven very popular when it comes to protecting the individual combat soldier of many nations. It is this end user which has to rely on a combination of not only protection but also mobility and on firepower of course in order to survive on an increasing lethal battlefield. Any reduction in weight of the inserts being carried in the soldier's plate carrier system will increase his mobility and help improve his chances of delivering accurate fire.

This puts him in a much better position when it comes to countering enemy small arms fire and RAM while the combat vehicle from which he dismounts will have a much better chance of effectively dealing with the effects of mines, guided munitions, armour penetrating projectiles and IEDs including the much feared explosively formed penetrators (EFP) when it is protected using Dyneema technology too.

Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology now introduces a number of changes including what Dyneema calls "breakthrough polymer science, next generation fiber technology and unique uni-directional engineering", fuzing all this into "the very best of ballistic protection" in an effort to stay ahead of any competitors that might want to catch up. Dyneema boasts its latest technology can be used to reduce the weight of body armour by "up to 30 percent without sacrificing ballistic protection", while enhancing comfort and agility with fewer layers of material being used and increased flexibility. Hence, Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology is destined to drastically change the life protection market as it can be applied to inserts for plate carriers, protective shields, helmets and vehicle protection. Dyneema indicates that depending on the protection level, armour made with the new technology can offer "weight reductions of up to 50 percent compared to glass and aramid armour concepts",  and "up to 90 percent compared to full steel vehicle armour standalone concepts", with lighter and thinner armour significantly improving a vehicle's operational performance.

With Dyneema being used by the world's top armour manufacturers, one of the company's major recent successes has been the selection of its Force Multiplier Technology for Point Blank Enterprises' winning bid for the United States Army's Generation II Soldier Plate Carrier System (SPCS). With defence spending on the rise in Asia, Dyneema sees a huge potential in the Asia Pacific region according to Adrian Koh, Dyneema's APAC marketing communications manager. With North America and Europe already being "mature markets" as he calls them, many countries in the region "are now embarking on soldier modernisation including personal protection", Koh said. "The western world has always been a reference", he said, so "we bring the technology and deliver the optimal solution for Asian needs". According to Koh, key markets in the region are Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, India and Australia.

The company has announced it will reveal a new armour solution based on its Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology that will target the law enforcement and defence sectors during the upcoming Milipol exhibition.
Pieter Bastiaans