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Giving new lease of life to aircraft and helicopters through lightweight armour

08/03/2017 by Manish Khandelwal

 

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In today’s combat scenario, aircraft and helicopters have become increasingly important to carry out military operations. They are not only employed for combat and anti-terrorist activities but also to transport supplies to remote military outposts.  

However, being mighty machines, they are not free of coming upon a broad array of dangers. They are in fact very much prone to terminal attacks through armed fire from militants or enemy forces. It is usually parts such as the belly of the helicopter or aircraft, cockpit, and the engine that are most susceptible to attacks.   

Without the necessary protection, they can become flying deathtraps. Therefore, aircraft armoring solutions have been crucially important to decrease the susceptibility of the fixed-wing and rotary aircraft and their crew. However, armouring an aircraft or a helicopter is not a simple process. It is equally important to be mindful to have these solutions incorporated in such a way that they are not a hindrance to aircraft performance. However, armors that can fight large-calibre anti-aircraft fire or armor piercing ammunitions typically come along with a great weight penalty, which affects the performance and load-carrying capacity of the aircraft, among other things.   

Traditionally, steel armouring used to be the first choice of armour in aircraft. But it came with the cost of compromising on load-carrying capability due to the increased weight of the aircraft. Later on, the usage of titanium armour plates in aircraft balanced the equation by providing necessary structural strength and protection with its lightweight characteristic. But it skewed the economies of scale as it was a very expensive element and incorporating titanium into an aircraft becomes a costly proposition. Therefore, handling additional weight becomes a critical factor while designing armor solutions for aircraft. 

MKU employs some of the most cutting-edge technologies in achieving mission-critical modular protection for helicopters while keeping the armour weight to the least possible. Of all the factors that affect the performance of a helicopter, weight is the most important one, followed by lift, thrust, and drag and MKU's 6th Generation Polyshield V6 armouring technology uses advanced composite materials and techniques that reduce the weight of armour for aircraft and helicopters by approximately 40% compared to standard armoring solutions.   

Keeping the multi-role operations & survivability of utility and assault helicopters in consideration, MKU also designs helicopter armour kits using the proprietary 'Modular Schutz Technik', which uses precision-engineered composite armour panels along with patented aero-grade attachment systems. These kits are installed in the existing structure of the helicopter and do not require making any structural changes or tampering with the aerodynamics of the helicopter. Hence, re-certification of the aircraft for airworthiness does not become an obligation.

MKU’s advanced protection solutions ultimately lead to:  

  • Improvement in the radius of action,  
  • Enhanced climb performance,  
  • Improved engine performance,  
  • Higher hovering ceiling,  
  • and most importantly, more soldiers to ferry

With such advanced protection solutions, MKU is the perfect solution provider for aircraft/helicopter armouring as it minimizes weight and maximizes the possibilities.

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