TPI Composites Inc, a manufacturer of large-scale composite structures, joined Sen Jack Reed of Rhode Island and representatives from Oshkosh Truck Corp to unveil its new lightweight, all-composite truck cab. The cab was designed for the United States Army's tactical wheeled vehicle fleet and addresses serious vehicle issues by being lighter in weight, highly durable, and strong enough to carry the heaviest of armor and mine blast protection.
This all-composite cab allows soldiers to carry more protective armor, ammunition, and equipment because it weighs hundreds of pounds less than cabs constructed with conventional materials. For example, TPI's cab would allow the accommodation of 400 more pounds of weight than a comparable integrated A-kit aluminum-based design. The cab also can carry the latest attached B-Kit armor systems, something the baseline aluminum design cannot do and a characteristic that allows for weight savings far exceeding 400 pounds.
The prototype cab is the result of a two-year R&D program with the US Army TARDEC and will be used for the HEMTT A-3 truck (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck), manufactured by Oshkosh Truck.
This cab program was a congressional initiative supported by Sens Reed and Joe Biden of Delaware. TPI collaborated on this project with Oshkosh Truck Corporation, maker of the HEMTT truck, and the University of Delaware's Center for Composite Materials.
The prototype vehicle will be sent to Aberdeen in summer 2007, where it will be road-tested. Future prototypes are expected by year-end.