TPI Composites, Inc. (TPI), a leading manufacturer of large-scale composite structures, joined Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island and representatives from Oshkosh Truck Corporation today to unveil its new light-weight, all-composite truck cab. The cab was designed for the U.S. 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.
TPI’s lightweight, 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 is also able to carry the latest attached B-Kit armor solutions, something the baseline aluminum design is not capable of doing 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 U.S. 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 Senators Jack Reed of Rhode Island 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.
“TPI is committed to applying its technology to provide solutions that will help the war-fighter,” said Steven C. Lockard, president and chief executive officer of TPI. “The lightweight, all- composite armor ready cab is a great example of how advanced composite material and process technology can be applied to enhance performance in military vehicles and help protect our soldiers.”
“The composite cab by TPI has provided a solution, that up until recently, was not available on a tactical wheeled vehicle platform,” said John Stoddart, executive vice-president, and president Oshkosh Truck defense. “This technology, along with advanced armor solutions will allow us as a vehicle manufacturer to increase the reliability, the performance, and the protection of the platforms on which it is installed. It is a leap forward in the technology of vehicle manufacturing.”
The prototype vehicle will be sent to Aberdeen this summer, where it will be road tested. Future prototypes are expected by year end.