Several companies presented blast protected
seat technologies at Modern Day Marine and AUSA 07. For example,
ArmorWorks displayed two types of blast attenuating seats of
the ShockRide series. The company offers individual, folding
high-back troop seats as well as driver and commander's seats
with rigid base. Both types are fitted with blast attenuating
straps and frame. ArmorWorks also designed bench seats offering
improved protection as well as a gunner's post mounted seat
which offers four point restraint harness and flip-up mechanism,
improving comfort, access and survivability.
Global Seating Systems (GSS) introduced their modular 'soldier
safety platform', based on modular seats, fitted with contoured
high-back and adjustable head rest, and removable side bolsters
or central panel, comfortably accommodating canteens or backpack
hydration systems (camelbacks). The seat cushion is fitted with
mine blast/IED slam-down and blast-mitigating technology. A
single point restraint release allows for quick emergency egress.
Systems also produces different designs for mine blast, driver/passenger
and troop seats. These seats can absorb energy pulses exceeding
400 G by employing vertical, fixed load wire benders providing
five inches of downward stroke. (9" or 23 cm in the troop
seats). The troop seats use hinged pan for stowage when not
in use. The energy absorbing system uses four point restraint,
integral headrest and shoulder cushion.
Another type of blast protected seat is produced by Plasan
Sasa and installed in the MaxxPro
MRAP vehicle produced by International. The troop seats
are suspended from the roof and walls by elastic cables, retaining
standard restraint harness for quick release and comfort, particularly
when used by troops loaded with full combat gear.
Transparent armor has also become an issue, with the demand
for improved situational awareness and vehicles are already
designed with multiple, armored windows which, alas when required
to maintain the same level of protection as opaque armor, must
contribute to excessive vehicle weight.
MDM and AUSA ArmorWorks demonstrated its latest version of transparent
armor made of monolithic Polyurethane polymer, offering about
15% reduction in aerial density compared with blast fragmentation
protected glass while offering another important advantage –
unlike conventional armored glass, the transparent Polyurethane
window does not shatter on impact and maintains optical clarity
and high transparency even after multiple hits (characteristic
of IED damage).
The new material is compatible with night vision goggles and
is provided for airborne (helicopter windshield) and vehicular
Other topics covered in this review: