Body armour centre to come to Newport
1:56pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
NEWPORT is to be home to the UK’s first centre of excellence for ceramic armour development.
A new partnership between the Ministry of Defence and industry will develop the £2million centre, which will be the largest in Europe and will help to sustain 50 local jobs.
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Kennametal Manufacturing UK Ltd are jointly funding the new facility.
Kennametal are currently based in the Leeway Industrial estate in Nash, Newport.
Body armour containing ceramic ballistic plates helps protect UK Service personnel on operations. The centre will develop full size ceramic armour components for personnel and vehicle protection, large enough for full scale impact tests.
Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London, Philip Dunne, minister for defence equipment, support and technology, said: “I am pleased that this investment in a state-of-the art facility in South Wales, the largest in Europe, will further advance the United Kingdom’s freedom of action in advanced ceramic armour.”
Professor Peter Brown of Dstl said: “This joint investment is the culmination of four years work. The ability to make ceramic samples large enough for full scale impact tests and the very significant reduction in time taken to produce a sample, mean that we can investigate a much wider range of innovative formulations faster and more cheaply than before.”
Dstl is already working with Tata Steel in Port Talbot to develop advanced steel armour and the Newport development will see South Wales become the UK’s centre of advanced military armour technology.
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