MILFORD, N.H., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A 100th set of sapphire-engineered transparent armor for windshields and windows has been delivered by Saint-Gobain Crystals to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.
The company is providing enough transparent armor to equip 540 M142 high-mobility rocket launcher vehicles under a 2012 contract worth $20 million.
"Although the industrialization of the product has created numerous applications, Saint-Gobain is most honored to have its sapphire crystal technology applied in the defense setting where we can help better protect the lives of our brave military personnel," said Natesh Krishnan, director of global sales and marketing at Saint-Gobain Crystals. "The years of research and development have led to this very rewarding moment in which we finally see the technology applied and know that our military men and women will benefit."
The company's transparent armor replaces conventional glass-glass armor with an advanced ceramic-based product, which is comprised of large sheets of sapphire laminated with multiple layers of glass and polycarbonate.
The transparent sapphire armor is 50 percent lighter than armored glass now used and provides superior protection and durability, the company said.
"The U.S. Army and Marine Corps engaged Saint-Gobain because its sapphire-glass armor solution met the Army's demanding performance requirements and delivered a higher level of safety, durability and visibility for our service men and women," Lt. Col. Bryan Salyers, U.S. Army product manager for field artillery launchers. "Ensuring our combat vehicles are equipped with the most advanced technology available is critical to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps mission and the safety of all military personnel."