ORNSKOLDSVIK, Sweden, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Rubber tracks developed by BAE Systems in Sweden and Soucy International of Canada are being used on Norwegian army vehicles in Afghanistan.
The tracks are on two 28-ton CV9030 infantry fighting vehicles, the heaviest vehicles to have used them in operations.
The tracks reduce vehicle weight by more than 1 ton compared with conventional steel tracks. They also cut noise by 10dB and vibration levels by 65 percent.
"The reduced vibration levels are increasing the life expectancy of electronics, optronics and ammunition, which will significantly reduce vehicle running costs," said BAE CV90 platform manager Dan Lindell. "The tracks also improve stealth, reduce crew fatigue and increase mobility in many conditions, such as on snow and ice."
BAE Systems' technical and durability tests over several years on vehicles weighing 28 tons gave good results. The rubber tracks had a track life comparable to conventional steel tracks. Trials by the Norwegian army in late 2010 were so positive that the two vehicles were sent to Afghanistan before the planned schedule was completed.
BAE said trials for the tracks on vehicles weighing 35 tons will take place this year. Included will be mine blast trials to assess the effect of explosives on the rubber tracks.