Dr. Shawn Walsh (left), with Army Research Laboratory’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, explains ARL’s investments in lighter, more efficient ballistic materials and defeat mechanisms to Gen. Dennis Via (center), Army Materiel Command commanding general, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Dec. 3, 2012. ARL and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center jointly executed an Army ManTech program to overcome the technology barriers associated with performing and rapid thermoforming of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene materials into complex shapes such as helmets.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Transitioning a technology prototype from an Army engineer’s laboratory to the Soldier on the ground is filled with potential obstacles.
To overcome challenges associated with manufacturing Soldiers’ equipment, from helicopters to helmets, the U.S. Army enlists the Manufacturing Technology Program, commonly known as ManTech.
Andy Davis, ManTech program manager with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said his team is focused on addressing issues in affordability and producibility.
“[Scientists and engineers] develop technologies in the labs. They can make one or two [prototypes] in the lab, but they can’t make them in quantity,” Davis said. “ManTech bridges that gap. In terms of the Warfighter impact, it helps get items more quickly to the [field].”