SOURCE: ARES Systems Group

March 03, 2008 08:30 ET

ARES Systems Group Armor Appliqué Gets Thumbs Up From Army Aberdeen Test Center

ARES Armor Passes Initial Round of MRAP II Qualification Testing

BASSFIELD, MS--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) - Lighter, stronger, more cost-effective armor for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles -- that's what ARES Systems Group and Blackwater Worldwide have offered the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps. The EXO Scale armor appliqué, developed by ARES, was submitted to the Marine Corps in response to the MRAP II armored vehicle procurement.

During recent tests at the Aberdeen Test Center, Army engineers fired government standard Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) at EXO Scale armor coupons and representative vehicle base armor. The armor coupons conclusively passed the live fire test, proving the viability of EXO Scale for MRAP II vehicles and as an upgrade to earlier generation MRAP I vehicles.

"EXO Scale clearly provides better protection for our deployed soldiers," said Maj. Gen. Buff Blount (U.S. Army, ret.), ARES chief executive officer. "EXO Scale weighs approximately 30 percent less than the government's current appliqué armor design. That translates to extended vehicle life, lower operations (fuel) costs and lower maintenance costs due to less wear and tear on the vehicle."

Lifecycle costs are not the only cost savings EXO Scale provides the Army. "EXO Scale is approximately one-third the cost of current MRAP armor solutions," explained Blount.

At present, Ares EXO Scale is being used on Blackwater's new MRAP II candidate vehicle, the Grizzly. Due, in part, to the promising results from the MRAP II testing, ARES plans to submit EXO Scale as a candidate for the MRAP Expedient Armor Program, which will retrofit all legacy MRAP I vehicles with enhanced MRAP II armor protection.

In total, the MRAP program is testing vehicle and armor solutions from six companies including ARES/Blackwater. Final tests will determine which company receives production orders for potentially thousands of MRAP II vehicles.

About ARES Systems Group

ARES Systems Group, LLC offers "full spectrum" development, systems integration and operations support for the implementation of emerging intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; force protection; and information operations technologies. ARES is a service-disabled, veteran-owned, HUBZone-certified small business headquartered in Bassfield, Miss. founded by Maj. Gen. Buford Blount (USA, ret.), former commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and leader of vanguard elements of coalition operations in Iraq.

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