Lightweight metals leader Alcoa (NYSE:AA) has been awarded a five-year contract from the U.S. Army worth up to $50 million for R&D projects focused on developing innovative, lightweighting solutions for ground combat vehicles. The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) awarded Alcoa Defense a “Ground Vehicle Light-Weighting” contract to support efforts to accelerate technology research and development and provide engineering solutions for Department of Defense ground vehicles and intelligent ground systems.
“This agreement with TARDEC builds on Alcoa Defense’s decades-long partnership with the U.S. Army to advance military ground vehicles,” said Eric Roegner, President of Alcoa Defense. “Alcoa’s lightweight solutions have improved troop protection while reducing vehicle weight and assembly time. We look forward to building on our successful track record to help develop the next generation combat vehicle.”
Alcoa’s first “work directive,” or project funded under the contract, is an initiative to advance Alcoa-developed aluminum weld wire alloys. These alloys have already been proven to increase the strength of welded joints—typically the weakest point on a vehicle—as well as reduce corrosion of those welded joints on combat vehicles. Under potential future work directives, Alcoa will provide material research, development, engineering, testing, and evaluation efforts related to ground vehicle lightweighting. These research and development efforts will address various technologies associated with lightweighting such as aluminum forming technology, fastening and joining, modeling and simulation, armor development, material development, material fabrication, energy conservation, and coating and corrosion technology.