Future Trends

US Army Awards AEC Hypersonic Thermal Protection Systems Development Contract

3D weaving technology

US Army Awards AEC Hypersonic Thermal Protection Systems Development Contract

New Hampshire-based Albany Engineered Composites, a subsidiary of Albany International, has secured a $4 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop thermal protection systems for hypersonic vehicles. 

Thermal protection systems, also called heat shields, prevent hot air from entering vehicles and potential impacts from extreme environments during flight. AEC will use its near-net shape 3D weaving technology to create the systems. Investments have been made over the last two decades to make the 3D composites technology fit for hypersonic applications, AEC said.

The company designs and manufactures composite components for commercial and military aircraft, missiles and unmanned vehicles. According to New Hampshire Rep. Chris Pappas, the new funding will help AEC improve its production process and lower production costs to meet the needs of the armed forces. 

Pappas also expects the contract award to create high-paying jobs in his state. AEC said it plans to hire new employees in Rochester in the coming years to support engineering, fabrication, machining and assembly and enhance its regional workforce.

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Tags: 3D weaving technology Albany Engineered Composites Albany International Chris Pappas Future Trends hypersonics US Army