ArmorWorks, a Tempebased manufacturer of hightech composite plates to protect military personnel, has received two contracts totaling $33 million to produce body armor for U.S. soldiers and aircraft armor for U.S. Navy and Marine helicopters.
Under one contract, the fast-growing company will design, develop and manufacture lightweight composite armor panels for the CH-46E Sea Knight cargo and troop transport helicopter.
The ArmorWorks products will replace existing steel armor on the CH-46E, providing a weight reduction that will increase each aircraft’s cargo capabilities and reduce fuel consumption, the company said.
That contract has a value of up to $5 million, with the panels to be delivered through the end of 2005.
"This contract award is a significant step in our efforts to gain increased exposure in aircraft armor protection," said Bill Perciballi, president of ArmorWorks.
He especially praised the work of the firm’s 300 employees.
The other contract worth $27 million will provide additional small arms protective inserts for U.S. troops. The ceramic body armor plates fit into protective vests worn by U.S. soldiers, giving them greater protection against small arms fire in combat situations.
Perciballi said the company anticipates additional orders under a $461 million Department of Defense program started in August to provide more body armor for American troops.
ArmorWorks, which was founded in 1996, also produces armor kits to protect military vehicles from improvised roadside explosives and other threats.
The company has grown more than 35 percent in the past year as the U.S. Department of Defense has stepped up purchases of the lightweight high-tech armor to protect personnel and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The company has four manufacturing facilities at 7306 S. Harl and at a complex at 1837-9 S. Drake in Tempe.