by Richard Tomkins
Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y. (UPI) Mar 01, 2016
The U.S. Army's Watervliet Arsenal is starting a new product line -- next-generation bipods for the 81mm mortar systems that are about five pounds lighter than current bipods.
The Army says the new bipod is part of its effort to reduce the weight of small indirect fire systems carried by soldiers.
The arsenal already manufactures a lightweight mortar baseplate and tube.
"This multimillion dollar order will add to the Arsenal's current workload more than 13,000 hours of direct labor," said Laura Pisculli, the arsenal's supervisor of production planning and control. "Because this new product line will require a significant amount of preparation in regards to training and new tooling, our first delivery will not be until 2018."
Pisculli said each bipod consists of about 25 close-tolerance, machined parts and will weigh about 22 pounds, as compared to the 27 pound bipods now carried by soldiers.
"Manufacturing such products as Abrams tank cannons and 155mm howitzer tubes is extremely challenging given the tight machining tolerances," said Scott Huber, an arsenal general foreman. "But this product line is no less challenging as we will be working with material that is new to us, such as Kevlar and Teflon, as well as new processes that will require welding extremely hard materials such as Titanium."
A significant amount of time will be spent writing computer programs, developing special tooling, and establishing new outside vendors to provide the raw material long before the first bipod is machined.
The Watervliet Arsenal is an Army owned and operated manufacturing facility and has been continuously active since the War of 1812.
The arsenal received a $4.2 million contract from the Army to start the new bipod line.
The latest in Military Technology for the 21st century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|