Ceradyne announced the opening of a new vehicle armor design and armored vehicle prototype facility in Wixom, Mich.
Ceradyne is expanding its armor systems design and engineering capability for both military and commercial vehicles. The new Wixom facility is planned to be a center of engineering excellence for the design and application of advanced armor and blast protection systems for the military's tactical wheeled vehicle fleet. The Wixom facility will be managed by Mike Kurilla, Sr. Manager Business Development. Mr. Kurilla joined Ceradyne in June 2001 as the armored vehicle Manager in the Detroit area.
Mr. Kurilla has over 17 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of armored vehicles designed to defeat a wide variety of threats both military and civilian. Mr. Kurilla was the lead manager on Ceradyne's design efforts resulting in a multi-year agreement from the Ford Motor Co. for Ceradyne's armor components for the Lincoln Town Car Ballistic Protection System.
Marc King, Ceradyne Vice President of Armor Operations, commented: "The new facility was established in the Detroit area due to the proximity to various suppliers of vehicle related components and services, as well as the government's Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Warren, Mich. With this expansion, we can help prevent vehicle manufacturers from going into another round of costly design changes for armor components on future vehicles. We are already working closely with prime contractors as well as the government to ensure that we are ahead of their requirements in the future."
King further commented: "With a 30-year background in designing and building ceramic armor composites for military helicopters, Ceradyne is also in the production of specially designed ceramic armored 'Humvee' seats as well as special mission vehicles for DOD prime contractors. Ceradyne's goal is to develop and manufacture state-of-the-art lightweight ceramic composite armor systems that are 50% lighter than current steel systems. This lightweight ceramic composite armor enables our military armored vehicles to operate with current standard suspensions, transmissions and engines.
"Ceradyne will engineer and build a wide variety of vehicle armor using lightweight ceramic systems, stand alone steel or composites, depending on the specific threat and vehicle requirements. Our goal is the survivability and safety of our soldiers above all else," King stated.