By MATT BAKERMAN, Associated PressThe Pentagon is testing a new type of armor that can withstand the kind of extreme weather that has plagued some American military installations and forces in the past few years.
The Pentagon announced Tuesday it’s using a lightweight, polyethylenisole material called polyethylethylene to create a composite plate that can resist the kinds of extreme conditions that have been experienced in recent years, including tornadoes and fires.
The new material could also be used in vehicles and other equipment.
It could also make for a lightweight and stronger piece of armor, according to Pentagon officials, who said the new composite armor would be stronger than steel.
The armor, called the MOLLE (Multi-Layers of Elasticity), is an advanced material used in aircraft and other types of equipment that can absorb and redirect small impacts that could cause structural damage.
It can be used to protect the hulls of submarines, as well as in the field and as a protective shell for the head, the military said in a statement.
The material is already used to make some types of aircraft wings.
The lightweight armor would allow the Army to replace more of its tanks, missiles and other vehicles with the new armor, Pentagon officials said.
It could also help keep soldiers from getting caught in the high-speed, high-energy winds that have plagued some installations and military forces in recent months.
“We have been very careful not to underestimate the threat we face from these extreme weather events,” Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in the statement.
“This new armor design is a significant advancement in our capability to withstand these extremes.”
The MOLLET armor has a thickness of 1.5 millimeters (0.9 inches) and a weight of less than 2 pounds.
It has a steel core, so the military is hoping it will withstand the extreme temperatures of the storm season.
The MOM is the military equivalent of a home insurance policy.
The Army and the Navy are testing it in a test field in Georgia.