Global Business Director, Life Protection, DSM Dyneema
DSM Dyneema remains highly committed to bringing new technological dimensions to support India’s evolving needs for life protection, states Marico Manique, Global Business Director, Life Protection, DSM Dyneema, in an exclusive interview.
SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): How was Defexpo 2016 held in Goa for your company in terms of business? Would you prefer New Delhi to Goa for Defexpo?
Marcio Manique (Manique): India has always been one of our key markets in the AsiaPacific region. Defexpo is the key defence and security exhibition in India where we are able to engage end-users, and also connect and collaborate with our Indian customers.
Similar to previous years, we were able to fulfil our objectives and showcase our latest innovations for the Indian market at Defexpo 2016.
Defexpo 2016 being organised in Goa was a new experience for everyone and the key element is to ensure that it always remains a quality platform that allows global exhibitors like us to continuously engage and connect closely with our Indian customers and end-users.
SP’s: What products attracted attention in Goa and the reasons for it?
Manique: Amongst our diverse range of products and solutions, we continue to receive much interest from the Indian market in our multi award-winning Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology.
Globally, including the Asia-Pacific region, Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology continues to set new standards in ballistic protection and has garnered many achievements. These include being used by top armour developers from around the world in many prestigious, high-profile soft and hard armour systems that require high performance ballistic protection at a lighter weight, and winning multiple awards for innovation.
In body armour, Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology can reduce the weight by up to 30 per cent without sacrificing ballistic protection, while enhancing comfort and agility with fewer layers of material and increased flexibility. Used in helmets, Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology enables designs protecting against 9mm FMJ handgun ammunition and fragments to weigh as light as about 1 kg.
Over the years, India has been progressing with its soldier modernisation programme and has also set high standards in the area of ballistic protection in body armour. A huge focus is placed on higher threat level protection, more body area protection, and at the same time significant body armour weight reduction and ensuring robustness.
It will be challenging to balance these requirements which are focused on higher protection at a lighter weight by using traditional solutions like steel and aramids.
Dyneema® represents the next generation armour technology that offers high performance ballistic and multi-threat protection at a lighter weight, with greater user comfort and freedom of movement.
SP’s: You mentioned about the company introducing the Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology. Could you give details of the same, and how foolproof is it? Manique: Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology is the latest patented anti-stab material for soft armour applications that answers the industry’s need for innovative and signifi- cant advancements in stab protection.
A vest manufactured with Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology provides outstanding protection against knives, blades and other sharp weapons in accordance to international standards like the UK HOSDB Body Armour Standard. It is up to 25 per cent lighter and thinner than current market solutions made with aramid without sacrificing protection, and its flexibility provides greater comfort and mobility to the wearer.
In addition, Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology can be combined with Dyneema® soft ballistic products to develop the next generation of high performance, lightweight multi-threat protective gear that meets the specific needs of law enforcement officers who face hostile confrontations, as well as military personnel engaged in urban operations.
It meets rigorous and widely used international standards, including the commonly used standards in the Asia-Pacific region such as the UK HOSDB KR1 and KR2 Body Armour Standards for stab protection, and NIJ0101.04 Level IIIA for ballistic protection against handgun ammunitions such as 9mm FMJ and .44 Magnum SJHP SPEER.
With Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology, we are presenting the Indian market with another innovative platform that will set new standards in multi-threat protection, and provide another technological dimension to meet current and future needs against evolving threats.
SP’s: How important is India as a market for you? Presently the Indian Army is looking for bullet proof jackets. Are you part of the field trials?
Manique: India has always been a key market for DSM Dyneema® and we continue to be highly engaged and active with our key customers and end-users.
Dyneema® is well known since the 1990s as the material of choice in many defence and law enforcement programmes which require higher ballistic protection at a lighter weight for both personal and vehicle armour.
DSM Dyneema® remains highly committed to bringing new technological dimensions to support India’s evolving needs for life protection with our ever-expanding portfolio of innovative Dyneema® technologies and solutions.
(we are unable to officially comment on current programs where there are no official announcements of the outcome)
SP’s: Are you making a pitch to non-army outfits in India, to police, paramilitary forces, why would they need anti-stab technology?
Manique: Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology was launched in November 2015 as part of DSM Dyneema’s radical innovation platform and it is now available to the Indian market.
With threats constantly evolving especially in urban area operations, there is a need for more advanced multi-threat protection.
Even in Asia-Pacific, including India where ownership of firearms are controlled, law enforcement officers and military personnel engaged in urban operations may still face hostile confrontations involving firearms and also threats which come in the form of knives, blades and sharp objects.
These operational personnel who may just have a split second to react need to feel confident that they have full protection to handle any situation.
Multi-threat protection vests made with Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology and Dyneema® Soft Ballistic products deliver high performance stab and ballistic protection at a lighter weight compared to traditional materials like aramid and steel.
In addition to being lighter, Dyneema® provides greater flexibility enabling personnel to feel more comfortable especially during extended deployment periods and better freedom of movement when situation calls.
SP’s: With anti-stab technology, will the cost of acquisition go up and if yes by how much?
Manique: Depending on the protection level, Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology is up to 25 per cent lighter and thinner than current established aramid solutions.
This also means lesser material can be used to achieve existing protection levels or the same amount of weight can achieve up to 25 per cent higher protection performance.
Furthermore, Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology offers greater enhancements in user comfort and freedom of movement as it is more flexible than current solutions made with steel, aramids or other composites.
(Due to pricing confidentiality, we are unable to openly disclose pricing and cost of ownership)
SP’s: Bullet proof to anti-stab technology, is there any weight difference?
Manique: There is sometimes a misconception that a body armour that protects against bullets can also effectively protect against stabs from knifes, blades. They are two different solution platforms.
Traditionally, to factor in stab protection to a vest that offers ballistic protection involves adding another solution such as steel, aramids or other composites. This
can add to the bulk and also weight by up to 40 per cent, depending on the solution and threat protection level.
Compared to current established aramid solutions, Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology provides superior protection against knives and blades and it is up to 25 per cent lighter and thinner. In addition, it provides greater flexibility which enables enhanced comfort and freedom of movement to users.
SP’s: How price competitive are your prod- ucts compared to similar Indian products?
Manique: DSM Dyneema® is well-positioned with its expanding and wide range of soft and hard ballistic product grades, as well as latest technologies. Each and every one of DSM Dyneema’s products and solutions, from the highest performance to cost competitive have specific innovative value as a stronger and lighter weight solution that meets the evolving life protection trends and needs, along with the different and increasing local threats and protection requirements of the respective countries, including India.
Dyneema® has been used by top Indian armour developers for many years, since the 1990s for many defence and law enforcement programmes. And the market, including Indian end-users are increasingly aware of the technological benefits compared to traditional materials like aramids, steel and other composites.
Building on this success, DSM Dyneema® remains deeply commit- ted to continuously set new standards and deliver more innovative personal and vehicle protection solutions with Dyneema®; as well as working closely with our Indian partners to develop higher performance and lighter weight protection that meets current and future requirements of India’s military and law enforcement agencies.
(Due to market and pricing confidentiality, we are unable to openly disclose pricing and cost).
(Top) Marcio Manique, Global Business Director, Life Protection, DSM Dyneema; (above) Dyneema® Anti Stab Technology