Ultimate protection with high-strength steels

Protolab Oy has developed a protected multi-purpose vehicle with advanced ballistic protection and mobility properties. The research conducted under FIMECC BSA program was in important role in the development work. The new vehicle fills a critical niche in the market.

Protolab has developed a new protected multi-purpose vehicle (PMPV) for military use. The developed multi-purpose vehicle is designed to protect the crew and payload in hostile environment against mine blasts and ballistic threats. The PMPV is tough but also incredibly mobile and lightweight. The vehicle can carry crew or up to 10 000 kg of payload to places without roads.

The key characteristics of the vehicle were made possible by the research conducted under FIMECC BSA program. Together with SSAB and Lappeenranta University of Technology Protolab has comprehensively studied the properties, processing and application of novel high strength steels to meet the stringent requirements of the PMPV. As a result ultra-high strength armor steel developed by SSAB is used in the vehicle. The steel structures designed for protection are developed in collaboration with Lappeenranta University of Technology.

PMPV is developed and built together with a network of partners. Protolab employs ten employees but over hundred people have participated in the development work of PMPV. “Network and co-creation is basic principle for us. FIMECC BSA program with interdisciplinary approach and combining industry and academic partners is a great co-creation platform us”, tells Jukka Kemppainen, Chairman of the board Protolab Oy.

The PMPV meets the market demand of a simple, easy-to-maintain but efficient solution. “We noticed that there is a lack of simple but highly protected solution. Current military vehicles are complex and vulnerable. The breakdown of one small component can stop the whole expensive vehicle”, Kemppainen tells about the background of the PMPV.

In the PMPV protection, multipurpose use and cost efficiency have been main design drivers. These goals have been achieved by developing simple but efficient solutions for both steel structure and the components. PMPV is mostly built using standard commercial heavy truck components, which are easy to repair or replace anywhere. Commercial components have been used before for example in Afghanistan. Thus they have been proven hard in extreme environments.

The PMPV design is a pioneering example of the application of novel high-strength steels combining extreme protection and lightweight making the vehicle incredibly tough and mobile. In addition, the PMPV is robust vehicle that can be used in harsh environments and maintained easily in all circumstances. These properties make the PMPV a perfect partner for Peace Corps missions around the world.


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