Soucy International Inc. and United Defense L.P. have teamed up to develop and commercialize a rubber track system for combat vehicles globally.
The soon-to-be-marketed M113 rubber band track system is an advanced development by Soucy and Anniston, Ala.-based United Defense of a basic track originally created by the firms under a program set up by the U.S. Army's Tank and Armaments Command and Canadian Department of Industry, Science and Technology.
The one-piece molded track for the M113 system is made of high polymer rubber for armored personnel carriers with a load capacity of 30,500 pounds, according to a spokesman from United Defense, which manufactures, refurbishes and converts combat vehicles.
The track reduces rolling resistance, improves agility, enhances survivability and is competitively priced with metal track systems, the United Defense spokesman said. Because metal doesn't come in contact with roadways, he said, the rubber track eliminates road damage.
In addition, the rubber track is easier to maintain than its metal counterpart and lasts longer, said Pierre Therrien, contract administrator for Soucy.
``It's a much lighter track, minimizes noise and there's less vibration,'' he said.
United Defense and Drummond-ville-based Soucy teamed up to co-fund enhancement of the basic track, according to the United Defense spokesman.
The two companies have partnered in the past to develop, apply and test rubber band track technology for combat vehicles such as United Defense's Hybrid Electric Drive Transformation Technology Demonstrator, he said.
Soucy, formed in 1978 and one of seven companies owned by Soucy Holding Inc., makes an assortment of rubber vehicle tracks for the military in the U.S. and a number of other countries. The firm also manufactures rubber tracks for snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, agricultural machinery and other types of equipment.