In the trenchesVehicle escape windows increase soldiers' safety

Published 22 September 2010

BAE receives a $70 million contract to install Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Windows to more than 39,000 U.S. Army vehicle, with more than 16,000 kits already shipped; the patent pending system features a simple, intuitive design that enables soldiers quickly to exit the vehicle in case of an emergency

BAE Systems received a contract modification for up to $70 million to supply Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Windows for new production M1151 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV).

Robert Houston, vice president and general manager of Readiness & Sustainment at BAE Systems, said that “The safety of our men and women in uniform is one of our top priorities and the installation of the VEE Window kit on the vehicles they operate is another way that we strive to keep them safe…. The VEE Window is a life-saving safety enhancement system that provides soldiers with an alternate means of emergency escape in the event of an accident, rollover or other ballistic or blast event.”

This contract raises the total number of orders for VEE Windows to more than 39,000 with more than 16,000 kits already shipped for the up-armored M1114 and M1151 HMMWVs. In addition, BAE Systems is adapting the VEE Window technology to other tactical up-armored combat vehicles. The VEE Window is part of the U.S. Army’s Fragmentation Kit Seven, which is a set of survivability upgrades to already fielded M1151 HMMWVs.

Work on the VEE Window will begin immediately at BAE Systems and industrial partner facilities in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Butler, Pennsylvania. The work is anticipated to be complete in March 2011.

BAE Systems was originally awarded this contract from AM General in August 2009. The company has partnered with Ibis Tek for the design and manufacturing of VEE Windows since 2006. BAE Systems offers survivability system, design, development and integration expertise. Ibis Tek brings experience in manufacturing and designing transparent armor products.

The patent pending VEE Window kit is part of BAE Systems’ Readiness and Sustainment capabilities and features what the company describes as a simple, intuitive design that enables soldiers quickly to exit the vehicle in case of an emergency. The front ballistic windshield can be easily released and pushed out, allowing soldiers to exit the vehicle in only seconds.” With few moving parts, the VEE Window requires minimum maintenance, a very low life-cycle cost and can be installed in the field by trained Army and Marine maintenance crews,” the company aid.