03 May 2023
The M2 / M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles were developed in the early 80s and manufactured by FMC, which is now a part of BAE Systems. The vehicle was designed in the time before General Kinetics existed, although the principals of General Kinetics were, through their former employer, acquainted with the FMC Engineering team.
The Engineering team at FMC had a particular ‘wish list’ for what they wanted to see in the design of a shock absorber. Their initial supplier, a large business, had their own design protocols and while the product they supplied met the official specification, it was a long way from meeting the desires of the Engineers who were trying to create a truly high performance, state-of-the-technology fighting system.
We listened to the FMC Engineering team and set about to design not one but two different systems that were developed around their ‘wish list’. As a start-up business with only 13 employees, we spent a year on development and in 1984 delivered a fully tested and qualified damping system to FMC for field testing on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as well as another, smaller but equally high-performance damping system for their M113A3. After a successful 6,000-mile test with no failures, our design was approved for both service and OEM usage on both products.
Results & Benefits
The M113 and the Bradley are two of the most enduring vehicles in the fleet. To this day, General Kinetics remains the only qualified supplier of the damping system for that vehicle. Since 1984, we have supplied in excess of 100,000 Bradley dampers and over 500,000 M113 dampers. The basic designs are the basis for a number of other products sold world-wide, both for military as well as civilian uses, in stationary as well as mobile applications.