The all-composite cab is light, durable, and strong enough to carry the heaviest armor and mine-blast protection, says TPI. It will let soldiers carry more armor, ammunition, and equip ment because it weighs hundreds of pounds less than cabs constructed with conventional materials. For example, it can accommodate 400 more pounds than its aluminum-based counterpart.

The cab is also said to be able to carry the latest armor, something the aluminum design can't do. This would allow for a weight savings far exceeding 400 lb.

TPI collaborated on this project with Oshkosh Truck and the University of Delaware's Center for Composite Materials.

"This technology, along with advanced armor, let us increase reliability, performance, and protection of platforms on which it is installed. It is a leap forward in vehicle manufacturing," says John Stod dart, executive vice-president, and president Oshkosh Truck defense.

The prototype vehicle will go to Aberdeen this summer for road testing. Additional prototypes are expected by year end.

Oshkosh Truck Corp., (920) 235-9150, oshkoshtruck.com

TPI Composites Inc. (401) 247-4010, tpicomposites.com

The prototype all-composite cab from TPI Composites Inc. is the result of a two-year R&D program with the U.S. Army Tardec and will be used for the HEMTT A-3 truck (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck), made by Oshkosh Truck.