Telescopic rails strengthen combat-ready vehicles

June 1, 2008
A war zone is no place for parts to fail. With ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense contractors are busy supplying ever sturdier components

A war zone is no place for parts to fail. With ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense contractors are busy supplying ever sturdier components and equipment to soldiers in the field. BAE Systems, a global defense and aerospace company headquartered in London, recently developed the RG33 series of mine resistant, ambush protected vehicles, also known as MRAPs. The RG33 series is the latest version of mine-protected vehicles designed by BAE for enhanced blast protection and combat capability. These vehicles incorporate the newest designs in protecting against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), small arms, heavy machine gun fire, and mines.

According to BAE, the RG33 series of vehicles features more than 90% parts commonality, which provides savings in acquisition costs, operations, maintenance, and program management. This commonality streamlines the supply chain and allows production lines to cost-effectively deliver a variety of vehicle configurations based on customer requirements. Telescopic linear bearings from Rollon Corp., Sparta, N.J., were among the components used where parts of the vehicles were required to move beyond the mounting structure and carry excessive weight.

Denise Bryson, BAE's program manager for heavy armored ground ambulances, explains, “We were looking for a material that would help with the loading of casualties, which can be extremely heavy by the time human weight and equipment weight are factored in. The conditions these vehicles are used in are extreme, so it's critical the parts we specify are highly durable and can function without failure during combat.”

All of Rollon's telescopic rail products have 60 HRc hardened races, which allow for heavy capacities and long life. Even when placed in environments with extreme shocks and vibrations, the slides have remained durable. The telescopic linear bearings are made from cold-drawn bearing steel and operate like industrial drawer slides. A pair of rails can repeatedly and continuously extend up to 6.5 ft. while carrying a cantilevered load up to 9,000 lb. For more information, call (877) 976-5566 or visit

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