Press Releases

Saint-Gobain awarded major contract to supply sapphire armor


MILFORD, N.H., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Saint-Gobain Crystals has been awarded a three-year contract, valued at approximately $20 million, to supply the U.S. Army and Marine Corps with sapphire engineered armor and tooling to make bulletproof windshields and door windows for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Launcher.

(Photo: )

This next-generation transparent armor replaces conventional glass-glass armor.  The superior mechanical and optical properties of Sapphire armor meet the higher threat levels that combat vehicles now endure while providing greater than 50 percent weight savings, better night vision effectiveness and higher lifetime durability in challenging environments (including the desert).

Saint-Gobain's plant in Milford, New Hampshire, will supply the armor products, which consist of large sheets of sapphire laminated with multiple layers of glass and polycarbonate.

According to Natesh Krishnan, director of global sales and marketing, "Saint-Gobain won the contract because our sapphire-glass armor solution met the Army's demanding performance requirements for a high-value vehicle.  This innovation will also offer additional protection to soldiers in the field and is the first large contract of its kind for high-end armor. Our sapphire armor provides superior ballistic performance combined with weight reduction, enhanced transmission capabilities for night vision and sand abrasion resistance. As sapphire is second in hardness only to diamond and is chemically inert, it is excellent for use in sandy desert conditions, and resists etching from gases emitted after a rocket launch."

These next-generation innovative transparent armor-window products were developed at the Milford plant using Saint Gobain's extensive materials' expertise.

Saint Gobain Crystals will display its innovative armor products at the upcoming AUSA (Association of the United States Army) show in Washington D.C. on Oct 22-24, 2012. 

About Saint-Gobain
Located in 64 countries and headquartered in Paris with nearly 195,000 employees, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, designs, manufactures and distributes building materials, providing innovative solutions to meet growing demand for energy efficiency and for environmental protection. For more information about Saint-Gobain, please visit

Saint-Gobain Crystals, a division of Saint-Gobain, is headquartered in Hiram, Ohio, and is a world leader in the design and implementation of crystal-based technology for radiation detection, optics, and sapphire components for industrial, aerospace and defense applications..  With operations in North America, Europe and Asia, Saint-Gobain's Crystals division engineers materials and supplies components and sub-systems for the international medical imaging,, energy exploration, electronics, aerospace and security markets.

About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain has 265 locations in North America with approximately 19,000 employees producing sales of almost $8 billion. These well known companies include CertainTeed, SAGE Electrochromics, Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Saint-Gobain ADFORS, Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America, Saint-Gobain Glass, Saint-Gobain Solar and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

For information about Saint-Gobain Crystals, visit 
For information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit

Bill Seiberlich, Saint-Gobain



SOURCE Saint-Gobain