Military contract provides boost for Lee-based glass manufacturer

Protective Armored Systems Inc. is expanding its facilities after receiving multiple orders from the military for bullet-resistant glass barriers.

Tom Briggs, PAS vice president, said the company has been awarded $10 million in contracts from the Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command to provide windshield and door glass for Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan.He said two other contracts are being sought.

Founded in 1992 in Pittsfield by Phil Martino, PAS is based in a 30,000-square-foot facility at 100 Valley St. The company is adding a 15,000-square-foot addition, which is nearing completion.

Briggs said the company has grown from 25 to 40 employees, and expects to increase its work force by another 20 percent to 30 percent as a result of the military contracts.

Employment increase

PAS produces glass and polymer laminate barriers used in automobiles, aircraft, boats, buildings and retail stores. Briggs said about half of the company's business is related to the military.

The company received contracts in December and February, and it was awaiting a contract extension this week, to provide 3 1/2-inch thick, ballistic glass clad laminate barriers for the Humvee, or high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, that serves as the Army's basic light transport vehicle. In addition to protecting against projectiles, the barriers must not interfere with the operation of night-vision goggles.

The barriers consist of a 3-inch-thick glass outer surface, with a half-inch polycarbonate interior surface to prevent shattering. The polycarbonate material is supplied by Sheffield Plastics, Briggs said.

PAS is delivering the barriers to different Army depots. The service is installing the barriers in doors and frames and sending the units as kits to Iraq and Afghanistan.

600450 Military contract provides boost for Lee-based glass manufacturer
Date: 17 June 2004

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