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June 11th, 2009

Ceradyne adds helmet capabilities to protection porfolio

Published on June 11th, 2009 | By: pwray@ceramics.org
Credit: Diaphorm

Credit: Diaphorm

The acquisition of company that makes advanced military helmets broadens the strategic position of one of the leading ceramic armor makers in the United States. Ceradyne Inc. has announced that it has purchased the New Hampshire-based Diaphorm Technologies, a company that has been making innovative ballistic combat and non-combat helmets using proprietary technology. Already, Ceradyne is leveraging its new wing to respond to solicitations for new helmets for the Army and Marine Corps.

While business for defense-related businesses hasn’t been great, Ceradyne has been buoyed by recent demand for its ceramic inserts for combat vest. The company has also been sitting on a nice hoard of cash, about $220 million at the end of 2008. It is paying about $10 million for Diaphorm and given its cash position and the bargain prices that some companies might be going for, it wouldn’t be surprising to seem other acquisitions.

Ceradyne’s says its goal is to be “a world class manufacturer of Enhanced Combat Helmets.” With Diaphorm’s technology, Ceradyne hopes use its skill at high-volume technical manufacturing, supply-chain management and defense procurement skills to bring a nice addition to its product line and bottom line. Diaphorm’s uses Continuous Fiber Reinforced Composites to make its personal protection devices.

In a news release, David Reed, Ceradyne vice president and president of North American Operations is optimistic, “The acquisition paves the way for our entry into the protective combat and non-combat helmet market. This acquisition combines excellent technology with our ability to produce high-volume protective products for military applications.”

Indeed, Reed also says, “We’re also pleased to announce that yesterday we submitted the Ceradyne-Diaphorm response to the multi-year U.S. Marine/Army Enhanced Combat Helmet urgent and compelling substantial requirement.”

The Marines recently issued a solicitation for proposals to provide Enhanced Combat Helmets. The solicitation also contains the option to provide helmets to the Army.


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