Mikro-Pulssi Oy offers effective fire protection for armoured vehicles


Date: Issue 18 - October 2009

The above example illustrates why it is important to have an automatic fire protection system installed in the vehicle. By detecting and extinguishing a fire in its early stages, it is possible to completely avoid or minimize the consequences that a fire might have. These include personal injuries, damage to equipment and systems, and costly vehicle downtime. A fire protection system can even save the lives of the crew.

The danger of fires and explosions cannot be completely avoided when operating in military environments. A vehicle fire may result from various causes, including the following: a problem in the engine compartment, such as short circuit or oil leakage, a human error, such as careless handling of ammunition, or a hit by an incendiary weapon, such as Molotov cocktail.

To ensure crew and vehicle safety, a growing number of new and upgraded military vehicles are equipped with an automatic fire protection system. A typical system provides protection for both the engine compartment and the crew compartment.

Expertise in military fire protection

Mikro-Pulssi Oy is an independent, Finnish company specializing in the design and manufacturing of automatic fire extinguishing systems. We are the leading manufacturer and supplier of fire protection systems for armoured vehicles in Finland. Our systems have been installed in several hundred military vehicles.

Our current system, named FP-10.4, combines high-speed operation with utmost efficiency and reliability. FP-10.4 is an automatic fire protection system specially designed for fast and reliable fire detection, alarm and extinguishing in various military applications. It protects the crew and the vehicle against all the above mentioned fire threats. The system can be operated automatically and/or manually in combat and training modes. The extinguishing system can be released manually at any time.

When the FP-10.4 system is in automatic mode and a fire occurs in the engine compartment, the fire is detected by heat detectors, the fire alarm is activated and the extinguishant is released automatically. If the system is in manual mode, extinguishant release is activated by manual operation. The engine compartment is protected against two subsequent fires. For example, in case of diesel engines, optimal extinguishing performance is achieved when the extinguishant is discharged into the compartment for 20 seconds.

If a fire occurs in the crew compartment and the system is in combat mode, the fire is instantaneously detected by flame detectors or heat detectors, the fire alarm is activated and the extinguishant is released automatically. In training mode, extinguishant release is activated by manual operation. An explosive fire is detected by flame detectors in 5 ms, and the fire is suppressed in 200 ms.

System performance has been evaluated in extensive field tests. The results confirm that the FP-10.4 system offers excellent protection against fires. The FP-10.4 system is currently in serial production.

The above characteristics make the FP-10.4 fire protection system ideal for military vehicles operating in conflict areas, for example in crisis management operations. The system is also well suited for armoured civilian vehicles, providing additional protection, for example, for the transport of money and valuables, and for the transport of high-ranking officials. The FP-10.4 fire protection system is safe for driver and passengers. Thanks to its flexible design, the FP-10.4 has so far been installed in such diverse applications as Patria AMV vehicles, Leopard 2-based bridge-laying vehicles, Leopard 2-based minesweeping vehicles and on anti-air missile platforms.

Our interest in Turkey

We are very interested in the Turkish market, because Turkey possesses high-level expertise in military technology. We are impressed by the broad scope of expert knowledge, and the depth of the knowledge, that defence companies have in the country. As a specialist in our field, we would like to bring our knowledge and experience of fire protection to the Turkish market.

We are represented in Turkey by our strategic partner AGS Ltd. Sti. Together with AGS we have carried out an initial assessment of customer requirements in the Turkish region. We have visited some Turkish companies, and, in cooperation with AGS, have had some Mikro-Pulssi products displayed at IDEF `09 International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul.

AGS personnel are skilled professionals with special knowledge in defence systems and applications. Furthermore, the company has good local knowledge and contacts. By combining our expertise in fire protection with the knowledge of AGS, it is possible to provide the vehicle supplier and the end customer with real added value. In cooperation with AGS we are willing to carry out armoured vehicle projects, focusing on the special fire protection needs of Turkish customers. From design stage onwards, we work together with our customers to find the optimal solution to their fire protection needs.

Future fire protection in military vehicles

With regard to fire protection in military vehicles, we think that in the future greater emphasis will be placed on environmental issues. Putting out a fire is in itself beneficial to the environment, because it prevents environmentally harmful combustion products from being formed and emitted into the atmosphere. In the coming years, more attention is likely to be given to the choice of the extinguishing agent and to the development of alternatives to halon. The work has already begun.

Another key issue is integration. As far as we can see, future fire protection systems will be sophisticated systems integrated into other systems in the vehicle, thereby enabling transfer of information between the systems.

A current trend that is likely to continue in the future is modernization. Military vehicles are being upgraded with added protection, including more effective fire protection systems.

Recognizing the challenges of the future, Mikro-Pulssi Oy is actively participating in the development of future fire protection technology. Our R&D department is constantly developing components with enhanced performance. Our solution for the near future will be the ExAct Titan fire protection system that represents an integrated, modular approach to fire protection. We supply a wide range of extinguishing agents, including a selection of halon alternatives. Mikro-Pulssi fire protection systems are so flexible that they can be installed in new vehicles or retrofitted to existing vehicles. All in all, we look confidently to the future.