MCL confirms role as UK MoD’s leading hearing protection supplier
Published 5th June 2017
Cohort plc company Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) has strengthened its position as the UK Ministry of Defence’s leading supplier of hearing protection systems for the military with two further contracts worth a combined £5.5 million.
MCL has received a follow-on order worth £3.2 million for its S10 Tactical Hearing Protection Systems (THPS) that provide hearing protection for RAF, Royal Navy and Reservist personnel, while also capturing a new contract to provide In Ear Communication Devices (IECD) for RAF pilots and air crew. The latter contract has an initial value of £2.3 million over five years with options for a further two years.
MCL works with Danish-based INVISIO Communications A/S to supply THPS for the Dismounted Close Combat User (THPS DCCU). The system is an in-ear hearing protection and communication system for use on a single radio and consists of an in-ear hearing protection headset with control unit housing the electronics for situational awareness and impulse noise protection. It is made up of two components the X5 Bone Conduction Hearing Protection Headset and the inline control unit.
The two agreements bring to five the number of hearing protection contracts MCL have been awarded in the last two years; including Tactical Hearing Protection Basic User, THPS DCCU and Communications Ancillaries and Hearing Protection for specialist users. To date these contracts total nearly £30 million.
MCL has teamed with Banbury-based Advanced Communication Solutions (ACS) for the RAF and air crew systems. ACL is a proven supplier of hearing protection systems to the music industry and motor sport, while MCL will be responsible for the design, manufacture and integration of the harnesses and the overall project management of the programme.
Each IECD will be customised with a moulding service ensuring all personnel are equipped with a capability unique to their requirements both personally to ensure maximum comfort and technically based on the attenuation requirements of the platforms on which they operate now and in the future.
The solution is already proven in-service with the RAF and the Royal Danish Air Force and incorporates venting for rapid in-flight altitude changes without discomfort and a unique acoustic filter. The filter attenuates noise without blocking the ear completely, providing air crew with the ideal balance of hearing protection and Situational Awareness (SA), while the earpieces are manufactured using a unique grade of silicone refined through trials and proven by aircrew to provide maximum comfort in the ear over prolonged periods.
MCL has responded to MoD requirements for variable attenuation performance, SA, venting, monaural or binaural aircraft intercoms and helmet types with its modular custom IECD ‘VAMP’ capability.
‘VAMP’ is affordable, practical, supportable and future proof. Attenuation filters are removable to ensure the correct attenuation dependent on aircraft noise and can be modified to accommodate changes driven by new aircraft and legislation without the need to supply new custom ear pieces. This future proofs the solution and offers substantial savings in through life costs.
MCL Managing Director Darren Allery commented:
“These latest contracts underline our position as the leading supplier of hearing protection for the UK Armed Forces. THPS DCCU is already proving to be a major success with tens of thousands of systems in use, while we will be working closely with ACS to ensure that RAF air crew benefit from the latest technology through the supply of further bespoke advanced systems.”