Military Linear Actuators

Linear actuator manufacturers and suppliers of high precision linear servo actuators for military and defense applications
Overview Military Linear Actuators
By Staff Writer Last updated: March 6th, 2024

Linear actuators convert energy from one of a number of possible sources into straight-line mechanical motion. They are used in a wide variety of military and aerospace applications and exist in many different forms.

Electric linear actuators deliver excellent precision, making them ideal for accurate positioning and targeting applications, and are relatively low-maintenance. They require a power source, and may be limited in the force they can output compared to other actuator technologies.

Linear servo actuators are a specific sub-type of electric actuator that convert the rotary motion of a servo motor to linear motion, and benefit from the precise positioning and fast response time that servos offer. Both servo and stepper motor based linear actuators may be programmable for precise motor control.

Hydraulic linear actuators have the potential to deliver higher output force than electric actuators, making them suitable for applications requiring the movement of heavy loads. They are more complex and require more frequent and thorough maintenance, and are also at risk of fluid leaks, which can pose risks to military personnel.

Mechanical actuators translate mechanical motion from manual human input or from machinery into linear motion, using mechanisms such as gears, cams or screws. They are relatively simple mechanisms but may lack the accuracy and precision of other actuator technologies. They are often used on military aircraft for applications such as flap movement.

Military Applications of Linear Actuators

Military Linear Actuators

Military-grade linear actuators are used in a wide variety of land vehicles and platforms for applications such as opening and closing doors and hatches, and precise positioning and aiming of turrets and weapons systems. They may also be used for automatic cocking of weapons located on the exterior of the vehicle, allowing the crew to remain inside.

Aerospace Linear Actuators

Aerospace-grade linear actuators are used for a range of flight-critical purposes, such as the movement of flaps and surfaces, the opening of payload bays and doors, and the positioning of weapons, sensors, and antennas.

Naval Linear Actuators

Naval-grade linear actuators for use on board vessels and submarines may be used for steering and propulsion control, elevation of guns and weapons systems, and opening and closing of hatches and doors. They may require some level of resistance to marine conditions, from salt spray through to full immersion at depth. Submersible actuators may be made of corrosion-resistant materials such as titanium, marine stainless steel and marine bronze, and may also be designed to withstand greater pressures.