General Kinetics History

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General Kinetics has been supplying dampers for demanding applications for over 30 years. Back in 1981, shock absorber manufactures offered little more than overgrown car shocks to military customers, clearly inadequate for the application but there wasn’t much of an alternative. No one was engineering and manufacturing a shock absorber to address the unique and specific needs of the Military. We were founded by a small group of engineers who were working elsewhere in the shock absorber industry and recognized the unmet need in the marketplace. We formed our company around the idea that the needs and wants of the Military customers were distinct and therefore engineering a damping solution should be as well. That was…and still is…the key to our success.

Starting with a contract to supply spare parts shock absorbers for the Army’s M60 in early 1982, we have grown considerably and now make a broad range of suspension dampers and systems. We make the shocks for virtually every active tracked vehicle in DoD’s fleet. We provide suspension components and systems to all the major US Military Vehicle OEM’s, and we supply shock absorbers for US-made military vehicles all over the world. We are not just a manufacturer who produces generic shock absorbers, but rather, we are an Engineering company that specializes in suspension and ride engineering to meet the application requirements. We first listen to the customer needs and engineer the suspension component to provide the desired ride. We then produce the damper in our purpose-built factory to ensure quality. We have successfully demonstrated ride improvement with all the major vehicle manufacturers on new and existing programs that resulted in a measurable increase in cross-country speed simply by adjusting the performance characteristics of the suspension to suit the mission.

In 2009 we acquired Active Shock, LLC and added cutting edge technology to our product portfolio. In 2008 Active Shock fielded the first production semi-active damping system on a military vehicle. Since acquiring the company, General Kinetics’ Active Shock products have found additional applications in seat suspension for construction equipment and blast mitigation seating to protect the soldier.

Most recently, General Kinetics launched a new product, Active Shock Management, as a way to revolutionize the aftermarket performance shock absorber market. In 2013 our first aftermarket partner, Viking Performance, won the prestigious “Best Engineered New Product” at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show for their Berserker “Performance Shock Absorber with Active Shock Management.

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