Saturday, July 16, 2011

Asia Military Review 2011-06

BODY ARMOUR has previously not been designed for integration, instead it has been designed to hang equipment onto. Body armour clothing and webbing are now being sought within an integrated package into and onto which Power, Weapons Optics, C2 Devices, and Load Bearing Equipment can be integrated into a system. Technology Advancements for plate armour are limited. It remains a largely immutable fact and typically when weight savings can be found, the materials technology used is often prohibitively expensive. Modular armour is not a panacea either as it also carries a generic weight penalty versus a dedicated single purpose vest. In the US, both the Army and Marine Corps have common goals in body armour. For the Army, work led by RDECOM in Soldier Protection materials and design are seeking a reduction in body armour weight by 30-40 percent in general by FY 2014 with specific reduction in the weight of ESAPI/XSAPI plates by 15 to 20 percent. For helmets those capable of providing 7.62mm protection will drop 30-40 percent and those tasked with protection from fragmentation by half. The Marine Corps are less publicly prescriptive but also emphasise integration and load reductions as key issues in their science and technology goals with their work on a Headborne System - pursuing solutions that integrate modular protection with sensors, heads up display, and power while the Lightweight Individual Modular Body Armor (LIMBR) - pursuing lighter ballistic plates, light weight modular and tailorable soft armor for the torso and extremities, and new combat helmet designs with equal or greater protection.