Published: 02nd October 2013
Modern Day Soldier Body Armour
Modern day body armour suits are designed for conquest all threats encountered on the battlefield. Nevertheless, when designed for ultimate protection, combat gear becomes quite profound that it hinders movement and maneuverability, limits peripheral vision and causes heat stress that harmfully affects performance, turning the protected soldier into a quarry.
Body armour has become a subject in all armies and law enforcement agencies, and is commercially available to civilians working in high risk situations. The productivity of vests varies, as protection, weight and comfort levels are proportional to their cost. Designers of personal body armour are trying to make a stable balance between maximum protection and comfort. Such armor should defeat multiple hits of high risk threats while sustaining the lowest possible weight, and provide the soldier with free movement, without ruining of his performance.
In the early days of body armour, body armour use to include a 'flack jacket' style vest, made of a soft fabric designed to protect the soldier from low-speed fragments, shrapnel and a harder ‘trauma plate’ placed over the chest, protecting the most sensitive organs from injury by a high speed bullet fired from firearms.
The 'combat assault' type vests were designed out of soft fabric made of glass fibers. Other vests that were much more advanced were made from synthetic aramid fibers such as Kevlar and Twaron. Vests that were made from Kevlar and Twaron provided superior protection.
Most vests are designed with special 'pockets' located in the front, back, and sides. This is where you can place protective panels. These panels are made of High Density Polyethylene (HD-PE) or ceramic materials.
A selection of composite materials offering different ballistic protection levels, costs, and weights become available. Costs vary, depending on protection level and weight of the armor. Lighter materials are normally more expensive than heavier materials. Panels covering large regions provide more protection for soldiers' vital organs, but they tend to be heavier and constrain the soldiers' movement. To withstand the heavy weight, the armor must be well designed and utilize every weight distribution system.
The United States Army is issuing an improved Outer Tactical vest (IOTV) for the Interceptor Body armour suite (IBA). Two types of materials that are being used to create this personal body armour are High-Performance Polyethylene (HPPE) fibers, also known as Spectra or Dyneema, along with several compositions of Aramid fibers, also known as Kevlar or Twaron fibers.
While the bullet-proof vest and body armour provides successful protection from low-velocity fragments and some high-velocity projectiles, effectual protection against common war ground threats, such as AK-47, requires enriched protection by special inserts, designed to withstand these high risk threats.
Advanced body armour and assault vests are made as modular sets, capable of expanding their protection against certain threats, at an affordable weight and cost. The notion calls for the use of maximum protection panels, formed to fit into special pouched built into the vest, to protect organs.
SafeGuard Armour Ltd
Leading body armour designer and online retailer,www.SafeGuardArmour.co.uk builds custom made body armour systems based on threat level specification. SafeGuard offers multiple threat protection to Police, Governments and the Public. For more articles on body armour have a look at www.SafeGuardClothing.co.uk.