2009/11/06

Body Armour (Update)

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Six months ago I wrote about body armour and how the current trend is probably a very wrong one in regard to conventional warfare. Conventional warfare would require a much better fragmentation protection, and much less bullet proofing than the recent occupation wars.

Now I finally found a company (Kirasa) that actually offers a near-full body fragment protection; 80% protection against weak fragments and short heat exposure, greater fragmentation protection for head and torso. This may be the way to go - and the vest also accepts plate inserts for torso protection against rifle bullets.

Their product website in English (basic concept info)

Their product website in Russian (much more info)






The latter translated into English (thanks to Kaur and google):


MILITARY PROTECTIVE KIT (MPK) "PERMYACHKA"

In most armies in the world of modern means of body armor - helmet and flak jacket, and their total area of protection does not exceed 30 - 35% body surface area, thus remain unprotected limbs and face of the soldier. At the same time, statistical analysis of the causes of losses among military personnel during combat operations in modern conditions has shown that over 75% of them are on ballistic injuries, 80% of which are caused by the impact of fragments of shells, mines and grenades, more than half of these injuries have on the upper and lower limbs. These facts provide irrefutable evidence of the lack of protection, a fighter, equipped with a bulletproof jacket and traditional helmet. To address the comprehensive protection of a military personnel company "Kirisa" in conjunction with leading scientists and specialists of the Ministry of Defense developed MPK "Permyachka." This outfit a soldier of the XXI century is made of aramid materials, and provides a circular ballistic protection not less than 80% body surface area from low-speed fragments as well as protection against short-term exposure to open flame. The basis of the suit, depending on your choice of usage, make overalls or protective jacket and trousers. Torso of a soldier is protected by a more reliable light fragmentation vest, to protect vital organs from damage by bullets of small arms bullet-proof vest reinforced steel or ceramic armor, the other elements of the ballistic protection, part of a package - helmet and protective mask. In addition to the ballistic-protected equipment, set "Permyachka" incorporates elements of the camoflage (for summer and winter conditions), vest designed for easy placement of the weapons, ammunition and other items of equipment, raid backpack, etc. - a total of 20 items. Using the MPK in the military units of Joint Military Group that conduct counterterrorism operations in the North Caucasus region of Russia confirms its effectiveness at protecting personnel and high ergonomics; According to the participants of tests, the use of MPK preserves ability to fight and the life of a real soldier in combat conditions.
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I cannot tell about the real quality of the product, but the concept is most promising.
The current crop of body armour does nothing about the fragmentation threat to limbs - that would cause many avoidable casualties against any OPFOR which uses fragmentation munitions (~everything of calibre 30-155mm). A wounded infantryman with years of training is useless for weeks or months. The frag protection deficit would help OPFOR to quickly thin out the ranks of the already quite small infantry ranks of modern Western armies.

The only relevant fragmentation weapons in use against Western troops as of today are rarely used and often ill-aimed mortars as well as RPGs (which have fragmentation effect only as a by-product).

There's also very little public sensitivity to WIA, while those KIA get the headlines.

Both in combination lead to the focus on life-saving heavy/hard body armour for torso protection - and no protection to speak of for limbs.
That's simply not the way to go in major conventional war.


S O
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2 comments:

  1. I wonder how heavy it is? US forces in Afghanistan are struggling with their existing body armor due to excessive weight (up to 40lbs with ESAPI plates).

    There is a movement afoot to equip them with non-ballistic plate carrier vests that are much lighter.

    I can't imagine a full body ballistic suit will be very light (or breathable).

    ReplyDelete
  2. They didn't answer my inquiry so far.

    I assume that the light limb protection weights about as much as typical plate inserts for front and back torso protection do (late 80's fragmentation protection torso vests weighed about 3-3.5 kg).

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