TECHNOLOGY: Conflict-driven improvements in body, vehicle armor

January 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm Leave a comment

Force Protection

The challenges of counter insurgency and unconventional warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan have sparked several innovations in armor development for both individuals and vehicles over the past decade.

Pvt. 1st Class Cheryl Rogers grins as 2nd Lt. Chelsea Adams helps her into the new Generation III Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest, Nov. 28. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Emily Knitter)


Pvt. 1st Class Cheryl Rogers grins as 2nd Lt. Chelsea Adams helps her into the new Generation III Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Emily Knitter)

From mine resistant, ambush protected vehicles to better ballistic protection in helmets and outer tactical vests, the services’ research labs, university and corporate research divisions have been working to keep the troops safer.

One development that might come as a surprise to some was the Army’s development of female-specific body armor. For years, more and more women soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen have been going in harm’s way to do their jobs as drivers, pilots, mechanics and Female Engagement Team members.

But until 2009, little or no study was given to making generic body armor fit a woman’s body. As one female soldier said “a woman in not a small man” but the ballistics vests that female soldiers and Marines were required to wear “outside the wire” were still too big, or too long or too constricting.

Now,  the Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Massachusetts has come up with eight different sizes of female body armor in two different lengths and the women who have tested them give the new vests high marks.

To read more of my story, click here to  go to the Institute for Defense and Government Improvement (IDGA), which is holding a conference on body and vehicle armor next month outside of Washington, D.C.

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Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Iraq, National Security and Defense, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

AFRICA: Food for Thought FRIDAY FOTO (January 18, 2013)

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