New Body Armour

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Bad_Crow, Jul 20, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I'm currently in the hilly dust bowl rather than the flatter one.

    Our platoons are all being issued with the new Osprey body armour. (I think its called that) Basically its the huge stuff that weighs more than a full set of webbing, Is to bulky to lie down in let alone crawl. Oh and no matter how hard all of us try we cant get the weapon firmly in the shoulder when firing at the stand. Its causing Numbness in the arms of smaller blokes and is hurting the chest of bigger blokes. So I ask.

    Who the fcuk designed this dog sh1t body armour?
    Who trialled and tested it?
    Who gave it the go ahead?
    Who has the power to get rid of it?

    I'd rather go for less protection but more ability to move and fire my weapon. Not to mention be able to carry my kit.

    Lets hear your thoughts
  2. You would think they would have the sense to field test it first, as in try firing the a2 with the armour on, and try crawling about with it on before issueing it out to everyone. Only testing that appears to have been done is seeing the effects of ballistics on the armour. So if - because your body armour stops you moving properly - you take a bullet, it wont matter, because the body armour is so good. But if its the body armours fault in the first place....? Confuzzled meself i has..
  3. That would be the lowest bidder.

    Some bureaucrat with more interest in it’s cost than ease of use.

    That wont happen until the bean counters have had their moneys worth out of it.

    It’s bad publicity for the MoD if you get killed while wearing wafer thin body armour, at least if you get shot in this they can lay the blame on you by saying he wasn’t fast/fit/smart enough.

    Cynical? me?
  4. My thought exactly. Don't get me wrong. We have seen one twotted with a 7.62 AP round that has stood up to it. But soldier B wearing the old stuff would have been hard targetting instead of becoming a kevlar figure 11.
  5. Well my other question is i am choosing to wear the old stuff for my own peace of mind. On the sly ofcourse. If i was to get shot in the stomach or straight through the plate what would pax say.
  6. - NP Aerospace I think. In close consultation with us, the user.
    - The user.
    - The user.
    - The user.

    All comments/suggestions on improving Kestrel or Osprey could be sent to the Defence Clothing and Textile Agency, I imagine your unit could do this via their SITREPS to PJHQ. They would welcome constructive criticism.

    In response to your comments:

    - It may be heavier than your webbing, but it was designed to be worn as your body armour and webbing as one.

    - If it's causing numbness in people's arms I suggest the first thing to check is whether it is fitted correctly and the arm guards are attached properly. If your CQMS can't provide the right size, it's not the fault of the body armour is it.

    - The front and back plates offer superb protection. If you want to remove it to make yourself more mobile, that's up to you. But I know what I'll be doing.

    In short, Osprey was developed in very close co-operation with the user. It offers excellent protection and cost three times as much as the old stuff due to the nature of the materials used. It is a bloody good bit of kit, and is by far the best body armour available anywhere.
  7. They wouldn't pay up you mong. You have been issued the best body armour available and chose not to wear it. Go figure.
  8. Designed to be used as webbing. Thats interesting. Because the pouches that come with it dont house 3 magazines. When fitting PLCE pouches the cheap arrse strapping snaps. The user no longer has the use of his brecon pockets due to the body armour being on the outside and his bergan and daysack no longer stays on his shoulders regardles of size. But thats okay because they put on 4 clips so you can wear 1 of your rocket pockets. oh yeah and i challenge any man to climb a wall in that stuff. Simply doesnt happen.

    PLCE webbing is the best webbing in the world in the opinion of many. They finally got it right. It just seems like some remf who sits in a DAF all day has said "Lets where ten tonne of armour. The kiwi's armour is awesome bar some shoulder fastening issues.
  9. So ask your Q bloke for some more ammunition pouches. A fault of the supply chain, not the body armour.

    Constructive criticism. Make sure your unit mentions it in its SITREP.

    As above

    A side effect of the extra protection granted. Protection or mobility - the Army chose protection following TELIC 1 (they don't want another Sgt Roberts).

    A case of the grass is always greener perhaps. Make sure your unit sends its feedback - the manufacturer is very good at making changes requested by the user at short notice. As a matter of interest - does your Osprey have a green or black liner?
  10. I was speaking to someone at Cranfield university last week who i think may have helped test the new system and they know what the limitations are with it, much to his own frustration.

    The problem is issuing a generic item that is good in blast and also direct small arms contact. Whether you protect the neck and groin etc, is also a consideration although the boffins know that it affects mobility, sight alignment etc. The problem they face is a changing design criteria. When several fatalities come from RPG fragments or blast, then Whitehall go mental about providing blast type protection, then they go to another design criteria when direction is given when small arms contact fatalities occur. It would appear that for British soldiers, historically, protection has not been the main issue as opposed to other kit. Nowadays the emphasis is more public opinion driven and health and safety etc and therefore the job a soldier is expected to perform has given way to their protection.

    Ultimately there should be a body armour design for top cover etc and another for foot slogging. As already pointed out cost is a big driving factor.

    There is no easy solution as different sized soldiers will each have their own problems with the kit, and the threat level also dictates the protection. It is virtually impossible to provide the ultimate CBA and make everyone happy.

    What the chap at Cranfield University emphasised was that they are trying their hardest to come up with a solution and are constantly completing extensive testing prior to issue in theatre although constructive feedback is always welcomed. Presently the CBA is the best protection available and can withstand a great deal more that the CBA issued by our coalition friends, whilst being more user friendly. Have a chat to the nations and see what they think of theirs. With the advent of new materials coming out on the market the improvements in CBA will occur, but they are making the best job as they can with the technology they have available, whilst trying to satisfy Whitehall policy etc.

    The Kiwis I served with on Telic has massive ceramic plates but could hardly move in theirs.

    As regrads the PAX cover, if you are not wearing issued kit, i would contact them about it directly as I had blokes in my unit unable to claim when they chose to wear non-British Army issue boots and then had subsequent problems.

    All the best out there and hope you have a safe tour.
  11. Crapspy has some good points but isn't the unit producing Equipment Failure Reports (by the unit I mean everyone in it, particularly those with the most knowledge of the equipment in its operational environment). EFRs are normally (from my experience) collated through the QMs chain. If they aren't being done I would suggest it be raised through the chain of command. If you have any serious suggestions for improvement (rather than highlighting its failures) complete a GEMS form, you may even get paid for it.

  12. Armour versus mobility, the dilemma is over 2000 years old. In theory, units would choose the level of protection they wore depending upon the mission, balancing the degrading aspects of wearing ba (including movement, marksmanship, load carrying, agility. fatigue etc) versus the benefits, particularly for static guards, overt patrolling, vehicle patrols etc etc. Bearing in mind that mobility and agility provide inherent protection. We eventually learned to do it with NBC and applied much the same in NI. I assume that unit policy is to favour armour over mobility. Hopefully for good tactical reasons rather than CYA (cover your a**se).
  13. An excellent point. Osprey will allow the user to add and remove plates as well as arm/neck guards. If you need mobility - go for the smaller plate and remove all the extra protection. If you're static or vehicle mounted I'd go for the whole kit and kaboodle!
  14. This probably won't come out as a hyperlink (I'm rubbish like that), but have a look at para 73 of the attached document.

    Whilst only one of many factors that has led to new CBA, I think it should provide some demonstration that the user has an input into such matters. Having confidence in the 'system' is extremely difficult, but it is trying to save lives, whilst achieving the mission.
  15. untallguy

    untallguy Old-Salt Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I know the lad at Cranfield University that Hescoheed is talking about. The guy is a bloody expert on the stuff and, being the absent-minded, white-haired academic duffer that is, lives for one thing - to provide the best body armour possible for lads on the ground. He understands the trade-off between mobility, protection, sustainment (ie weight to carry, how hot to wear) and cost (ie if we buy 20 000 of this type, can we afford this other kit?) and includes himself in the trials process (he runs marathons [albeit in a British summer] wearing the stuff).

    He conducts comparative trials against other nations' body armour on a regular basis (slightly more than just firing rounds at them - although he admits that bit is quite fun) and the designs fielded by UK plc score pretty well across the four criteria mentioned above.

    He is hamstrung, however, by the fact that he has to work to MOD design specs - which as Hescoheed mentioned - change frequently - often because of public perception of the threat to 'our boys' and not because of the militarily-assessed likely threat on ops. He welcomes feedback and constructive criticism (through chain of command) and, if supplied with enough caffeine, would happily work 24/7 to ensure that the body armour employed by UK plc is the best in the world.