New EOD suit


Book Reviewer
From Defencenet:

Scientist sees fruits of labour in Iraq

A Ministry of Defence scientist who helped to improve the design of a protective suit worn by bomb disposal experts is now working in Iraq close to a military team who are actually using the suit.

Suits you. Scientist Mark Brown in the bomb disposal suit [Picture: Corporal Anthony Boocock]
Scientist Mark Brown is just completing a tour as the Head of the Operational Analysis team working in the Headquarters of the Multi National Division (South East) based in Basra.
Mark normally works in Ambridge as the Lead Deployable Analyst for 1 (UK) Armoured Division in the Land Warfare Centre. The post is a two-year detached duty from the Defence Science and Technology Division.

"I was the junior member of a team which looked at the development of the Mark VI version of the suit used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams," said Mark. "The three things we looked at were; a more effective visor, greater ballistic protection to head and body and a higher level of impact protection around the head.

"Other departments looked at other aspects of the suit design," added Mark, who was on a two-year training scheme in 1999-2000 with the Defence Clothing Textile Agency, Science and Technology Division at Granchester.

During this time he also passed his Master of Science in Systems Engineering.

"We were working closely with the customer to find out what improvements we could make to help them perform their job more effectively. Part of this required working with Defence Equipment and Research Agency on trials.

"There were problems with the inflexibility of the two protective plates in the Mark IV suit and the helmet’s visor was quite a large piece of glass, which was difficult to manufacture effectively.

"With the visor we wanted to make a smaller version without reducing the operator’s situational awareness and to stop it misting up on cold mornings. We looked at motorcycle helmets – particularly those that lifted up, as these provided good head coverage. We needed a closer fit round the face so that the operators had more protection when working closely over a device.

"With the demisting we looked at sprays etc. But then we found a manufacturer which used a thin layer of metal laminated to a Perspex sheet which could be seen through but could also be heated. Using an environmental chamber to do trials, it proved very good and the idea is now in place."

The Mark VI EOD suit is now far superior to the Mark IV in almost every way and is now being used on operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It even has its own air conditioning system for use in very hot conditions.

"The Mark VI is much more user friendly for the operator. It's much more dexterous when you're down at the target end," said Staff Sergeant Don Cabra , one of the EOD specialist serving in the Maysaan region of Iraq who has used the new suit on several occasions.

"The development on the visor is good. It doesn't mist up like we ones we used in Northern Ireland and it creates greater all-round visibility and therefore a much safer environment," added SSgt Cabra.

Some name changes to protect the innocent citizens of Ambridge.....

Le Chevre
Haven't used the new suit yet myself, but those who have say thatalthough its slightly heavier than the Mk IV its much easier to move in. Which is nice.

I did wonder why they posted a link to the RE "bomb disposal specialist2 career page when they don't use it. Only RLC units for this, I'm afraid. :wink:
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