Osprey: is it really that crap?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by DPM_Sheep, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. Being a blunt Crab my own experiences with Osprey armor have been pretty limited up till now but while poking about wikipedia I came across the Osprey entry.

    Osprey body armour

    Now normally, I take wiki with a large dose of salt but that's quite a slating and seems to fly in the face of the impression I've got from Osprey users and comments on here.

    So, how much of it's bull or does it really have that many problems?
  2. Thanks for the link, Ferret. Buggered why I didn't find that with search....
  3. I wear Osprey every day. It's got to be safer than CBA so, if you can wear it and still do your job (which I can), then it's all good. It's certainly heavy but it's actually fairly comfortable as the weight is fairly well distributed across your shoulders and around your body. I gather that there's a new cover out but I don't know if this addresses any of the durability problems.
  4. Its surprisingly comfortable for a piece of kit weghing 22 lbs; down to the cover which wraps both around your waist and at the sides.

    The ammo pouches are poor in that they fall open to easily, answer is to buy some big strips of velcro as a fastener. A lot of the blokes from 1 RGR also bought drop pouches for empty magazines - these fasten at the left thigh and despite looking gay are actually very useful.
  5. Although there are some pouches issued with the Osprey System they are really a hang over from old stock. The latest assault vest has a raft of different pouches and they all fit the Osprey cover.

    The Osprey cover is now up to version 3 with version 2 on general issue and version 3 getting close to procurement. Each one is better than the last both taking into account user feedback and also the better ideas from industry. Many of the user criticisms of Osprey is about Version 1 covers of which there is still a few about in theatre. The priority was to get the capability out to the troops. User trails and development would have produced a better system but ask those who have had their lives saved by Osprey in the early days if they would have rather the system was 100% before it went out!

    Yes it is heavy but to reach the levels of performance demanded it needed to be. 'Son of Osprey' is likely to be lighter and more modular. Wait Out+
  6. I think its great. Some teething issues and needs better / more ancil-pouches but had faith in the protection it offered. Some guys used to bitch about it "bein no good in a section attack!" we didnt do many of them though. I think it was designed to be able to remove the plates if situation required it and ecba plates could be inserted instead I found it very comfortable once my core body strength had improved a bit. Found you could slide your head back down into it for a kip if you were sitting right and be quite comfortable with only your eyes peeking out.

    Anyway - I think it would do its job - improving your chances of surving a surprise attack (sniper / IED) to decide if you want to remove the plates prior to your counter-attack.
  7. silly question time, but is Osprey only for desert use, I've seen it mentioned that it will not be used in more temperate areas and hence it will only appear in desert DPM?
  8. It's a thing of necessity; ie, it is issued where it is required, at the moment that is on ops in Iraq and Afghan. I imagine in the future if we are conducting high intensity/high risk ops in a greener theatre where there is a specific threat of a nature that requires this type of protection, an evaluation of the risk will be conducted and we may be issued with similar.
  9. I read with interest complaints about the weight of Opsprey. I am currently wearing US issued body armour and, with ammo and water, it weighs well in excess of 50 pounds. It is, however, very well made and showing no signs of ripping or anything like that.
  10. If there was a change in theatre you would have to wait for a couple of chaps to get blown up first, then have a big hoo-haa at home, just before an election, and then, just maybe, the politicians might cough up the cash required to buy a few covers in DPM. Or am I being cynical?
    US armour would be made in the US at a bit more expense, where as ours is probably knocked together by the cheapest sweat shop in the east somewhere.
  11. Sorry a long one but there are a few big errors in these threads that as a serving soldier working in this area I cannot let go unchallenged!

    Keeping in mind the name of the page you are looking at I can confirm that future-rupert is talking out of his.

    Osprey plates and covers are not made in a sweat shop in the East. The covers are made actually in the west, west UK that is near Barnstable. By the same company that makes much of the kit that we, and the US and many of the worlds SF use. They work hard to keep in front of the sweat shops by producing quality kit, no small feat when labour costs are so low abroad. If the kit fails it will be because we, the MoD, did not ask for certain stitching in certain places. The plates and the fragmentation filler are not made very far afield either but I won't go into details.

    The reason that the covers are in desert DPM is simple. Osprey has been purchased under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) for TELIC and HERRICK. Under those funding rules when those operations stop the ECBA comes back out and the Osprey is not maintained any longer. As Osprey is funded by a desert UOR it needs a desert cover. Osprey has no funding outside of a few training sets in UK. Making temperate covers (desert is also DPM) is a 5 minute job. Apart from some recent anecdotal feedback from the troops working in the Green zone on HERRICK no one, I repeat no one has convinced theatre to ask for green covers. If they want them they will get them. Money is not a deciding issue on Body armour at all.

    2 final points: Project PECOC will address bringing full coverage body armour into core and in additional there is a new Body Armour policy doing the round at main building that is addressing the ‘standard issue question’. Wait out+

    The US have draconian laws about not going outside of the US to procure called the Berry Amendment. It is universally despised by the US procurers at it forces them to use only the best that is in the US (not the best available) and they pay through the nose, often up to 3 times more for the same kit. They get around this by encouraging non-US firms to set up in the US so that they can claim they are buying US kit.
    I know that some people like to see conspiracy and cost saving in every kit bag. In this area they are misguided. Keep this is mind: Osprey was designed by a serving officer, tested by serving NCOs, funding was secured by a serving officer, it is currently issued by a serving Warrant Officer and its replacement is being pursued by a serving officer with feedback from troops of all ranks. Maybe future-rupert, when you are trying to get stuff onto the backs of your comrades and mates, you may show a little more understanding of the issues and be less inclined to jump to incorrect assumptions.
    Rant over.
  12. They obviously weren't infantry then i take it. It is badly designed for infantry personnel.
  13. Fallschirmjager,
    Wrong, infantry were involved in its procurement and continue to be involved in developing the next version of the covers

    I don't deign its not ideal for anyone to be carrying that amount of weight around. I am also not saying that it does not impact on agility. It undoubtedly does. I was not around when it first came in but I am aware of its rapid development. From the UOR hitting the desk it was procured in 12 weeks, that’s a new plate, a new cover and new fragmentation filler. The thought process was, and I agree with it, that’s its better to get the system out to the troops quickly and then sort out the users issues rather than spend months in development time while potentially people die.

    Every time substantiated comments come back from theatre they are incorporated into the next version; some of them are small like stitching reinforcement and others are bigger hence the version changes. . Version 3 of the cover is almost ready for procurement (after trails by the infantry again) so hopefully many of the things that make it 'badly designed for the infantry' will be rectified. Meanwhile work progresses on lighter plates, better integration and modular load carriage systems.
  14. I'm surprised they got it so wrong! The protection is great and i'm happy with it in my WMIK, though the blokes foot slogging it who have to carry the weight of it, try and fire a rifle properly with it and sweat in it are far from pleased with its design. Many in my unit have bought the Blackhawk plate holder, have done away with ospray and just put its plates in the blackhawk. Much more comfortable and at £60 not bad at all.