Magazine article National Defense

New Body Armor to Lighten Soldier Load

Magazine article National Defense

New Body Armor to Lighten Soldier Load

Article excerpt

* Fielding body armor that is both protective and light has long been a challenge for the Army, but a new material that can reduce the weight of products by 30 percent is making its way into protective gear.

The Army in December awarded a contract for the Generation II Soldier Plate Carrier System to Point Blank Enterprises. The new torso armor provides the same level of ballistic protection as the improved outer tactical vest, and it incorporates a product called Dyneema - a flexible, lightweight polymer fiber that is 15 percent stronger than steel.

Dyneema fibers are fused to form a unidirectional material, where all of the fibers are aligned the same way, said Sophie Wray, regional marketing manager for manufacturer DSM Dyneema's life protection Americas group. Layering this material so that the direction of the fibers alternate gives Dyneema its bullet-stopping power. …

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