New Advancements in Body Armor, 2017 Year in Review

Hagfish Slime
Slime from hagfish, a 330-million-year-old creature, is the central element of research in next-level bulletproof vests.

Rogersville, MO – -(Ammoland.com)- 2017 was an exciting year for advancements in military body armor, which will certainly find their way in manufacturing techniques in 2018.

In 2017, the U.S. military pioneered the use of an ages-old creature’s slime as body armor, which enables the creation of ultra-light, glass-like material that could be used as invisible bulletproof vests, and successfully tested bullet-pulverizing armor made out of foam.

Slime and foam are not exactly the first things that come to mind when thinking of body armor, but in this case they’ve proven quite efficient.

New Advancements in Body Armor

Slime from hagfish, a 330-million-year-old creature, is the central element of research in next-level bulletproof vests. This fish lives in the deepest depths of the ocean and scavenges the ocean floor for food, feasting on dying animals from the inside out.

Made of mucus and threadlike fibers, the clear slime’s fibers are ultra-strong and flexible. This makes them suited for use in protective equipment because the slime is so powerful that it has been the key to survive extinction after extinction — even outlasting the dinosaurs. Experts at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, in Florida, are studying the hagfish slime to use it for military applications. They believe it could be used to build bulletproof armor that is stronger and lighter than the ones currently available — even armor like Kevlar.

Another exciting advancement is a new generation foam that stops even armor-piercing bullets. And it doesn’t just stop bullets — it destroys them, decimating rounds into dust.

This special type of foam, called composite metal foams, or CMF, was developed at North Carolina State University. In tests, the team shot at the foam body armor with 7.62 x 63 mm M2 armor-piercing bullets and, on impact, the foam smashed them into powder. On the side of the foam armor that faces the wearer’s body, the bullet was only able to cause an 8 mm indentation on the back.

Both the military and law enforcement have shown interest in continuing tests with this foam to see how it can be integrated in advanced, ultra-light body armor to protect personnel even from these incredibly dangerous, life-threatening rounds.

The NCSU team is also working on a foam with potential to keep military and first responders safe from radiation and extreme heat.

Army's new Modular Scalable Vest, Body Armour

Army's new Modular Scalable Vest, Body Armour
Army's new Modular Scalable Vest, Body Armour

As the Army continues to upgrade military body armor to increase protection from bullets and fragments, Army the new Modular Scalable Vest, or MSV, has passed the final round of field-testing and will be integrated in the Army's next generation Personal Protective Equipment system.

 

Safeguard Armor MilTac Military Body Armour
Safeguard Armor MilTac Military Body Armour

This vest is the result of five years of research and has undergone four versions and an additional two versions of the Soldier Plate Carrier system before being officially approved. Once the evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach soldiers in the field by summer of next year. Soldiers currently wear the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, or IOTV, which debuted in 2008.

 

Some of the innovations of the new system include a rubber-like material with laser-cut slots replacing most of the pouch attachment ladder system on the IOTV. The improvement still allows soldiers to affix mission essential gear to the vest, while reducing overall weight.

The new MSV weighs only 11 pounds, cutting down on the weight of a soldier’s load. With ballistic plates, the MSV weighs approximately 25 pounds, which is five pounds lighter than the IOTV. It is a huge improvement over previous body armors.

Soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan will also benefit from the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, which meets Program Executive Office Soldier's goals of providing Soldiers with the most advanced protective gear available while also improving comfort and mission effectiveness. The IOTV retains its protection properties, but is more than three pounds lighter than the current OTV. The weight was reduced by eliminating overlap but there other improvements as well. The addition of a single-stage quick release to the front of the vest allows a Soldier to doff the IOTV and its attachments with one pull. The vest then falls to the ground in two pieces and can be put back together in minutes. Comfort and utility features are also part of the improved design, such as the overhead opening. The IOTV is a result of research and development that began with a body armor industry day in the spring of 2006.

“Our friends at SafeGuard Armour offer affordable body armour for civilian as well as military use.” ~ AmmoLand News

Safeguard Armour

About SafeGuard ARMOUR

At SafeGuard ARMOUR we have invested years of research and industry expertise into the development of high performance body armour that is lighter, more flexible, more comfortable and offers unbeatable protection. The superior quality of our products and our personal approach has been the foundation of our reputation as a highly trusted, leading global armour manufacturer. We are very proud to serve and supply militaries, police forces and security companies around the world. Our passionate and knowledgeable team are always willing to offer advice and ensure that you get the perfect body armour to suit your needs.

For more information, visit: www.SafeGuardArmour.co.uk.

  • 7 thoughts on “New Advancements in Body Armor, 2017 Year in Review

    1. I don’t buy – even for a second – that some product pulverizes metal rounds, armor-piercing or not. My guess is that they used a non-metal round for the advertisement (and that’s just what it is) just to generate splashy interest.

    2. Did get your 330 million years from the same people that tested Mout St Hellen rocks and said they were 40,000 years old ? And the rocks were formed in 1980 when it ruptured.

    3. Why do phrases like “even from these incredibly dangerous, life-threatening rounds” appear in a post written by supposedly savvy gun people. Do they mean 9MM, .223, or 50BMG? Come on, what is “an incredibly dangerous, life threatening round? Should I be asking Pelosi, or Shummer, I’m sure they know.

      1. I know what you mean but ya gotta realize that hype is written for the public in general, to promote their product, not for us. I don’t think they intentionally mean us any harm, they just forgot to call us for a proofread! 🙂

      2. As noted in the article (just below video still of foam block), “In tests, the team shot at the foam body armor with 7.62 x 63 mm M2 armor-piercing bullets and, on impact, the foam smashed them into powder. On the side of the foam armor that faces the wearer’s body, the bullet was only able to cause an 8 mm indentation on the back.”

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