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Archive for the ‘Armor’ Category

Armour Wear Releases Its SPARC Lite Carrier

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Black1

Aug, 31st 2015: Armour Wear, the leader in tactical products innovation has officially announced its newest entry into the industry; The Special Purpose/ Application Releasable Carrier (SPARC) Lite. The SPARC Lite plate carrier is a non-quick release version, of its most recently released hard use carrier (the SPARC). The SPARC Lite will still accommodate standard 10in X 12in hard plates, along with soft armor liners. The only difference is the SPARC Lite will be offered without the Quick Release Buckle (QRB) system (The SPARC Lite will still retain a two-step method of doffing). This will allow customers a deeper cost savings, while still enjoying all of the quality and features of the SPARC. The QRB system can then still be purchased later on by the user directly from Armour Wear.

Always having the consumer in mind, Armour Wear has the SPARC Lite rated at a $204.95 MSRP, and the QRB system at $99.95 MSRP.

Learn more at: www.armour-wear.com

Angel Armor Receives National Recognition Through NTOA Member Tested And Recommended Program

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Fort Collins, CO (PRWEB) August 25, 2015

Angel Armor, LLC (“Angel Armor”) today announced Angel Armor Ballistic Door Panels have received the highly respected National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) Member Tested and Recommended status.

Products are tested and scored in 13 possible categories on a scale of zero to five. The Ballistic Door Panels have been recommended by the members of the National Tactical Officers Association, receiving an overall score of 4.88. One Law Enforcement Product Reviewer awarded the Ballistic Door Panels a score of five in all 13 categories, totaling a perfect score.

“We all agreed that having the IIIA door panel gave us a sense of confidence that it can provide cover during surprise attacks,” said NTOA Member and Product Reviewer. “I do not go on the street without my vest, and now I do not want to go without my Ballistic Door Panel. We are now looking into getting the ballistic panel for the rest of the fleet.”

Angel Armor Ballistic Door Panels give Law Enforcement the advantage to protect and respond. The thin and lightweight design installs with unprecedented ease, the fastest in the industry.

“Our panels provide more than just protection, they instill confidence and ultimately peace of mind.” said Dave Goldfain, Director of Sales and Marketing for Angel Armor.

armor.angelintelligence.com

Beez Combat Systems – BALCS Cumber Carrier

Monday, August 31st, 2015

BALCS Cumber Body Armor Carrier Multicam Black Front

Beez Combat Systems has released an updated version of their BALCS Cumber Carrier. Made of Cordura nylon, the BALCS features a full cummerbund with three rows of PALS webbing for modularity. Internal front and back hard plate pockets are sized for SAPI, ESAPI, SWIMMER, and Rectangle cut plates. A built in front Kangaroo pouch allows for storage of two magazines, and Velcro on the front and back allows for name tape and ID patches. Additional features include adjustable shoulders, a reinforced drag handle, and vertical webbing for QASM buckle attachment.

As you can see in the photos, the carrier is available in MultiCam Black, which is a new colorway that extends to all Beez products. Made in the USA.

Additionally, Beez Combat Systems is attending the upcoming NTOA Tactical Conference and Trade Show. They will be displaying the BALCS Cumber Carrier in Multicam Black at booth #328.

www.beezcombatsystems.com/BCS-BALCS-Cumber-BCS-B-CUMBER

FirstSpear Friday Focus – Aegir-38 Added To AMU List

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Congratulations to FirstSpear! Thier Aegir-38 has been added to the NAVSEA Authorized for Military Use list.

FS_Aegir38

AMU Approved Maritime Plate Carrier: # 1.1.17

The Aegir-38 (pronounced eye-jur) is a ballistic protective rifle plate carrier with integrated inflatable tactical aid to flotation devices specifically designed for combat swimmers/divers as well as personnel conducting maritime airborne operations.

Aegir38_rebreather_1605

It offers the ability to attach multiple re-breathers for use in closed circuit diving operations via FS Tubes closure technologies as well as backpacks and other emerging FS capabilities.

  

In addition to internal Bouyancy Compensators behind the carrier’s plate pockets, each Aegir-38 has a two bladder emergency tactical aid to flotation capability consisting of two CTAF (Cummerbund Tactical Aid to Flotation) located inside the cummerbunds. Each system includes two welded flotation bladders, two inflation systems, and two firing handles. The bladders are reusable welded fabric that position under the arm when deployed manually by the two 38 gram CO2 cartridges. There are two oral inflation tubes for a secondary inflation method located on the CTAF.

FS_Aegir_CTAFFlotation

When activated, the Aegir-38’s integral Bouyancy Compensators provide:
-45lbs (20kg/ 200n) positive flotation in seawater at a depth of 33′(10m)
-57lbs (25kg/253n) of positive flotation at a depth of 15′(4.5m)
-73lbs (33kg/324n) of flotation the surface

FirstSpear BCs are installed in mesh chambers behind the plate pockets, offering a minimum of 10LBS (4.5KG / 45N) of lift per set in size M-XL Swimmer Cut vests. The BC can be user configured for either left or right hand operators and can be inflated/deflated individually or connected for one inflation/deflation point. When inflated they provide airflow channels aiding in air flow to the operator as well as some distribution. During independent testing in support of NAVSEA the BC also reduced Back Face Deformation (BFD) significantly when used inflated during ballistic resistant testing against specified high velocity rifle threats.

FS_Aegir38003

For non-diving operations any of the FS Standard land cummerbunds can be used as well as the two inch belly band for extreme hot environments or confined work space. All land and flotation cummerbunds for the Aegir-38 secure with the FirstSpear Tubes closure system. The Aegir-38 is designed to be used and maintained at the Operator level and with limited training can be repacked and one hundred percent operational in under 30 minutes.

FS_Aegir38002

Additionally, its streamlined design incorporates Dual, Built-in Radio pockets, accommodating PRC-148 or PRC-152 radios, extra magazines and/or med supplies. Thanks to a channel stitch design, shoulder straps on the Aegir-38 are designed to allow the operator to cut off excess material without degrading the stitching of the whole shoulder strap.

Here is some video from certification testing.

I’m impressed that they got this added to the AMU list as a BC. But, if you’re like me, you’ve wondering this whole time where the name comes from, so I asked Jon Laplume and he directed me to this:

In Norse mythology, Ægir (Old Norse “sea”) is a sea jötunn associated with the ocean. He is also known for hosting elaborate parties for the gods. Sea Giant who likes to party? Sounds like a SEAL named Dave Kent to me.

www.first-spear.com

Chase Tactical – Warrior Wednesday – Warrior Assault Systems DCS Plate Carrier Officially Approved by LAPD

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Warrior Assault Systems is proud to announce the DCS Plate Carrier in Black has been officially approved by the Los Angeles Police Department and added to the Official LAPD Approved gear list. By receiving the LAPD Approved certification, this now allows officers in the LAPD to individually purchase and use the DCS Plate Carrier during duty.

Warrior Assault Systems DCS LAPD

The Warrior Assault Systems DCS Plate Carrier was approved after a substantial evaluation period.

The DCS (Dynamic Combat System) is a lightweight armor carrier, with removable sides. Can hold Soft Armor Front and Back and in adjustable side pouches, is also capable of holding large ballistic plates front and back, and 6 x 8 side plates.

The DCS is fully adjustable for height and width, comes with 3D Spacer mesh lining for cooling and comfort.

The Warrior Assault Systems DCS Plate Carrier is currently available in Black, MultiCam, Coyote, OD Green, Ranger Green, A-TACS-FG, and A-TACS-AU

All Warrior Assault Systems products are made from genuine U.S. Mil Spec materials and hardware.

www.ChaseTactical.com

Beez Combat Systems – Low Vis BALCS Carrier

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

The Low Vis BALCS Carrier from Beez Combat Systems was designed to accept SPEAR BALCS cut armor and is sized Small – X-Large. It’s made from Mil-Spec materials right here in the USA.

Beez Combat Systems LVBC Low Vis BALCS Armor Carrier Left Side angle mags

General Features
-5″ heavy-duty 3 cell elastic cummerbund – supports 6 magazines
-Front 2 magazine kangaroo pouch
-5×7” Front pocket/pen holder
-Vertical webbing for QASM/Swift buckle attachment
-Accepts BCS Tactical Load Mount Platform
-Adjustable shoulders
-Internal hard plate pockets support SAPI/SWIMMER/Rectangle cut plates
-Front and back Velcro for Name tape,ID, blood type..etc

The LVBC (Low Vis BALCS Carrier) is available in MultiCam, MultiCam Black, A-TACS AU, A-TACS FG, Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Mandrake, Kryptek Typhon, Coyote, Khaki, Ranger Green, OD, Wolf Grey, Woodland and Black.

www.beezcombatsystems.com/BALCS-LVBC-BCS-B-LVBC

Armour Wear Introduces The Special Purpose/Application Releasable Carrier (SPARC)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

This is the latest presser from Armour Wear.

Armour Wear’s SPARC system meets Warfighter’s needs

SPARC1

Aug, 11th 2015: Armour Wear, the leader in protective armor innovation has officially announced its newest revolutionary product; The Special Purpose/ Application Releasable Carrier (SPARC). The SPARC plate carrier is a fully adjustable and releasable, hard use carrier that will accommodate standard 10in X 12in hard plates, along with soft armor liners. This unique plate carrier uses a proprietary Quick Release Buckle (QRB) system which allows the user to doff the carrier in less than one second. This is essential for users in maritime operations, or in the field that have been injured and require immediate emergency attention. The SPARC comes apart into two separate pieces when the QRB latch is activated, when you are ready to put the carrier together just snap the buckles into each other. “It’s as easy as snapping a duty belt in together” says Robert Scott (Owner-Armour Wear).

SPARC4

The SPARC was created in cooperation with the U.S. military and their recent directive for a new weight distribution plate carrier system. This plate carriers intended purpose was perfect balance, and weight distribution for the ground operator. Armour Wear will be the first to offer this technology to the industry, they will be offering this system to the Military, Law Enforcement, and Civilian markets. This system has three main components; the spinal support brace, battle belt system, and plate carrier. The battle belt and support brace are still under development, but the carrier is ready to go. Armour Wear saw the need to bring this product out first. With the addition of the QRB, an operator can click the buckles back together in a snap, and have a working carrier in seconds. Armour Wear also saw the opportunity to delete the use of any Velcro on the main access points of the carrier, instead the QRB doubles as the carriers retention buckles. Always having the consumer in mind, Armour Wear has the SPARC rated at a $295.95 MSRP.

Learn more at: www.armour-wear.com

More SPS-TEP Shenanigans

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

In case you missed last week’s post on the US Army’s Soldier Protection System – Torso and Extremity Protection program’s issues regarding contracting and requirements changes, you need the go back and read it because there were a lot of revelations by a guy who works for the company that originally developed the winning system for the USMC, before it was adopted by the Army.  A commentor who adopted the monicker “Nice Try” made some interesting assertions about the government design as well as the program overall, and even went so far as to admitting to purchasing at least one commercial armor vest while working on the Scalable Modular Vest program. I’ll call that his “Edward Snowden” moment. It’s an accepted fact in the international community that governments spy on one another. Nobody makes any noise about it unless obvious evidence is presented and that’s exactly what Snowden did when he disclosed classified document after document detailing US intelligence operations. Naturally, some of those governments complained.  The same goes in the tactical industry. Companies know that their competitors are buying or otherwise getting ahold of their products but no one says anything, until someone admits to doing it. “Nice Try” is that guy. His employer should expect some fallout over his actions. He also made statements that led us to believe that his company continued to work on the SMV after it was not adopted by the Marines, and picked by the Army as their SPS-TEP candidate.

One of “Nice Try’s” claims is that no commercial technologies were transferred into the SMV design but this assertion was later disputed in a comment by TYR Tactical CEO Jason Beck. In particular Beck is concerned about his patent pending ballistic vein which looks surprisingly similar to the “card” found in the MSV during industry day.  

  
This “card” was not a component of the original MSV tested by the Marine Corps so it had to have been introduced to the vest sometime later, after it was chosen by the Army to be their SPS-TEP candidate. TYR Tactical’s patent pending ballistic vein on the other hand was a component in their vest design submitted to the program via their prime, Point Blank. I asked Jason Beck to amplify information regarding the ballistic vein in his comment on the original post and he provided this statement.  

I originally designed the ballistic vein in the summer of 2010 as part of our Modular Scalable Tailorable (MST) system, which was down selected by PEO for that solicitation. There were two original intents for the advent of the vein. (Editor’s note: MST was one of the Soldier Protection Demonstrations which were designed to investigate various commercial armor technologies.  For example, SPD 7 resulted in the adoption of the Soldier Plate Carrier System.)

The first intent was to increase load carriage performance specifically for a tactical nylon carrier. Historically, tactical carriers have lacked stability and rigidity. For example, if you try to set one up vertically on a table or on the floor, it will likely just fall over. Once the carrier is being worn, the same lack of structure affects the wearer’s overall load carriage when placing pouches, tools or any additional weight to the nylon. The result is pulling or sagging of the carrier, ultimately causing fatigue due to improper load carriage.

The second intent was to incorporate the vein as part of an overall system to enhance ballistic performance of both soft armor and plates. When we tested the vein in our system (and in conjunction with other manufacturers armor), it actually enhanced the overall ballistic performance of both fragmentation and stability throughout first, second and third round hits of 9mm. Back face deformation was reduced, and V50 performance was enhanced. The vein helps prevent bunching of the soft armor and supports the plates and soft armor to improve edge hit protection.

The vein has been presented multiple times to the Army in several solicitations and white papers since 2010, including the most recent SPS solicitation for which we were down selected with our former partner for SPS. Our tactical carrier and ballistic vein were submitted along with PPEs soft armor solution. The vein was an integral part of every iteration of the system that we submitted for SPS. Obviously, the TYR Tactical/PPE system was not chosen, although a ballistic vein is present in the Army’s final selection.

We have placed the vein in all of our tactical systems, and many of our other ballistic and load carriage products since it was developed in 2010. It’s original intent was solely for tactical carriers and vests, but based on the performance we have seen, it is also incorporated into multiple ballistic products ranging from low vis carriers, collars, throats, biceps, belts, etc.

What is disheartening about the vein showing up in the system that was chosen for SPS, is that we followed the process as it was presented to us, and we were assured that process would be fair and open. We went down the path to protect our IP by filing a patent, which was well documented at the beginning and throughout every step of the SPS submission process. Industry was given left and right limits to follow, but in the end those same standards were not applicable to the Army’s selection.

Ultimately, along with many other factors, led me for the first time in 17 years of business, to come to the decision to file an official protest

Based on statements by Jason Beck and “Nice Try” we know that the Army saw the technology several times and in particular during the SPS-TEP source selection process. As far as we know, it was not present in any of the other candidate’s vests during the solictation and it is not a common item found in commercial or government design armor vests, so we can say that it was thought to be unique to TYR Tactical. Yet, both have similar designs and seem to function in a similar manner. We are not sure when the Army introduced it to the government design except that it happened after the USMC accepted the original MSVs but prior to the end of the down select. Nor do we understand why and how the Army developed the card. Although TYR Tactical was a subcontractor on the SPS-TEP solicitation, they still submitted a protest due in part, to the presence of the card in the Army design, as well as other irregularities with soliciation. In responding to the protest, the Army failed to address their concerns.

Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection – Another System Built By The Lowest Bidder

Monday, July 27th, 2015

When the Army initially launched the Soldier Protection System program in 2013, contracts for soldier systems items were falling off drastically and companies were more than happy to participate with the promise of developing a new, leap ahead system consisting of multiple components. It was exciting. SPS was touted as the future and industry wanted to be a part of it.

To give readers a frame of reference, here is a basic description of Soldier Protection System – Torso and Extremity Protection:

SPS-TEP is a PEO Soldier sponsored development program managed by LTC Kathy M. Brown, PM Soldier Protective Equipment. While it includes armored combat clothing (BCS), Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP), and new Load Distribution System (LDS), the heart of SPS TEP is the Modular Scalable Vest, one of four systems which integrates into the SPS TEP and consists of a low profile vest with four soft armor panels (one front, one back, and two side cummerbunds) covered in a camouflage cloth and hook and loop. Like current systems, soft armor panels are inserted into a tactical outer carrier that also accommodates hard armor protective inserts. The tactical outer carrier also contains two side plate pocket that will accommodate soft armor inserts. The outer carrier is made of a flame resistant outer cloth, webbings, hook/loop, polyethylene stiffener, a quad-release system, and several other non-ballistic materials.

There is also a Load Distribution System designed to offer the capability to redistribute the weight burden on the torso vest and load bearing while being carried horizontally, close to the body’s center of mass. The LDS is an integral part of the SPS TEP design with the LDS belt containing soft armor that provides fragmentation and handgun protection to the lower back and abdomen region. The LDS will provide Warfighters with the ability to mount additional equipment directly to the belt using the MOLLE retention system. The ruck integration component includes: a frame adapter, torso vest compatible shoulder straps, and an LDS belt adapter.

Unfortunately, the program faced an early misstep when the original solicitation was released, canceled and then a revised version reissued not long after. Industry trust was shook when elements of industry bids were integrated into this new requirement for all to see. What companies considered advantages over others in the process were now there for all to integrate into their proposals. Interegtating good ideas is something that should have happened earlier in the requirement process, during the Sources Sought phase, when industry is expected to help government refine their requirement by serving as a barometer and forming a vision of the state of the art. It’s not fair to write a requirement, open a solicitation and then close it, rewrite the requirement with elements of proposals and then resissue it with those new elements. But, this isn’t the first point of contention in the SPS TEP program. It’s an issue that has been constant throughout all components of the overarching program strategy. The big issue is that they were trying to save a buck on Personal Protective Equipment.

Across the board, within all SPS components and in spite of language in the 2014 and 2015 National Defense Authorizations Acts calling for the use of “Best Value” contracting, the solicitations have been issued under “Lowest Price, Techically Acceptable” criteria. This is an oversimplification, and I’m sure a contracting officer will comment, trying to justify the Army’s defiance of the Congressional language, but LPTA means that your body armor is assured to be made by the lowest bidder.

 
(Former PM SPIE COL Robert Mortlock (right) and current PM SPE LTC Kathy M. Brown (center) explains SPS-TEP to Vice Chief of Staff GEN Daniel B. Allyn (left) during a June 2015 visit to PEO Soldier.)

With SPS-TEP, the Army has taken LPTA to a new level. Despite having three vendor teams (Hawk, Point Blank and Safariland) with competitive systems that met all of the solictation’s requirements, PEO Soldier decided to enter a fourth, government owned solution cobbled together from different components. Naturally, that is what they selected. Of course, industry was disappointed. Why wouldn’t they be? They had spent millions of dollars to prepare their submissions. The heart of this winning government solution is a developmental USMC modular scalable vest that the Marines do not plan to field. After testing the vest, the Marines chose rather to purchase additional Plate Carriers.

  

These photos show Maj James Pelland, former team lead for Marine Corps Systems Command’s Individual Armor Team demonstrating the Modular Scalable Vest. Below, you can see him negotiating an obstacle course wearing the MSV. The bottom portion of the Load Distribution System is also visible in the photo, which allegedly still has some issues. Additionally, Maj Pelland doesn’t appear to be wearing any plates in the MSV.

 

On 21 July, 2015, Bethel Industries, Jersey City, New Jersey, (W91CRB-15-D-0019); Hawk Protection Inc., Pembroke Pines, Florida, (W91CRB-15-D-0020); and KDH Defense Systems Inc., Eden, North Carolina, (W91CRB-15-D-0021), were awarded a $49,000,000 shared firm-fixed-price contract for the Soldier Protection System modular vest by the US Army. These lowest bidders are manufacturing the Army’s design. It all sounds great for the bean counters. In fact, everyone would be impressed if what they were buying was what the Army said it actually needed at the outset of the program. Unfortunately, it would take a requirement change to do that, and that’s just what they did.

In spite of all of the other issues, this next bit is probably the most disheartening part of the entire affair. The “Army” system didn’t meet all of the requirements of the solicitation, so they changed them mid-program. There are several minor conundrums such as the Load Carrying Equipment not quite working in concert with the Marine Corps body armor vest, and an immature Load Distribution System, but the most dramatic of these changes is the decision to drop the requirement for female fit body armor. The MSV option the Army has selected, doesn’t feature a female fit at all.

 
(PFC Cheryl Rogers grins as 2LT Chelsea Adams helps her into the new Generation III Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest, Nov 28, 2013. The Soldiers, who are part of the 1st ABCT Female Engagement Team, Third Infantry Division, were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.)

The Army, who not long ago drew praise from Congress for their multi-year effort to develop a female version of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), decided to leave female Soldiers high and dry in the future by simply eliminating the requirement. They’ve put years into developing female body armor and now, they just toss it aside. To make matters worse, they are still under contract to work on improving female body armor fit with the firm, Body Lab.

Consider this; as of fiscal year 2014, women represent about 14 percent of the active Army, 23 percent of the Army Reserve and 16 percent of the Army National Guard as of fiscal year 2014. With the Army working to open additional positions in combat formations to women, this move can only be seen as a step backward.

Ultimately, SPS remains a developmental ‘science project’ with limited buys and actual system testing to commence after the new year. There is no promise of full type classification and issue across the force. However, while the Army was sure to have learned much from the program, and in particular from the commercial designs it evaluated, millions of dollars and countless hours were expended by both industry and government in pursuit of this requirement. It would be a pity if it turns out in further testing that the Army backed the wrong horse while trying to save a couple of bucks. Their actions regarding PPE contracts have certainly garnered the attention of those on the Hill who hold their purse strings. To make matters worse, they’ll probably have to explain why they failed to capitalize on their work to offer PPE for females and end up spending even more taxpayer money when several viable options were at their fingertips throughout the down select portion of this program. Conducting program after program where there is no return on investment for industry is starting to wear thin.

Shellback Tactical – Banshees Back In Stock

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Banshee

Shellback Tactical now has Banshee Plate Carriers in Black and Coyote in-stock and available for purchase. MultiCam and Ranger Green will be available in a few weeks.

www.shellbacktactical.com