WL Gore & Assoc

Archive for the ‘Armor’ Category

Ops-Core Special Operations Tactical Respirator

Monday, January 9th, 2017

There was a time when helmets were only worn by SOF for airborne operations. Now, it’s standard practice to wear both helmet and body armor in both live-fire training as well as operations. Similarly, when I joined the Army in the mid-80s, the only eye pro were crappy Sun, Wind and Dust Goggles. By the late-90s, effective eye protective glasses and goggles were standard issue and wear in garrison, as well as deployed. The same can be said for active hearing protection. While it’s still not universal, most service members have access to hearing protection with active noise reduction features in addition to their ear plugs. We’ve adapted to the realities of the threat environment and driven technology solutions to the point of protecting head, eyes and ears. Now it’s time to get serious about protecting our service members’ respiratory system.

I first saw the Special Operations Tactical Respirator in the Gentex booth at Warrior West and was immediately impressed. There is no active requirement for this product. Gentex saw an unstated need and spent internal R&D Dollars to create a solution. I have a lot of friends with heavy metal poisoning from years of operating in threat environments as well as training in shoot houses. You’ll pick up a lot of lead just breathing during training, but being deployed exposes folks to a lot of residual, environmental threats as well. In the case of heavy metals, they collect in your body and left untreated, poison for the rest of your life. Naturally, it’s best to avoid altogether, or at least mitigate exposure. That’s where the SOTR comes in.

Adapted from technology created for use in the F-35 Lightning II Program (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter Program) and leveraging over 35 years of other experience in the development of oxygen masks and CBRN equipment for aircrew and aircraft maintainers, Gentex Corporation designed its first respirator for ground applications, the Ops-Core Special Operations Tactical Respirator (SOTR). The new half-mask respirator will provide protection against a wide range of oil and non-oil based particulate contaminants encountered by Special Operations Forces, tactical operators or specialized law enforcement officers.

The half-mask respirator filter offers at least 99.7% filtration efficiency against airborne particulates including lead, asbestos, lubricant mist, and explosive gunfire residue. If it catches on, I can see future development of a filter for use against riot control agents and even CBRN threats for in-extremis use.

Key customer input driving the development of the respirator was that existing respiratory masks were excessive for the current threats they faced and that they did not integrate well with helmets or weapons systems. Employing their streamlined systems approach to design, Ops-Core developed the new respirator to provide protection without interfering with operator’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), and to seamlessly interface with weapon systems for optimal effectiveness.

Other key features of the low profile half-mask respirator include a microphone, compatibility with standard ground communications headsets, two exhalation valves for easier breathing, easy-to-adjust suspension straps for both helmet worn and helmetless wear, a flexible and lightweight silicone face piece to enable fit to a large variety of facial types, front mounted inhalation valve and cartridge ports for enhanced field-of-vision, and a quick, one-handed filter change. In addition to the strap seen here for stand-alone use, the SOTR will also attach to the FAST helmet in a similar fashion to the O2 mask used for MFF parachuting operations.

Available in early 2017, the Ops-Core Special Operations Tactical Respirator was developed at the company’s facility in Rancho Cucamonga, California, which is dedicated to the research, development, and manufacture of respiratory protective products for military and law enforcement professionals.

www.ops-core.com

Dutch Military Announces Smart Vest

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Beginning in 2016, the Dutch Army purchased 80 Smart Vests. The Smart Vest is a ballistic vest with an integrated, mobile communication system which includes GPS and Blue Force Tracking, and is a part of the material project, Improved Operational Soldier System (VOSS). With a comms package by the Israeli firm Elbit and battery and GPS systems from Thales Netherlands, the Army plans to begin fielding 5,500 examples of the Smart Vest in 2017.

In the photo below, from the Dutch Army newspaper, a member of C Company from the 42nd Battalion “Limburgse Jagers”, tests a prototype of the Smart Vest, which took place over a three week period. The evaluation results will be shared with the manufacturers for any possible improvements.

As you can see in this second photo, the Smart Vest is in the equipment camo variant of NFP. During the US Army’s Camouflage Improvement Effort, there was to be a family of camouflage patterns developed with three-to-four patterns, all sharing common shapes and geometry. The first would be for Transitional use. Additional bookends for Woodland and Arid environments were to be offered as well as an optional fourth pattern specifically for use with Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment, although most contenders chose to use their Transitional patterns for this purpose. The Netherlands Fractal Pattern program takes a similar approach, with specialty patterns for different environments. Coincidentally, this is the first public photo of the NFP equipment pattern. The combat shirt is a trial version as well, although it is in a Coyote color.

The Smart Vest is powered by the E-lighter, a Fokker developed portable diesel generator, which provides 48 hours of power. Like the Smart Vest, the E-Lighter is an independent subproject under VOSS, with development almost complete.

PPSS Group – Latest Bullet Resistant Vest Also Protects From Full Contact Shots And TASER

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Official test reports now confirm PPSS Group’s new NIJ Std 0101.06 Level IIIA Bullet Resistant Vests also offer protection from full contact shots, which form a fundamental part of the infamously stringent German Police as well as FBI Body Armor Test Protocol.


Being clearly delighted Robert Kaiser, CEO of PPSS Group said: “Launching our new NIJ Std 0101.06 Level IIIA bullet resistant vest today is a truly special event in itself, but knowing our body armour also protect from full contact shots means we have once again significantly improved the personal safety of those who serve and protect our countries and citizens.”

“Too many law enforcement officers are being shot by their own firearms from extremely close range. Understanding this particular risk was crucial during the development phase of our new high performance body armour.”

PPSS Group’s latest body armour also offer consistent protection from Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm, handgun rounds primarily used in the Russian Federation and Eastern European countries.

This advanced design has been successfully tested against a general issue TASER® device, which was recently conducted in a realistic operational setting – with a no effect on the wearer. The wearer was not incapacitated by the Taser discharge nor suffered any effects of the device.

The hybrid ballistic package has been created using a highly advanced new ultra-resilient European ballistic material, an integrated solution that combines high ballistic performance with a high level of comfort, improved flexibility, and substantially reduced Back Face Deformation (BFD).

Tony Welsh, COO of PPSS Group is highlighting the firm’s commitment: “We really are devoted to our continuous research and development. Our ambitious goal was to develop one of the best and operationally most sensible bullet resistant vests, and it is now clear that we have successfully reached our objective.”

“There is no question about it this standard is without any doubt the single most important ballistic resistance standards in the world. The latest is also the most stringent and most important version of it. “

A NIJ Std 0101.06 tested and certified body armour ultimately means increased protection for the wearer. It means reassurance and peace of mind knowing that a body armour is based on the very latest design and manufacturing capabilities and technologies. A detailed and very informative and useful article on this standard can be found here PPSS Group website.

A video featuring CEO Robert Kaiser being shot by a Glock 17 firing a 9mm Parabellum round from close range, highlighting the exceptional performance of this body armour is available for viewing on YouTube.

In case you have any questions or wish to discuss, please contact PPSS Group on +44 (0) 845 5193 95 email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com or www.ppss-northamerica.com.

MISSION SPEC – Essentials Only Carrier XL 

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Mission Spec has announced the public release of the XL version of their Ultra-light weight plate carrier. The standard version of the Essentials Only Carrier (EOC) fits Medium or Large (e,x)SAPI plates where the new XL version is designed specifically for the bigger Extra-Large armor inserts.

eocxl-release

The EOCXL™ is fully compatible with Mission Spec Shoulder Savers mkII™ and the recently released FlankSavers™ for adding side armor protection to the system. Users wanting more information are encouraged to watch the promo video for the standard (M/L) model located on the product information page.

The EOCXL is available for immediate order and can be customized for end user’s (individual/unit/department) specific needs. Customers seeking customization should contact Mission Spec on the website email contact form. 100% designed, tested, and manufactured in the United States, Berry Compliant, Limited Lifetime Warranty, and available in Mission Spec’s full line of available colors and patterns.

missionspec.com/products/essentials-only-carrier-xl-eocxl

US Army Patents New Blast Debris Protective Harness

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

This press release from the Army discusses a new take on the Protective Over Garment or POG program.  The commercial items they issued in the past, would be displaced by the negative pressure wave preceding the blast and frag wave.  Consequently, they weren’t as effective as they could have been.  I’m told this new system is a much closer fit, so it won’t move during a blast.


Engineers and designers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, have patented a blast debris protective harness. The harness is worn outside the pants and hugs the body without hindering movement. (Photo Credit: David Kamm)

Granted, it looks complicated in this photo, but it will make sense once you see it actually being worn in the next photo.

Below is the full Army story.

NATICK, Mass. — Engineers and designers at the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have patented a new design for a harness that protects its wearer from blast debris.

Worn outside the pants, the harness is designed to protect the groin and femoral artery and prevent debris from embedding in and around the groin. Such injuries can be so severe that repeated surgeries are often needed to remove the debris, leading to extreme discomfort as well as health and hygiene issues. The harness has also been adapted to provide fragmentation protection.

Project lead Kristine Isherwood said NSRDEC began designing the piece of equipment after a joint urgent operational needs statement was issued for blast debris protection, while the Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment looked for commercial off-the-shelf solutions.

“The protection that existed before was letting debris in because it wasn’t fitted close enough to the body,” said Cara Tuttle, an NSRDEC clothing designer and design lead. “Soldiers weren’t wearing it often enough, and it didn’t come down inside of the leg to protect the femoral artery.”

Before arriving at the harness design, NSRDEC considered several others, including under-trouser, within-trouser, and over-trouser designs. The ultimate design for the harness uses multiple layers of Kevlar that alternate as they overlap.

“A layer overlaps in one direction, then the next layer overlaps in the opposite direction, and it keeps alternating,” Tuttle said. “This creates a better barrier for small [debris fragments], which would have to zig zag through all these layers to get through.”

The resulting design hugs the body without hindering movement or range of motion. Project engineers partnered with NSRDEC’s Human Factors and Anthropology teams to achieve the snug fit. The design makes use of adjustable straps and buckles that allow for easy doffing and donning.

“It was challenging to add layers and area of coverage without impacting movement,” said Isherwood. “Whether you had to climb in a window or kneel, [the harness] needed to stay in place, but also allow full range of motion. The uniqueness of this design is that it’s stable but moves with you.”

Tuttle, who worked in the apparel industry for a number of years before coming to Natick, and Isherwood say they are dedicated to improving the quality of life and safety of the warfighter.

“There is nothing in the [apparel] industry quite like what we do here at Natick,” Tuttle said. “We are helping to protect the men and women who are protecting our country. Our work … has the potential to save lives.”

“[Our Soldiers] are volunteering to be put in harm’s way,” Isherwood said. “So anything I can do to protect them without compromising their effectiveness is the goal. That’s what we are trying to do every day.”

As with many protective items developed by NSRDEC, the innovation is expected to benefit the not just the warfighter, but also may, in the future, be licensed for use by first responders.

Armor Express Announces Two Executive Appointments in Support of the Company’s Federal Law Enforcement Market Expansion Initiatives

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

CENTRAL LAKE, Mich., Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (“Armor Express”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance body armor solutions, announced today two strategic hires as the Company continues to expand its presence in the Federal Law Enforcement market. These hires follow the Armor Express’ previously announced $94 million Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity contract award with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Joining Armor Express as the new Director of Federal Sales is industry veteran David Jones. He has been brought onboard to lead the Company’s Federal Sales initiatives, which include sales strategy, client management and overall market expansion programs. Mr. Jones joins the Company after a distinguished 20-year career, having most recently served as Sales Director for Saxon Security, Inc. In this position, he was responsible for product marketing and sales, client service and channel management, working with prestigious customers including the U.S. Secret Service, FBI SWAT, FBI Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF), Amtrak Police Special Operations, HIDTA (U.S. Federal Drug Task Force), and numerous police departments. Previously, Mr. Jones held the position of Sales Manager, Law Enforcement at Hesco Group, where he oversaw sales of hard armor products to both U.S. and Canadian Law Enforcement. Earlier in his career, he was the Business Development Manager at ALM Tech Corporation, responsible for setting sales and distribution strategies and securing strategic partnerships in support of the Company’s Federal, domestic law enforcement and Special Forces business units. Mr. Jones is a graduate of Penn State University, with a B.S. in Finance.

Additionally, the Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Jake Hayes as Federal Sales Manager. He will be responsible for developing and servicing Federal agency contracts and working with the team to expand the Company’s reach. Before assuming this role, Mr. Hayes served as Sales Specialist for the Federal Government market at Code 3, Inc., where he oversaw Government Services Agency (GSA) contracts and worked with procurement agents from various agencies, including the FBI, CIA, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, DEA, National Park Service, NASA, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and U.S. Air Force. He also held sales management positions with Blue Eagle Investigations, One Call Care Management and Northstar Alarm Services. Mr. Hayes received his B.S. in Marketing from Eastern Illinois University.
Commenting on these appointments and the Company’s continued growth initiatives, Scott Wyatt, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, stated, “On behalf of our team, I would like to welcome both David and Jake to Armor Express. They both bring extensive experience servicing and protecting the Federal law enforcement community and have deep-seated relationships that will serve our Company and our customers well. These hires are especially meaningful given the timing, as we have recently expanded our customer base and are currently developing new body armor systems designed specifically for Federal officers. Knowing agency requirements and being in position to develop solutions that address their specific needs is paramount to our product development initiatives and positions us well for future opportunities.”
As federal agencies across the country seek to advance their capabilities, Armor Express has directed its resources to developing new and enhanced ballistic packages, carrier designs, hard armor plates, and accessories. This incorporates the most innovative technologies and industry best standards to better protect and enable officers to perform their jobs at the most optimal level. Thousands of federal agents nationwide have depended on Armor Express’ solutions, including those from the U.S. Marshals, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Sneak Peek – S.E.T. Plate Carrier

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Snake Eater Tactical’s new Plate Carrier utilizes their patent pending grid system. Rather than using the PALS attachment system, the grid is optimized for use with 550 cord. However, they also plan to incorporate Velcro section for the attachment of panels.

It also includes removable side straps as well as three layers of Mil-Spec elastic for chest expansion.

Pre-orders kicking off soon from www.snakeeatertactical.com.

Armor Express Awarded Prestigious $93.8 Million ID/IQ Contract with the Department of Homeland Security

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Thousands of officers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, TSA, Federal Protective Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and FEMA to benefit from the most advanced body armor solutions

CENTRAL LAKE, Mich., Nov. 17, 2016/PRNewswire/ — Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (“Armor Express”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance body armor solutions, is proud to announce that the Company has been awarded a seven-year, $93.8 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Under the terms of the contract (Solicitation #: HSBP1016R0004), Armor Express will provide its cutting-edge Razor™ Level IIIA ballistic system, along with four carriers specifically designed to support DHS requirements. Over 90,000 officers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Protective Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stand to benefit from this latest DHS award.

“This is a major win for Armor Express and we are truly honored to serve one of the finest and most comprehensive federal departments in the world,” stated Matt Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Armor Express. “We have collaborated with a number of federal agencies over the years, providing a range of concealable and tactical armor solutions to officers who require high-performance and flexible coverage to do their jobs effectively and in the safest way. This latest award is another testament to the quality of our products and the DHS’ trust in our industry-proven solutions.”

Created in response to the September 11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security’s primary responsibility is safeguarding the nation from the many threats it faces. As the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the DHS requires the dedication of more than 240,000 officers in roles that range from anti-terrorism to aviation and border security, immigration and customs, cybersecurity, and disaster prevention and management.

The DHS was looking to outfit its federal officers with customized concealable and tactical carriers, integrated with NIJ 0101.06 certified, Level IIIA ballistics to create the most advanced, comfortable and flexible system to meet agency requirements. Armor Express was selected as one of three body armor suppliers to fulfill the needs of the DHS-specified carrier design. Based on extensive and stringent criteria, the Company was chosen for its ballistic performance, design and engineering specifications, overall reliability, and past performance.

The Razor™ Ballistic System has been tested to the most strenuous requirements, including the NIJ 0101.06 certification, FBI Protocol, DEA Frag Standards, as well as numerous critical special threats. It is designed around revolutionary fiber technology including FMT Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene from DSM Dyneema® and TWARON Microfilament® Aramid from Teijin. The carrier, which is available in both male and female versions, provides the ultimate in concealability and flexibility, offering a lightweight ballistic package for officers and agents who require incredible protection under the most extreme environments.

Thousands of federal law enforcement officers across the country rely on Armor Express’ solutions, many of them from the largest and most prestigious agencies in the world. Federal departments Armor Express has served include the U.S. Marshals, U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others.

Mr. Davis continued, “We are extremely proud to serve the courageous officers and first responders at the Department of Homeland Security, and at large. Our entire team remains committed to advancing protective solutions, whether soft or hard armor, as the products we make, save lives. Our technology partners, including DSM and Teijin have been instrumental in advancing ballistic science and we commend them for their continued commitment to officer safety. As we move forward, we see significant opportunities to continue to drive innovation and further expand our offerings and reach. Providing end-users with peace-of-mind and bringing them home safe to their families remains our #1 priority.”

www.armorexpress.com