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Archive for the ‘Armor’ Category

United States Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal has awarded Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. Contract for Concept Design for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Program

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

MIAMI LAKES, Fla., July 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal has awarded Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. (PBE) business unit, The Protective Group (TPG) a $60.6M Firm Fixed Price Contract for Phase 2, Concept Design for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Program. The OMFV is planned to be an important weapon system platform in the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) and is part of the larger Next Generation Combat Vehicle Family of Combat Vehicles. The OMFV concept is envisioned to encompass future capabilities and basic operational requirements including: scalable survivability and protection, remotely controllable, preplanned growth to easily integrate future capabilities, embedded platform training, and decisive battlefield lethality. The Army plans for the first OMFV delivery in the fourth quarter of FY2028 for final testing with a final Full Rate Production (FRP) decision in the third quarter of FY2029.

Mark Edwards, Executive Vice President for Point Blank Enterprises said, “We are honored to be selected to participate in this essential Army combat vehicle program. We have assembled a diverse industry team that, like Point Blank, is fully committed to providing the most advanced and reliable products to our men and women in uniform. This award reaffirms our ability to assemble and manage diverse technical teams performing complex and innovative collaborative design engineering programs. Our OMFV design concept will not be constrained or limited by previous design engineering approaches or technologies that produced the last generation of combat vehicles. Innovative engineering solutions and continuously integrating improvements into our product designs are in our DNA, both of which are key to this phase of the OMFV program.”

For nearly 50 years, Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. has been a leading provider of threat protection products engineered to maximize user survivability.

Agilite K19 Plate Carrier-Brand New Version

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Agilite just released a brand new version of their popular K19 plate carrier that has a series of upgrades. Check out the video below that explains the new features:

agilitegear.com

New Material Could Mean Lightweight Armor, Protective Coatings

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Army-funded research identified a new material that may lead to lightweight armor, protective coatings, blast shields and other impact-resistant structures.

Researchers at the U.S. Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCaltech and ETH Zürich found that materials formed from precisely patterned nanoscale trusses are tougher than Kevlar and steel.

In experiments, the ultralight structures, called nanoarchitectured materials, absorbed the impact of microscopic projectiles accelerated to supersonic speeds.

“Increasing protection while simultaneously decreasing the weight that soldiers carry is an overreaching theme in our research,” said Dr. James Burgess, ISN program manager for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “This project is a really good example of such efforts where projectile energy absorption is nanostructured mechanism based.”

The research, published in Nature Materials, found that the material prevented the projectiles from tearing through it.

“The same amount of mass of our material would be much more efficient at stopping a projectile than the same amount of mass of Kevlar,” said Dr. Carlos Portela, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, the study’s lead author.

The researchers calculate that the new material absorbs impacts more efficiently than steel, Kevlar, aluminum and other impact-resistant materials of comparable weight.

“The knowledge from this work…could provide design principles for ultra-lightweight impact resistant materials [for use in] efficient armor materials, protective coatings, and blast-resistant shields desirable in defense and space applications,” said co-author Dr. Julia R. Greer, a professor of materials science, mechanics, and medical engineering at Caltech, whose lab fabricated the material.

Nanoarchitected materials are known to feature impressive properties like exceptional lightness and resilience; however, until now, the potential for additional applications has largely been untested.

“We only know about its response in a slow-deformation regime, whereas a lot of their practical use is hypothesized to be in real-world applications where nothing deforms slowly,” Portela said.

To help fill this vital knowledge gap, the research team set out to study nanoarchitected materials undergoing fast deformation, such as that caused by high-velocity impacts. At Caltech, researchers first fabricated a repeating pattern known as a tetrakaidecahedron—a lattice configuration composed of microscopic struts—using two-photo lithography, a technique that uses a high-powered laser to solidify microscopic structures in photosensitive resin.

To test the tetrakaidecahedron’s resilience to extreme, rapid deformation, the team performed experiments at MIT using the ISN-developed laser-induced particle impact array. This device aims an ultrafast laser through a glass slide.. As the laser passes through the slide, it generates a plasma, an immediate expansion of gas that launches the particles toward the target.

By adjusting the laser’s power to control the speed of the microparticle projectiles, the researchers tested microparticle velocities within the supersonic range.

“Some experiments achieved twice the speed of sound, easily,” Portela said.

Using a high-speed camera, the researchers captured videos of the microparticles impacting the nanoarchitected material. They had fabricated material of two different densities. A comparison of the two materials’ impact response, found the denser one to be more resilient, and microparticles tended to embed in the material rather than tear through it.

To get a closer look, the researchers carefully sliced through the embedded microparticles and nanarchitectured target. They found that the struts below the embedded particle had crumpled and compacted in response to the impact, but the surrounding struts remained intact.

“We show the material can absorb a lot of energy because of this shock compaction mechanism of struts at the nanoscale, versus something that’s fully dense and monolithic, not nanoarchitected,” Portela said.

Going forward, Portela plans to explore various nanostructured configurations other than carbon, and ways to scale up the production of these nanostructures, all with the goal of designing tougher, lighter materials.

“Nanoarchitected materials truly are promising as impact-mitigating materials,” Portela said. “There’s a lot we don’t know about them yet, and we’re starting this path to answering these questions and opening the door to their widespread applications.”

The U.S. Army established the MIT Institute for Nanotechnologies in 2002 as an interdisciplinary research center to dramatically improve the protection, survivability and mission capabilities of the Soldier and of Soldier-supporting platforms and systems.

In addition to Army funding through the institute, the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship supported the research.

By U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Frank Woods – Plate Carrier Set Up

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

This should stimulate some lively debate. Gear is a passion for most SSD readers, so let’s keep it on topic and civil.

Following the write-up I did laying out how my personal belt is set up and why, I figured it’d be a good idea to do the same for my plate carrier since I realized I’ve never done that, or haven’t in a long while and it’d be easier to account for any changes I’ve made to it over the years.

So here’s what I’ve got:

– LBT 6094A (Medium)

— Velocity Systems API-BZ plates

– First Spear Admin Pouch (6/9)

– 3x Tactical Tailor single M4/AR mag pouches

– 3x Blue Force Gear single AR mag Ten Speed pouches

– First Spear double pistol mag pouch

– First Spear single pistol mag pouch

– 2x First Spear General Purpose/Utility pouches, Size Medium

– 2x Blue Force Gear Tourniquet NOW TQ holders (CAT 7s)

– 2x Petzl carabineers

– Spiritus Systems DARC drag strap

– Emdom Vehicle Hydration Carrier

—- CamelBak Milspec Antidote 3L

– Blue Photon Light

I’ll break it down bit by bit:

1.) Plate Carrier & Plates: The LBT-6094 (A for Medium plate size) was recommended to me by a retired SEAL friend back when he was still active, and I’ve been using it since 2013. I like it because it’s comprehensive in its simplicity: the PALS webbing is where it needs to be to mount whatever variety of MOLLE pouches wherever I want, so the modularity is tops. I can scale up or down as needed, rather than be pigeonholed into a minimalist design and without going full on gigantor turtle shell with something like an Eagle CIRAS.

It’s an older plate carrier design compared to more recent models that are made of laser cut material or rely on swift clip placards that double as chest rigs when a strap system is introduced, but it holds up damn good in capability despite being a dated option.

Fabric/materials wise, it isn’t terribly heavy (let’s be honest, the plates are where armor carriers get their true weight worth considering from), and I’m still on the fence about the laser cut materials since I’ve heard they tend to sag under weight after a while, so I’ve been waiting to see how the new Gen 3 6094 holds up after a while before rushing into an upgrade I don’t immediately need.

I’ve never been a fan of the clip in placard system typical of most plate carriers these days because I find them limiting in their prefabricated pouch configurations that often rely on double stacking pouches to carry the same amount of gear I’d spread out across the plate carrier and its cummerbund, along with a belt to compliment the limited capacity the placards offer (in terms of rifle mags at least). I know some of the placards come in blank MOLLE webbing for customized pouch configurations, but I’m not the market for an entirely new plate carrier that I’d need for placard compatibility to begin with. If I want to switch from 5.56 to .308 pouches, it’s a simple matter of popping the MALICE clips and switching out the mag pouch array on the front. I’ll go into more detail on that later.

Speaking of the cummerbund, I feel like these are becoming a lost art in the world of plate carriers. Lately I’ve seen a lot of skeletonized cummerbunds that only allow for MOLLE pouch mounting, or a clip and buckle just to keep the armor secure against your body, or straight up slick side elastic bands, the latter two of which you can’t mount shit to. The LBT 6094’s cummerbund has PALS webbing on the outside, but there’s also padding and integrated pouches on the inside that facilitate carrying additional rifle mags or a radio (one of each on each side). This saves me a need for additional pouches for either of those things, but in my use it’s where I like to put my +1 rifle mag.

The Velocity API-BZ plates replaced the Level IV stand alone multi curve plates I had in this carrier previously, which have since been moved to a slick/low profile carrier and feel much lighter than they did here. The API-BZs are a much lighter and therefore comfortable plate to wear, while accounting for a wide variety of most likely encountered ballistic threats. These things are clutch. They come with a high price tag per plate but they’re worth every penny, as is all armor from Velocity Systems.

2.) Admin & General Purpose pouches: Good for odds and ends and delineating where I’m keeping admin stuff like IDs, cell phone, pens, note pads, multi tools, a hand held flashlight, etc, from other stuff that might be essential or good to have for a particular task. They don’t take up a lot of space and I’m glad they’re there when I’m having one of those “Where or how am I gonna carry this easily portable thing I’d rather not go without?” moments. Just don’t forget anything in there (one of the good spots, as my old man likes to say) or be tempted to pack it up with bullshit just to have stuff in there.

3.) AR mag pouches: This may seem sophisticated but I learned it over time and I can’t think of a better way to do this. Typically I like to keep everything on my front “single shingle,” meaning nothing like a double mag pouch that protrudes out too far forward. This is mainly a concern for mobility and going prone, where there’s already an armor plate and the width of an AR mag between me and the ground, so I’m avoiding additional lift off the ground preventing me from getting flat as possible, and if I’m rocking double mag pouches and only have one mag in the pouch I don’t have to worry about the extra unused pouch material getting shitted up from being loose and getting snagged or dragged under me, or failing to retain the remaining magazine cause the retention thereof is hinged on the presence of two mags.

But I do like the option of being able to plus up on mags in anticipation of a scenario where one would want more mags readily available in situations where you wouldn’t anticipate going prone cause mobility on your feet is of higher value anyway. When you’re swapping paint in a force on force shoot house class, you might find yourself running low on mags fast after burning through less than a standard combat load or lending one to a buddy if they’re already dry.

So on top of the single mag pouches I have the three Blue Force Gear TenSpeed mag pouches. They’re very tight and snug when it comes to retention, but when I don’t need them they collapse flat on themselves and it’s like they’re not even there. They’re not hanging open to get caught on anything and get torn up, or adding extra unused material just hanging out there.

Between the dedicated mag pouches and the two spots available on my cummerbund, I have the capability carry 5 to 8 AR mags on the plate carrier alone. Typically it’s 3 + 1 in the cummerbund, plus the 2 on my belt leg rig, and one in the rifle. I can ditch the one mag in the cummerbund if I wish, but the point is I can freely scale up or down as needed. Regardless of where or how many mags I have on me, they never go from my plate carrier straight to my rifle. Since I reload from my leg rig on my belt, that leg rig gets replenished from the mag pouches on my plate carrier. This gives me one consistent location to pull reloads from rather than four or five and having to remember which pouches are still full.

Empties go in the dump pouch, partials go into the mag pouch the last full mag was previously pulled from, going from right to left across my body. This guarantees that if I need a full mag to replenish my leg rig from, the last mag I’m going to grab after my first reload is going to be across my body farthest away from my support side. If I haven’t reloaded the weapon from an empty magazine and I’m doing a tac reload, that’s usually the only time I’ll pull directly from the pouch across from my support side, bring the fresh mag up to the gun, swap mags, and drop the partial back into the pouch I pulled the fresh one from, since the partial was gonna end up there anyway.

4.) First Spear Pistol Mag Pouches. These are pretty straightforward: Double holds two pistol mags. Single holds my Benchmade Infidel auto knife. Double pouch replenishes pistol mag pouches on the leg rig, knife is just there if it’s needed.

5.) TQ holders are self explanatory. One on the front and one on the back for accessibility. There’s a third on my IFAK that’s belt mounted, I need to figure out where to put a fourth (accounting for each limb.)

6.) Carabineers & Drag Strap: Chemlights and bundles thereof get looped onto and pulled from one, situated on my support side. The other links the Spiritus/DARC drag strap to my belt. Said drag strap is a factory mass production version of the enhanced drag strap Rich would have us make out of tubular nylon webbing, which in turn is better than any drag strap that’s ever been sewn into the rear of a plate carrier because it provides much better leverage and therefore ease with which to drag wounded and injured personnel.

7.) Hydration: Carrier fits within the confines of the rear plate bag without hanging below it, bladder fits within that also. I can always underfill it or not fill it at all if I don’t want 3L/100oz of water on my back. Bladder will fit into my Tactical Tailor assault pack if I wish to remove the hydration carrier and clip the pack into the buckles you see woven into the PALS webbing on the plate carrier, in case I determine I have to carry extra stuff on my person without going full ruck (at which point the assault pack could clip onto THAT).

8.) Blue photon light: Carryover from the older DARC packing list that I never got rid of. Good for reading maps or performing medical or other things requiring limited visibility + light discipline to avoid blowing your spot up with white light.

The modular capacity capability is a running theme you see throughout my gear, and I’m a loud proponent of it because it allows me to scale up or down as needed. I see a lot of people lean towards “minimalist” setups for the wrong reasons that doesn’t give them as much flexibility in their setup and I think it’s dumb to shortchange yourself and what your gear can do for you just because “I’m just a civilian, I don’t normally have a need for X cause I don’t carry a gun for a living.”

This contradicts the most often listed reason why civilians buy this kind of equipment: SHTF. Under those circumstances, where you have to bust out the tactical nylon, two factors are now in play: Something (or a series of things) really bad happened and nothing is going to plan + NOW you carry a gun for a living, in order to remain living. That’s the worst time to be doing PCCs/PCIs and thinking “Damn, I wish I could carry more mags.”

Just something to be mindful of. I bring up this context of civilian use since this is my personal gear no different than anyone else could purchase and put together for training use (where plates are required equipment for safety purposes in shoot house classes and the like, or you just feel like running your gear and shaking it out.)

Frank Woods is one of the principals behind the revival of Lightfighter.net

S&S Precision Resupply Bundles

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

S&S Precision’s new Resupply Bundles program offers four different complete armor and load bearing solutions. Options include Active Shooter Response, Shoot-Move-Communicate, Basic PF-M, and Direct Action.

As you can see, they differ in the gear involved as well as commensurate pricing. Let’s take a look at one of the bundles, the top-of-the-line Direct Action.

As you can see, it’s fully kitted out so you won’t be missing a component your supply guy didn’t realize he needed to order.

It is based around SSP’s latest PlateFrame-Modular which comes equipped with their auto adjust cummerbund. You can specify the armor plates you will be using so it comes with the correct pair of SOCS Ballistic Plate Covers. The bundle also includes the OSS Redux Triple Mag Pouch RAP, Radio Pouch and Hydration Pouch.

Each of the bundles is available in various colors including Black, Tan, MultiCam and SSP’s proprietary Toadvine color.

Adept Armor Signs with Laura Burgess Marketing (LBM)

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Adept Armor, a new ballistic protection design and development company focused on the commercial market, tags Laura Burgess Marketing to help create brand awareness.

Carrollton, Texas (July 2021) – A new armor system engineering firm, Adept Armor, has signed Laura Burgess Marketing (LBM) to represent their public relations and media efforts.

Adept Armor is a company focused on providing civilians, private security, and rescue with state-of-the-art ballistic armor protection. Using leading-edge alloys, metals, and polymers to design and produce body armor, helmets, and other protective gear, Adept Armor’s products offer superior ballistic protection in innovative materials and designs to meet modern needs.

“It is always exciting to get a ringside seat on a new company and product launch,” Laura Burgess, president of Laura Burgess Marketing, said. “Adept Armor is truly a new paradigm in body armor companies, with a focus on the civilian market and really innovative products that are founded on Adept Armor’s highly technical and experienced team’s designs.”

LBM will work with Adept Armor to launch company news, new products, and social media platforms.

Adept Armor recently launched website introduces the public to their first line of body armor featuring a multi-curved titanium alloy plate that is bonded to a high-performance polyethylene backer, creating a body armor plate that has the strength and multi-hit capability traditional in steel body armor with the lighter weight and performance abilities of ceramic-composite body armor.

Interested in armor materials, systems, test methods and current threats? Check out Adept Armor’s incredible knowledgebase of information and glossary. Learn more about Adept Armor on their new website or follow them on Facebook.

“Ultra-Light” Multi-Hit Level IV Armor Now Available from ShotStop

Monday, July 5th, 2021

Stow, OH-based ShotStop Ballistics has announced the release of what they describe as an “ultra-light” Level IV HA Armor Piercing Advanced Body Armor Plates.

According to ShotStop,

“What makes this an industry shattering announcement is the unprecedented weight for Level IV protection, weighing in at 4.5 lbs (2.0 kg) with a low profile of 0.9″ thick, these multi-curve, stand-alone, multi-hit plates provide the lightest armor-piercing protection in the world. The plate will provide the operator comfort, better mobility, and all the confidence to carry out their mission whether they are Military, Special Forces, SWAT, or Law Enforcement.”

ShotStop-level-IV-plates

Jason Henkel, Director of Operations at ShotStop, says, “Protection is absolutely ShotStop’s top priority, but being able to increase comfort, mobility, and advanced unique applications really differentiate this launch from others. Our new Level IV plate is positioned to dramatically change the way in which personal protection can be utilized in various environments and circumstances.”

ShotStop-level-IV-plates

The new plates are available in the following Shooter Cut and SAPI cuts and the following sizes:

6” x 6” x .9”
8” x 10” x .9”
8.75” x 11.75” x .9”
9.5” x 12.5” x .9”
10″ x 12″ x .9″
11″ x 14″ x .9″

Read the remainder of the release after the video.

Threat Level Protection
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) states that level IV armor must stop a single hit of 7.62MM AP. ShotStop’s HA Level IV ballistic body armor, made with patented Duritium® technology, is multi-hit and can defeat special threats including: 5.56x45mm 55 grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm PS ball (MSC), 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ, NATO M855 (SS109) 5.56x45mm 62 grain steel core (SS109), M855 A1, 7.62×54mmR Dragunov, and 7.62x63mm M2 AP.

The plate is currently pending testing to be listed with the NIJ.

Ounces Equal Pounds, and Pounds Equal Pain
Improving on the current HS Level IV model plate, ShotStop reduced the weight from 5.3 lbs to 4.5. When pounds equal pain for the operator, every ounce matters. Typical heavy body armor increases the amount of pressure on the joints, causing fatigue, pain and long-term medical issues. ShotStop’s Level IV plate gives the operator maximum mobility and while reducing weight-displacement injuries which are typical from heavy steel or ceramic Level IV plates.

“The accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked,” says researcher Stephen P. Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University. So, if a person was carrying 10 pounds less weight, “each knee would be subjected to 48,000 pounds less in compressive load per mile walked.”

Industry-Leading 10-Year Warranty
Along with the armor-piercing protection, the HA1RF3MC model comes with an unprecedented 10-Year warranty, translating to an unusually low total cost of ownership for the highest quality level IV plate available. Standard level IV ceramic body armor is only warrantied for 5 years. Unlike ceramic plates, which can crack when dropped, ShotStop’s proprietary composite plates do not need MRI/x-rays to monitor the plate’s integrity throughout the industry-leading warranty period. ShotStop’s plates can take a beating from everyday wear & tear and mishaps like drops, without ever compromising protection.

What is Duritium?

Duritium is a portfolio of technologies including a proprietary formula of Polyethylene fibers or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. These polyethylene fibers are woven and stacked by a computer navigated layering process at particular angles which elevate the ability of the armor system to more efficiently diffuse kinetic energy during ballistics impact. The stacked polyethylene is then vulcanized under 5000 lbs. per sq. inch presses while going through various high heat and cold cycles to form the base of the Duritium body armor.

Depending on the threat level requirement, the armor system can then be combined with ShotStop’s proprietary alloy composite which offers even further weight and thickness savings compared to other competitive armor options, especially at the higher threat levels.

ShotStop-level-IV-plates

 

2021 TSSI NCRE – Sneak Peek – Foundation Tac Nylon

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Blackhawk developed their upcoming Foundation line of tactical nylon as an affordable option for LE active shooter applications as well as armed citizens.

This laser cut system is made from 500D and 1000D laminate and there are a wide variety of multi-fit pouches offered which each can be used for more than one application.

Although the Foundation line is manufacturing and Vietnam, a Berry compliant version is available for customers who need it. Currently only offered in Black.

Blackhawk products are available for unit and agency orders from TSSi.