The Army Times just came out with an article on the Cupola Protective Ensemble yesterday. No other media outlets have anything on the CPE and the web has very little on it.
"The Joint IED Defeat Task Force, working with the Program Executive Office–Soldier and others, is fielding a Cupola Protective Ensemble, which consists of outer garments providing torso, limb, and face protection that will greatly improve protection for exposed gunners in their vehicles."
16 MAR 05 SOURCE
Back to the Army Times piece. The CPE looks like something you would see from a bomb disposal unit. It looks like a giant snow suit with a face shield, an extra large neck collar, extra protection in the chest area and best of all, an AC unit that keeps the suit at 65 deg. Weighing in at 40 lbs, it is only meant for turret gunners. The article says the suit was developed in response to the number of blast causalities in Iraq.
188 suits have already been shipped to Iraq for a 60 day trial to weed out any problems. If all goes well, the military hopes to issue 2,000 of the CPEs to soldiers and Marines by fall. The CPE has 2 toggles which allow the user to get out of the suit pretty fast. The article claims the CPE can be removed in 4 seconds.
I hope to find a pict online. Enjoy