Interceptor Body Armor - Page 2

December 24th, 2005  
FO Seaman
Originally Posted by Doody
I have quite a bit of experience with the Army's body Armor, I here are my 2 cents.

The first time I experienced body armor was in Kosovo in 2000. Since the flak jacket is common and not too much of a burden, I am not going to talk about it. Anyways, we were first issued the old school armor. I am not sure of the real name, but it was commonly called ranger body armor and was quite heavy. It had two massive plates for the front and back. The vest was secured with 2 large straps made of a stretchy material. Anyone who has used this vest knows how much it sucked. Patroling with the RBA did a number on my back. When we were issued the new Inteceptor, I was in heaven. It was lighter than the IBA and fit better too (except for being a bit tight on the neck). I think we had the Inteceptor for 2 months before being redeployed back to the States. When I went to Iraq, my reserve unit only had the old flak jackets. I will make no more comments about my feelings there. In October 04, I went back into active army. This time, the Army got serious about training with body armor. We were fitted and issued the Inteceptor, which we used in all our field training to include 20km road marches.

With that said, here are my feelings on the physical stress caused by the Inteceptor. The only to get use to the vest is to train with the thing and suffer. Yeah, it sucks in the begining, but you work through that. We were in the field for 30 days and wore the vest all the time unless we were sleeping. By the end of the field problem, wearing the vest became second nature. I think road maching with the vest on put everything in perspective. After doing 20km with a fat ruck, I did not think twice about complaining about just wearing the vest. One thing I will neve get use to is going on 4 mile run with the Inteceptor on...

If you all have any questions, just ask


I did alot or research on all of the body armor the U.S. has used and is using 1964- Current.

1964: M1955 and M-1964 Two layer (16 ply Kevlar), Type IIA

1980: PASGT-V (Personal Armor System Ground Troops- Vest) Four layer (20 ply Kevlar), Type II

1990: ISAPO-V (Interim Small Arms Protective Overvest) (Solid Steel Plate), Type III A vest carrier system containing two (front and back) soild ceramic steel plate in front and back that fits over the 1980 PASGT-V or can be worn in conjunction with the RBA to provide rear protection. Commonly refered to as RBA.

1990: RBA or Ranger Body Armor (20 ply Kevlar w/single steel breast plate), Type IIIA

1999-Current: IBA or Interceptor Body Armor (20 ply Kevlar w/ M80 Strike plates), Type III (With front and back strike plates) Currently issued to all U.S. units, with the exception of non-deployed NG units.)

Below is a pictire of the full Interceptor System.

December 24th, 2005  
Originally Posted by AJChenMPH
My best guess is that it restricts the ability to run too much, so it was just a trade-off in protection vs. mobility.
Protection vs mobility has been the unanswerable question in development of armor since knights wore the stuff on horseback.
December 26th, 2005  
True, but a little flap hanging down in front of "Fun Central" flaired out to either side a couple inches like a baseball catcher has wouldn't restrict mobility.
December 26th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
as for the guard the BD is talking about, so far no one in the infantry has really put it to use. We normally stuff it down one of the plate pouches so it does get lost.
January 7th, 2006  
Interesting article in today's NY Times that discusses the level of protection (or lack thereof) and the correlation to combat deaths. Excerpt below (the entire article is too long for me to post), with a link to the full article (you'll need to register -- or have registered -- on to read it).

January 7, 2006
Pentagon Study Links Fatalities to Body Armor

A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.

The ceramic plates in vests now worn by the majority of troops in Iraq cover only some of the chest and back. In at least 74 of the 93 fatal wounds that were analyzed in the Pentagon study of marines from March 2003 through June 2005, bullets and shrapnel struck the marines' shoulders, sides or areas of the torso where the plates do not reach.

Thirty-one of the deadly wounds struck the chest or back so close to the plates that simply enlarging the existing shields "would have had the potential to alter the fatal outcome," according to the study, which was obtained by The New York Times.

For the first time, the study by the military's medical examiner shows the cost in lives from inadequate armor, even as the Pentagon continues to publicly defend its protection of the troops.

Officials have said they are shipping the best armor to Iraq as quickly as possible. At the same time, they have maintained that it is impossible to shield forces from the increasingly powerful improvised explosive devices used by insurgents in Iraq. Yet the Pentagon's own study reveals the equally lethal threat of bullets.

The vulnerability of the military's body armor has been known since the start of the war, and is part of a series of problems that have surrounded the protection of American troops. Still, the Marine Corps did not begin buying additional plates to cover the sides of their troops until September, when it ordered 28,800 sets, Marine officials acknowledge.

The Army, which has the largest force in Iraq, is still deciding what to purchase, according to Army procurement officials. They said the Army was deciding among various sizes of plates to give its 130,000 soldiers, adding that they hoped to issue contracts this month.

Additional forensic studies by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's unit that were obtained by The Times indicate that about 340 American troops have died solely from torso wounds.
January 7th, 2006  
FO Seaman
Originally Posted by AJChenMPH
Interesting article in today's NY Times that discusses the level of protection (or lack thereof) and the correlation to combat deaths. Excerpt below (the entire article is too long for me to post), with a link to the full article (you'll need to register -- or have registered -- on to read it).
Like I said. Properly issue the size and use the arm protectors.
August 26th, 2006  
The full compliment of IBA comes with a groin protecter that hangs down, it is now mandatory for wear in the field or deployment.
August 29th, 2006  
as soon as we can come up with a body armor to protect us, people will already have weapons to make it obsolete. it is important to keep developing these new types of body armor though.
August 31st, 2006  
Team Infidel
here is a story from the army times...

Armor to suit
Custom-fit system will cover more, weigh less than current gear

By Matthew Cox
Staff writer

Custom-fit system will cover more, weigh less than current gear
Soldiers and Army scientists are testing a new system of body armor that can be custom-fitted to each individual.
The vest is built on a sleek, armored chassis designed to make heavy combat loads easier to carry while providing soldiers with more ballistic protection in a lighter package. It has special channels on the inside to allow air to circulate and heat to escape, and it will cover 18 percent more of the soldier’s body.
In addition to the vest, there’s also a better-fitting, more comfortable ballistic helmet that comes with built-in, flip-down eye protection.
The research and development of the vest is part of the Army’s Future Force Warrior program, an Advanced Technology Demonstration designed to test new technologies in soldier equipment for fielding in 2010.
The body armor is just one part of the program that will eventually include an onboard computer network of high-tech communications gear, weapons with digital fire control systems and light-weight power sources.
The system is designed to be radically more functional than the current Interceptor body armor, said Philip Brandler, director of the Army’s Soldier Systems Center at Nadick, Mass.
“The days when we had a simple ballistic component that a soldier put on are probably past,” he said. “We are going to be moving into situations where … the body armor system basically performs multiple functions.”
Brandler said soldiers are already testing detailed prototypes of the armored, load-bearing chassis and helmet.
The Army has made great strides in body armor technology since the Vietnam War, when soldiers wore “flak vests” that weighed 25 pounds.
The current Interceptor Outer Tactical Vest and its two ballistic armor plates offer far greater protection and weigh about 16 pounds. But the constantly changing tactics of insurgent forces in Iraq have forced the Army to make improvements increasing the Interceptor’s weight.
Soft armor shoulder and side protection, known as the Deltoid Axillary Protector, and enhanced front, rear and even side ballistic plates for improved protection against rifle rounds have brought a soldier’s protective load up to 31 pounds.
Add that to combat gear and ammunition, and combat troops are having a harder time hopping over walls, searching house after house and moving under enemy fire, according to both Army and Marine Corps officials.
“The Interceptor OTV was never designed to carry the weight that’s being carried today,” said Daniel Fitzgerald of Marine Corps Systems Command at a May 24 armor conference in Washington, D.C.
Brandler agreed, adding that soldiers often go into combat with too much gear on their backs.
“The problem is, 120 pounds of lightweight equipment still weighs 120 pounds,” he said.
More coverage, less weight
Natick officials hope to use nano-technology to reduce the weight in the new armor chassis. The goal is to develop a prototype, which includes an armored chassis vest, two plates and a waist belt, that weighs about 20 pounds.
High-performance polymers and advanced ceramics and metals under study will increase the toughness of the material without a significant increase in weight, Brandler hopes.
“What we are looking for is to have the material that can produce lightweight ceramics” that can be formed into complex shapes to cover more body area, Brandler said.
The plates in the new vest will be designed to provide 18 percent more coverage area, front and back, than the current plates. The padded waist belt, separate from the vest, should provide additional ballistic coverage, Brandler said.
The new vest would also fit better than the current one. A series of 11 pads will allow soldiers, both male and female, to customize the rigid vest to their particular body shape.
The pads come in different sizes and can be attached to various places inside the walls of the vest to ensure it fits snugly to the body.
This helps reduce “back-face deformation” injuries from the impact of a projectile, Brandler said, because the pads, not the body, will absorb the projectile’s force.
Inside the vest, special channels allow air to circulate, unlike the Interceptor, which is worn tight against the body. This “passive cooling” design should keep soldiers about 25 percent cooler, Brandler said. There is no fielding date set, Natick officials said, but the program is scheduled to transition over to Program Executive Office Soldier by 2008. Final development and operational testing would come later.
But, so far, so good, he said.
Testers are “combat veterans in many cases,” helping to test both the new vest and helmet prototypes, Brandler said
Nineteen soldiers in the Special Forces Qualification Course particpated in the October 2004 testing. They wore the prototypes while performing such tasks as running, climbing and shooting.
Despite the new vest’s more rigid design, soldiers wearing the vests were pleased with their ease of movement on the obstacle course, Brandler said. And they were in “unanimous” approval of the new flip-up eye protection, he said.
“It’s not a done deal, but ... we don’t expect the final production [version] will look radically different.”

Best of the vest
Rigid design keeps ballistic protection away from the body, eliminating injuries when incoming projectiles strike the vest.

Special channels molded to the vest’s interior help air circulate and keep the soldier cooler.
Designed as a true “load-carrier” to more effectively distribute heavy combat loads.
Includes 11 sizing pads that attach to the inside of the vest to ensure soldiers, both male and female, can custom fit the armored chassis to their individual body type. Camelbak-style hydration system integrated into vest’s design.