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Old 06-13-2001, 09:32 AM
Pushkin Pushkin is offline
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I was browsing the thread on the M16 rifle and was wondering if any armies equip their troops with body armour. I am thinking of regular troops in the field and not just special forces. Its seems that gun enthusiasts in the US have access to all sorts of protection, does the army have too or do modern weapons make mincemeat of such items of clothing. I remember reading long ago about Serbian troops attacking Croatians while wearing body army. After being shot they simply got back up and the Croats had to finish them off with grenade launchers.
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Old 06-13-2001, 09:39 AM
RoboDude RoboDude is offline
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From what I've heard, they do.
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Old 06-13-2001, 09:41 AM
lno lno is offline
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Yes. Do a google search for 'army "body armor"' and you'll find a whole bunch of useful links, full of happy pictures and info.
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Old 06-13-2001, 02:04 PM
ACLU Boy ACLU Boy is offline
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The US military wears body armor, but it's not "bullet proof." It only offers protection against shrapnel (and perhaps some pistols), it won't stop a direct hit from a rifle.

I don't know of any body armor that would stop a bullet from a AK-47 or a M-16, maybe those suits you see bomb-defusing guys wear would, but I don't know.
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Old 06-13-2001, 06:47 PM
RoboDude RoboDude is offline
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Quote:
The US military wears body armor, but it's not "bullet proof." It only offers protection against shrapnel (and perhaps some pistols), it won't stop a direct hit from a rifle.
I heard somewhere that the standard issue body armor was recently upgraded to provide limited protection from rifle bullets.
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Old 06-13-2001, 08:28 PM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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I can't rely answer the OP, which is focused on the scale on which body armor is issued. I do know that nylon and fiberglass flak vests were standard issue in the Vietnam era; these were designed to protect against shell and grenade fragments.

Since then, both soft and hard body armor have gotten much more effective. The National Institute has codified standards for body armor in terms of the types of bullets and velocities which the armor must resist. Note that the second highest level of protection must successfully resist fully-jacketed 7.62mm NATO ammunition (e.g. a round from an M60 machinegun or a G3 rifle).
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Old 06-13-2001, 08:42 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by RoboDude
Quote:
The US military wears body armor, but it's not "bullet proof." It only offers protection against shrapnel (and perhaps some pistols), it won't stop a direct hit from a rifle.
I heard somewhere that the standard issue body armor was recently upgraded to provide limited protection from rifle bullets.
Yer both right. I've been issued what's called PASGT (Personal Armor System, Ground Troops). It is in no way bulletproof. It is frag and shrapnel resistant. What they issue isn't really bulletproof -- at least what they issued me. If you want a picture, just check out any US Military website and you can see the vest and helmet. IIRC, the PASGT (aka "Flak Vest") is rated at Type IIA.

Can you make a bulletproof vest? Sure! There's plenty of them on the commercial market. They usually layer kevlar, composite materials, metals, and sometimes even ceramics. The thing is, the more energy you want to stop, the more "padding" ya need. A 5.56mm NATO standard round has a heck of a lot more kinetic energy than say your US Revolutionary War musket round. . .

Also keep in mind that the vest may not stop all bodily injury. The vest tries to stop puncture wounds, but often when the bullet or projectile hits you, you'll get what's called Blunt Trauma. It's analagous to Mike Tyson or Lennox Lewis whopping you with a right hook times 20. The energy imparted from the projectile is imparted into your flesh through the vest, and can cause serious internal injuries like broken bones, severe hemmoraging, and can even kill you.

So, the best defense is not to get hit. For that you don't need a vest, just some freakin' common sense.

Tripler
Bomb suits are a totally different story.
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Old 06-13-2001, 10:04 PM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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An Observation

I'm not trying to criticize anybody, but I think it's kind of weird that every time the subject of body armor is brought up, nearly every one involved in the discussion takes it upon themselves to point out that it isn't bullet-proof. That's just fine, but who exactly are they arguing against?

Isn't it weird for a bunch of people to stand in a circle all vociferously arguing that ballistic vests aren't bullet-proof? Just today, surfing the web, I've seen a site claiming that no body armor is proof against rifle bullets - right below the presentation of NIJ Level IV specs (able to stop .30-06 armor-piercing ammunition at ). Usenet is even more so - ask what PASGT stands for and one in four replies will be "Personal Armor System, Ground Troops" and three in four will be "FLAK VEST ARE NOT BULLET-PROOF!!!"

Okay, I get the point. I promise not to ask anyone with an elephant gun to shoot me in the chest (or the face or the leg for that matter) while wearing body armor.
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Old 06-13-2001, 10:20 PM
SouprChckn SouprChckn is offline
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When do you think armies will get some special force teams that use some sort of battle armor. Like those battle suits you see in those great anime flicks. Is this even a viable option for future armament and protection? That would be cool as hell.
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Old 06-13-2001, 11:57 PM
Arken Arken is offline
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Obviously, Boris doesn't know about Project Grizzly which shows without a doubt that some people are stupid enough not only to shoot themselves while wearing armour, but stupid enough to do it with armour THEY MADE THEMSELVES!
  #11  
Old 06-14-2001, 07:42 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SouprChckn
When do you think armies will get some special force teams that use some sort of battle armor. Like those battle suits you see in those great anime flicks. Is this even a viable option for future armament and protection? That would be cool as hell.
Oh, I already have it. It fits over my ballistic humanoid skin, and attaches to the hardpoints on my titanim trioxide endo skeleton. SKYNET has programmed me for two functions and two functions only: Serve Coffee to the Terminators, and push paperwork to keep SKYNET utilities funded.

And BorisB, you can make a bulletproof vest. You would simply look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and would move like it too . . .


Tripler
Like 2 foot of padding and kevlar. Sorry, I'd rather be able to run around. . .
  #12  
Old 06-14-2001, 10:17 AM
tracer tracer is offline
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Well, we know the Stormtroopers of the Evil Galactic Empire wear body armor. And those full-head helmets that look vaguely like giant skulls.

Unfortunately, their body armor never seems to protect them against shots fired by Major Characters, and seems to prevent them from being able to aim their blaster rifles with any degree of accuracy.
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Old 06-14-2001, 07:50 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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The point behind insisting that body armor isn't bullet proof is that even the armor from Project Grizzly can be penetrated by something. No one want's to get sued by some idiot because they decided to do something stupid.
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Old 06-15-2001, 12:55 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by SouprChckn
When do you think armies will get some special force teams that use some sort of battle armor. Like those battle suits you see in those great anime flicks. Is this even a viable option for future armament and protection? That would be cool as hell. [/B]
Actually, powered battle armor is under serious consideration for the future. I read somthing that DARPA (The people who come up with all the crazy future weapon ideas for the DoD) was, at least conceptually, considering the idea of developing powered armor that would increase an infantrymans speed, strength and load carrying ability. This type of stuff is still a couple of decades off.


There are a couple of problems with outfitting soldiers with anime or Starship Troopers style battle suits (some is my own oppinion, some I read elsewhere).

1) Weight and bulkiness - the advantage of infantry is that they can squeeze into buildings, crawl through jungles, and in general go places that armored vehicles can't. 1st generation powered armor is bound to be bulky and heavy. It would be difficult for a platoon to sweep a building if their 800lb armored suit caused them to fall through the floors.

2) logistics - a conventional light infantry platoon only needs food, water, and extra ammo to remain an effective fighting force. A platoon of infantry with powered armor will need a much bigger logistics chain to handle suit maintanance, power supply, and rearming.

3) Medical care - How do you treat an injured soldier surrounded by an armored battle suit? Do you just carry the entire 1000 lb package back to base or do you eject the soldier out of the suit somehow?

4) Combat mission - What is the role of a power armored soldier? Wearing bulky battle armor might be great for breaching a building or bunker but it would suck for any kind of role requireing stealth or surprise. So is an armored soldier some kind of heavy infantryman or a kind of light tank?


That's all I can come up with off the top of my head.
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Old 06-15-2001, 12:30 PM
tracer tracer is offline
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Is there any reason the powered armor "suits" have to have a man inside them? Couldn't the soldier just control it by telemetry and remote feedback, i.e. he could wear a datasuit a hundred miles away and interact in a Virtual Reality environment created from the "suit's" senses? In other words, we'd have a remote-controlled robot trooper.
  #16  
Old 06-15-2001, 02:58 PM
KeithB KeithB is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tracer
Is there any reason the powered armor "suits" have to have a man inside them? Couldn't the soldier just control it by telemetry and remote feedback, i.e. he could wear a datasuit a hundred miles away and interact in a Virtual Reality environment created from the "suit's" senses? In other words, we'd have a remote-controlled robot trooper.
While it is Science Fiction, check out _Forever Peace_ by Joe Haldeman, the guy who looked at powered armour in _Forever War._ He talks about soldierboys and flyboys that are exactly what you describe, except that you "jack-in" directly to your brain.

One problem I see is that this is going to have to be an incredible amount of bandwidth for just one soldier. Can you maintian hundreds or thousands of highly secure non-jammable radio links with multiple MB/sec?
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