Body Armor?

When did the U.S. Army first start using body armor like the Kevlar and IBA?

In the beginning stages of World War II, the United States created body armor for infantrymen, but many units were very massive and mobility-restricting. These types of armor vests were really often incompatible with currenting devices as well. The armed forces diverted its research efforts to establishing "flak jackets" for aircraft crews. These flak jackets were developed of nylon fabric and efficient of stopping flak and shrapnel, yet not designed to stop bullets.

The British Army issued Medical Research Council body shield, as did the Canadian Army, in north-west Europe, in the latter case primarily to medical personnel of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. The Japanese army produced a few styles of infantry body defense in the course of World War II, yet they did not see a lot use. Near the middle of 1944, development of infantry body armor in the United States rebooted. Numerous vests were created for the US military, consisting of but not limited to the T34, the T39, the T62E1, and the M12.

The Red Army utilized several kinds of body armour, consisting of the SN-42 (" Stalynoi Nagrudnik" is Russian for "steel breastplate", and the number represents the design year). All were tested, but only the SN-42 was put in production. It comprised of two pressed steel plates that safeguarded the front torso and groin. The plates were 2 mm thick and weighed 3.5 kg (7.7 Lbs.). This armor was supplied to SHISBr (assault engineers) and to Tankodesantniki (infantry that rode on tanks) of some tank brigades. The SN armor protected wearers from the German MP-40 9 mm bullet at around 100-125 meters, that created it useful in urban battles (Stalingrad). Nevertheless, the SN's mass made it impractical for infantrymen on foot in an open outdoor setting.


In the course of the Korean War several new vests were generated for the United States military, including the M-1951, which in turn created use of fiberglass or aluminum segments woven into a nylon vest. These types of vests represented "a huge enhancement on weight, but the armor fell short to stop bullets and fragments very successfully," although technically they were claimed to be able to stop a standard Soviet 7.62 x25 pistol round at the muzzle. The Vietnam war era furnish were merely updated models of the Korean versions and were still not competent of stopping rifle rounds.

In 1969, American Body Armor was founded and began to produce a patented combination of quilted nylon faced with multiple steel plates. This armor configuration was marketed to American law enforcement agencies by the Smith & Wesson gun company under the trade name "Barrier Vest." The "Barrier Vest" was the first police vest to gain wide use during high threat police operations.

In the mid-1970s, the DuPont Corporation launched Kevlar synthetic fiber, which in turn was woven into a fabric and layered. Right away Kevlar was included into a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) evaluation program to provide light-weight, concealable body armor to a test pool of American legislation enforcement officers to ascertain if everyday concealable wearing was achievable. Lester Shubin, a program manager at the NIJ, managed this law enforcement feasibility study inside a few selected large police agencies, and quickly determined that Kevlar body armor could be easily worn by police daily, and would certainly save lives.

In 1975 Richard A. Armellino, the creator of American Body Armor marketed an all Kevlar vest contacted the K-15, comprised of 15 layers of Kevlar that also featured a 5" X 8" ballistic steel "Shok Plate" installed vertically over the heart and was issued U.S Patent # 3,971,072 for this ballistic vest innovation. Similarly sized and positioned "trauma plates" are nevertheless used these days on the front ballistic panels of most concealable vests, decreasing blunt trauma and enhancing ballistic protection in the center-mass heart/sternum area.

In 1976, Richard Davis, founder of Second Chance Body Armor created this company's first all-Kevlar vest, identified the Model Y. The lightweight, concealable vest market was introduced and a new form of day-to-day security for the contemporary police officer was quickly adjusted. By the middle to late 1980s, an estimated 1/3 to 1/2 of police patrol officers wore concealable vests daily. By the year 2006, more than 2,000 documented police vest "saves" were tape-recorded, legitimizing the success and performance of lightweight concealable body shield as a conventional piece of everyday police equipment.


Kevlar soft protection had its drawbacks due to the fact that if "large particles or high velocity ammunitions struck the vest, the energy could trigger life-threatening, blunt trauma damages" in selected, important places. So the Ranger Body Armor was created for the American military in 1994. Even though it was the second modern US body armor that was able to stop rifle caliber rounds and nonetheless be light sufficient to be worn by infantry soldiers in the sector, it still had its flaws: "it was still heavier than the concurrently issued PASGT (Personal Armor System for Ground Troops) anti-fragmentation armor worn by regular shock troops and ... did not have the exact same certification of ballistic protection about the neck and elbow." The format of Ranger Body Armor (and more current body armor released to US special functions units) feature the trade-offs between force protection and mobility that modern-day body armor armies organizations to address.

The more recent armor provided by the United States military to large amounts of soldiers is recognized as the Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System. The Kevlar Interceptor vest is intended generally to supply shrapnel defense, but is ranked for threats up to and including 9mm sub machine gun fire. Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) plates, created of ceramic products, are worn front and back and protect the vital organs from threats up to and involving 7.62 x51mm NATO rifle rounds.

Considering that the 1970s, a number of brand-new fibers and development techniques for bulletproof fabric have been developed besides woven Kevlar, such as DSM's Dyneema, Honeywell's GoldFlex and Spectra, Teijin Twaron's Twaron, Pinnacle Armor's Dragon Skin, and Toyobo's Zylon (currently questionable, as brand-new research studies report that it deteriorates quickly, leaving wearers with significantly less protection than anticipated). These newer materials are promoted as being lighter, slimmer and more insusceptible than Kevlar, even though they are much more expensive. The US military has developed body shield for the working dogs that aid GIs in battle. According to dog handler Petty Officer Michael Thomas, the "new vests are an upgrade" from the previous vests, which in turn only provided stab security. The brand new vests also offer protection from bullets.