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Issue No 9 ,
JUNE 2018
 
  Published by Dar Assayad Arab Defence Journal
Highlights   المعلوماتية العسكرية تكنولوجيا الدفاع حول العالم العالم العربي تحديث السلاح الافتتاحية رسالة الناشر
DEVELOPMENTS IN COMBAT UNIFORMS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS
Reducing the extent of injuries or death from conventional weapons, improvised explosive devices and vehicle accidents is a high priority for armies around the world. Not only does this protect their soldiers from death and injury but it also improves combat effectiveness because it allows soldiers to keep fighting, even in life threatening situations.
This has prompted increasing investment in next-generation personnel protective equipment (PPE) technology, including improved body armour and helmets. Over the past decade these new systems have saved thousands of lives in conflicts around the world but it has created a dilemma.

Reducing the extent of injuries or death from conventional weapons, improvised explosive devices and vehicle accidents is a high priority for armies around the world. Not only does this protect their soldiers from death and injury but it also improves combat effectiveness because it allows soldiers to keep fighting, even in life threatening situations.
This has prompted increasing investment in next-generation personnel protective equipment (PPE) technology, including improved body armour and helmets. Over the past decade these new systems have saved thousands of lives in conflicts around the world but it has created a dilemma.
Many armies have demanded changes to bring down these loads to improve the mobility and hence combat effectiveness of soldiers, as well as reducing the potential for long term injuries that carry heavy loads for sustained periods could involve.
A decade or so go, many armies tried to package up their PPE requirements into what were dubbed "soldier systems", incorporating uniforms, body armour, helmets, load carrying equipment, radios, weapons and ammunition. Typical of these efforts was the Italian Soldato Futuro, future soldier system.
The US Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is working on exploiting new technologies to reduce the weight of the ballistic plates that form a core part of body armour. Its Special Operations Tactical Stand Alone Plate (SOTSAP) is aimed at fielding lightweight, tactical, stand-alone ballistic plates capable of providing elevated threat protection without degrading mobility or further encumbering the operator.
BAE Systems and Helios Global Technologies agreed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for joint work on the design and development of a next-generation liquid armour solution. In a joint statement the companies said they were testing a custard-style material that, when integrated with Kevlar, can provide enhanced levels of ballistic protection over legacy ceramic solutions. Liquid armour solutions would likely be integrated with conventional materials such as ballistic fibres and ceramics to improve energy attenuation and reduce the amount of conventional materials required.
The Canadian company Revision Military is offering variants of its Batlskin Caiman Helmet Family to military, para-military and law enforcement users. It has unveiled the latest addition to the product family, the Caiman Bump Helmet System. Manufactured from a reinforced polymer shell and designed for maritime and ground mobility operations, the bump helmet provides operators with equivalent blunt-impact protection levels to in-service advanced combat helmet designs.
The Netherlands government research agency, TNO"s is development the ExoBuddy exoskeleton alongside the private sector company, InteSpring, to support the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, as well as Dutch army Special Forces personnel (Korps Commandotroepen - KCT) and Maritime Special Operations Force (MARSOF) units with load carriage.
XOS 2 is a second-generation robotics suit being developed by Raytheon for the US Army. The wearable robotic suit increases the human strength, agility and endurance capabilities of the soldier inside it. XOS 2 uses high-pressure hydraulics to allow the wearer to lift heavy objects at a ratio of 17:1 (actual weight to perceived weight).
The Raytheon Sarcos robotic system is a further development and it is designed to take on the weight of the payload on one foot through the powered limbs. The wearer can lift about 200lb of weight for long periods of time without feeling the strain. The soldier wearing the suit can walk, run and can readjust to keep the load off the wearer, even upon stumbling.
The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) is an exoskeleton being developed by Lockheed Martin for dismounted soldiers. The hydraulically-powered HULC enables soldiers to carry heavy loads with minimal strain on their body.
Another possibility is to make the body armour load-bearing. A new French system, known as Hercule, was unveiled at the 2012 Milipol exhibition in Paris. Hercule has "mechatronic" powered legs and a pair of load-bearing arms to assist soldiers carrying heavy loads.
This fast moving area of military technology and new products are appearing with great rapidity. The potential to reduce the weight of personal protective equipment and the load carrying capabilities of exoskeleton, offer the potential to transform warfare.
 
 
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HIGHLIGHTS
DEVELOPMENTS IN COMBAT UNIFORMS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS
Reducing the extent of injuries or death from conventional weapons, improvised explosive devices and vehicle accidents is a high priority for armies around the world. Not only does this protect their soldiers from death an ...
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