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Osprey Body Armour

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Today’s MOD bulletin featured Osprey body armour after it saved the life of a soldier of the Royal Irish Regiment. These bulletins from the MOD appear in my Facebook and Twitter feeds, and often use terms I’m not familiar with. “Osprey” was one such term, so I decided to find out what it was.

The Osprey CBA (Combat Body Armour) variant is used by British forces in Afganistan including the RAF Regiment, and has been used since 2006. The variant was developed from the previous system to take into account the threats faced in Iraq and Afganistan.

The system benefits from allowing ease of movement thanks to its modular design. The chest, back, neck and upper arm protectors are separate, removable pieces. In total, the body armour comprises of 22 sections.

The vest enables protection from ballistic and explosive damage. Each section has soft, energy absorbing armour that protects from explosive damage. Typically, soft armour is flexible, strong and lightweight, with high elasticity to dissipate impact energy over as large an area as possible in the armour. Additionally, the chest and back piece have pockets that can hold rigid ceramic trauma plates designed to stop rounds. The acronym for these rigid inserts is SAPI, Small Arms Protective Inserts.

The inner fabric is made of Coolmax, a fabric designed to wick away sweat. The outer is Corodura, a hardwearing heavy weight fabric.

The system has drawn complaints from some members of the armed forces for being too heavy. Stories carried in the press have told of some members removing the rigid plates, greatly reducing the weight, but compromising its ability to stop bullets. There have also been some complaints that the stitching is not durable enough for the strains placed on the armour.


Written by alexwalsh

October 28, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Equipment, RAF Knowledge

Tagged with ,

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