The Development of a Buoyant-Ballistic Vest for Naval Forces
NAVY CLOTHING AND TEXTILE RESEARCH FACILITY NATICK MA
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Development of a buoyant-ballistic protective vest which provides inherent buoyancy by the use of three plies of 14- inch unicellular, polyethylene foam totalling approximately 12 ounces is reported. Designed primarily for Naval crews subjected to enemy shelling, the vest affords ballistic protection by employing six plies of ballistic nylon cloth in front of eight plies of a lightweight, needlepunched, polypropylene felt. In addition, each of the two ballistic assemblies are encapsulated in eight mil vinyl film to prevent wetting-out and to impart added buoyancy. Ballistic tests have shown the new vest to have equivalent ballistic protection to the nylon cloth vest, and pool tests have shown excellent buoyancy characteristics. A user evaluation of a Model I buoyant-ballistic vest reported that improvements in comfort and basic vest design were necessary and recommended changes. A redesigned Model II vest, which provides excellent buoyancy, was developed, user tested, and conditionally accepted.
- Protective Equipment