The Development of a Navy, Buoyant, Anti-Fragment, Bulletproof Vest: Protection Against Low-Velocity Fragments, Secondary (Spall) Fragment Damage, and 30-Caliber-Ball Projectiles
NAVY CLOTHING AND TEXTILE RESEARCH FACILITY NATICK MA
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Development of two, experimental, Buoyant, Anti-Fragment, Bulletproof Vests which provide low-velocity protection against mortar shell bursts and secondary fragments spall, provide protection against 30- caliber, small-arms fire and provide emergency, inherent buoyancy is reported. Each model consists of a carrier which has front and back panels that contain a 30- caliber-ball, body-armor plate, a combination of felt andor woven ballistic nylon materials and layers of buoyant, unicellular polyethylene foam. The vests were developed to replace a standard ensemble worn by Navy personnel in Southeast Asia for protection against wounds caused by shrapnel and rifle fire and to provide emergency buoyancy in water. The ensemble consisted of a 40-pound, ceramic, body vest worn over a Navy MAE WEST and under a lightweight flak vest. Physiological, in- house, stress tests conducted on the vests indicated that no significant difference in the amount of stress was noted between the new models and the standard ensemble. Comments by the test subjects indicated, however, that the experimental vests were definitely preferred because the lighter weight and decreased bulk of the vests increased relative comfort.