Hanging out of your mam's backdoors ya slaaaagggs!
Originally Posted by sepheronx
So what is the cost of the gear total? If it is quite the jump then between the Mk6, then hopefully the price is good too, so that they can equip most to all of their troops relatively fast.
Err we will probably not equip everyone with this, just those who need it in Afghan.
Its kinda like with wagons. You wouldnt equip all of your Stateside forces with MRAPs, they'd still use Hummvees etc for training and conventional scenarios, all is good. I think theatre specific stuff for theatres only actually kinda makes sense, otherwise we'd spend loads more money on kit that wasn't strictly necessary for those in UK and it would take us longer to roll out new improvements (like this Mk7) to everyone. But PECOC is soon coming which will revamp the basic kit so it is like what you get on tour but for everyone all the time.
Hanging out of your mam's backdoors ya slaaaagggs!
Originally Posted by bazyl813
New Enhanced Mk7 Helmet.
In my opinion new helmet is very similar to AC900/600 Helmet.
There was a guy over on Arrse who actually trails this stuff saying the new lid is called the SFCT, originally made for special forces for counter terrorism apparently, all very gucci. Will be good if it makes getting a decent sight picture while ****e (i.e. not having your helmet pushed down over your eyes) works - thats the point of the higher up rim at the front, like the new US helmet, right?
Hope they replace the big black patches on the body armour and all. It does look very like they just went out and bought it off Eagle or someone, not like our kit at all. Wonder if the armour filling inside is commercial bought or GB developed...
10 cells of PALS webbing in the chest... Good luck with that. Whoever designed the cut of the soft ballistic insert is rather unaware of shooters ergonomics. But i spy a modular rank slide tab- so there's an improvement after all. The fastex-closure cummerbund isnt probably the worst idea as well, but it may depend on execution.
Modern body armor designs employs two kinds of what we call cummerbund in that context - one is an inner cummerbund - and that idea exists for some time now. Usually this inner cummerbund is a simple, wide (3-4 inches) elastic band that is attached to the edges of the back ballistic panel cover, or in case of some releasable vests - it may be and independent element. It is flat, it fastens with velcro, nothing fancy here. This inner cummerbund - it serves two pourposes - it makes the vest easier to don, since it stabilizes and positions the back panel on you, so you can better adjust the whole vest, align and fasten both panels togheter (we are assuming the standard 2 panels, front-back vest construction). The other function is to better distribute the weight of the vest - first, because if the vest is more stable on you, fits closer, and doesn't jump up and down on your body when you move or change position - you are simply more comfortable, thus less tired. Secondly - properly adjusted inner cummerbund takes some weight of the vest off your shoulders and transfers it to the hips in a similiar way the hip belt of the rucksack does (there are some attempts to make an integrated vest build around true ruck carrying system, althought I doubt their outcome). The cons of the inner cummerbund is that it may produce some pressure on your belly, and some say it restricts breathing - this may be an individual question, so generally I opt for an removable inner cummerbunds in most types of vests.
The other type cummerbund is what we see on the outside - outer, modular cummerbund. It may be removable/optional (as it is in Eagle Ind. plate carrier or releasable vests) or sometimes fixed in simplier designs. This serves not only to fasten the vest and secure its side closures, but also is a platform for pouches, holsters and stuff. In newer vest designs the outer cummerbund may also serve as a platform for the side plates (hard inserts). soft ballistic inserts that fit into it, giving more protection to the sides of the vest or a plate carrier (closing the unprotected gap in the case of the latter).
No, its not really a separate "thing" - such as a chest rig would be. Its a integral part of the ballistic vest cover, and it does not, nor should it move around the "body" of the vest.
The outer cummerbunds work well - they give you more "real estate" to mount your pouches and accessories than classic, side closure vest layout. They give you better fitting, more adjustable vests, especially when you design it with Quick Release in mind. They are also the best solution when you need to use hard side plates in your vest. Naturally - there are some other options, but for a moment it is a most universal of the inegrated modular vests layouts. Individual preferences may vary, depending on the end user needs.
Now, why I said it will be unergonomical? Judging by these pics - its far too wide in the chest area for its respective size, good two inches too wide. This will make shouldering the weapons (especially in frontal shooting position, which is optimal regarding the protection offered by the hard plates), and drivig the vehicles rather painful experience, with rims of the front panel restricting your movements, and digging into your arms. It's hard to judge the vest lenght by these pictures - but it seems too long as well, which will effect in vest "standing up" when you sit, kneel or bend. Another typical designer-non-user mistake. There are some other points that raise my doubts - but I'll wait for a better pics to issue any further judgements (what about the peryperies protection, upper arm, collar, groin, belt/kidneys - integrating all these to work sensibly togheter is a real PITA). Overall - it seems more advanced than the previous PECOC model (introduction of the cummerbund), but still its a near miss in my oppinion. The greatest problem now is a shilouette of the soft ballistic inserts - because they determine the shape of the outer carrier. The shape I see know sucks, and without a reliable QR system this vest is still lagging few years behind of what is now a standard.
That's rather weak point given that Hereford's Sports and Social club seems to be running BALCS type ballistic inserts-based vest for several years now (mainly the MSA Paraclete's RAV from what has been shown to public), which are relatively slim and ergonomically correct - and this thingy here is rather cumbersome. Like I said above, some things in this vest seem better than any of the Brit PECOC or no PECOC propositions before. But some are bull... The shape of ballistic panels are one of the things to be corrected if we want to have a decent vest. From my own experience I can only say that being an outstanding special forces soldier doesn't automatically give you expertise on vest and ballistics design - they don't run courses on that.
Hanging out of your mam's backdoors ya slaaaagggs!
Well cheers for explaining all that, a bit odd to think that the cummerbund is extra armour already over a layer of armour but there we go, I suppose it is all good. Could the potential ergonomics dramas pointed out be the result of wearing the wrong sized vest i.e. should they have got him a medium rather than a large for example? Another thing I noticed is I can't really see a plate over the chest like you can with ECBA/Osprey, although it must be hidden there somewhere. The ability to add side plates in the cummerbund as you mentioned sounds handy - there is supposed to be the ability to add ECBA plates into the sides of Osprey going by what has been said on Arrse to make it very very armoured, this'd no doubt be heavy but could be worthwhile if static/in vehs I think.
Well, the question of additional soft armor to be put into cummerbund depends on the actual need to do so. I mentioned it as an option, but in fact it's rather something used in smaller plate carriers that offer no side protection, than integrated vests based around soft inserts with overlapping sides. So it's not obligatory - just one of many options that cummerbund layout gives, however not every outer cummerbund variant can hold side plates or soft inserts inside it - sometimes you need to attach extra plate pockets to it.
Here you can see an detail of the new land forces integrated releasable vest designed by my team - as you can see the external cummerbund holds the side ceramic plate in its own pocket quite thight to the body - you could put a rectangular section of the soft armor in it as well. But if you dont need to - you can go light and get rid of the plate pocket and just leave the modular waistbelt alone.
About the size of the vest - well it might be the case (ie. they wear the prototype sized XXL for the show) but I have bad feeling about this. It happens all too often that some manufacturers and designers create a vest of proportions that would be rather fit for EOD team blast suit than infantry combat. They are driven by noble intention to provide more ballistic coverage, but at the same time they f..k the mobility and combat egronomics. Sometimes is just a simple industry FUBAR - like with USMC MTV's that seem to have confusing size designation - so they were ordered too big in large numbers, before it came up that their sizing doesnt match with the earlier IBA sizing. (hence the fast introduction, and growing popularity of the smaller SPC plate carriers among the USMC).
As for the chest plate pocket - well, there is an adjustable pocket but simply inside of the vest. You have to open the vest ballistics pockets to acess it. But on the other hand - most inner pockets are adjustable for height so you can better fit the torso plate to your build and be more comfortable with it (however there are some safety rules on it).
Using the ECBA smallish hard plates as side plates isn't a bad idea at least from logistical point of view - USMC did something similiar with XS sapi plates for their MTV when worn by very tall folks. ECBA plate was NIJ III class about 1kg each, that's a little heavy for modern plate - you can have a ceramic NIJ class IV plate at the same weight or polyethylene class III at half of it.