Mattis Brings Lighter Armor To Our Combat Troops

first published on November 5, 2018 by

The Army will now begin fielding modular armor that is lighter and allows the wearer to modify it to suit different operational roles and mission sets.


Decades of ongoing conflict has shown us that combat troops can go from heavy fighting operations to low visibility advise-and-assist roles on a single deployment. Their standard issue gear and protective equipment should be adaptable enough to cover a broad spectrum of mission types without cutting corners on survivability, mobility, and suitability.

The upgrades are part of an ongoing directive to make our combat arms troops more lethal on the battlefield. The Army is also looking to upgrade primary weapons systems, support by fire weapons, and optics.

The new relatively lighter weight, tailorable armor is being called the Soldier Protective System (SPS). The SPS is said to reduce the weight of the soldier’s worn protective gear by ten percent.

The varied components made to serve different roles are as follows:

The Vital Torso Protection (VTP) variants include lighter weight Enhanced Small Arm Protective Inserts/Enhanced Side Ballistic Inserts (ESAPI/ESBI), as well as the X Threat Small Arms Protective Inserts (XSAPI) and X Threat Side Ballistic Inserts (XSBI) for deployers.

The Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP) is further comprised of multiple components, including the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), the Ballistic Combat Shirt (BCS), the Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP) and Ballistic Battle Belt (B3).

The Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) will include a 5 percent lighter weight helmet system composed of helmet/maxillofacial and passive hearing protection with increased blunt impact performance.

The Transition Combat Eye Protection (TCEP) will include ballistic protective eyewear capable of transitioning from light to dark and dark to light in less than one second, providing a 10 percent increase in fragmentation. This capability aids Soldiers in a combat environment to move rapidly in varying light conditions.

It’s always a good thing when we can improve the performance of our troops’ gear, but anyone who has been in the infantry long enough knows that that ten percent less weight void is going to instantly be filled with more ammunition, supplies, and equipment.


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