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View Diary: Pentagon forbids troops to buy better body armor (259 comments)

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  •  Lehrer News Hour? (none)
    I saw this on Lehrer last week.  Two ex-military guys wearing the different vests. The diarist linked to this transcript above.  You can see pictures here too.

    The problem with the armor currently in use (Interceptor) is that it only takes one impact, then it shatters and is basically useless.  The dragon skin is capable of taking multiple hits.  Doesn't that affect the costs?  If it's used once (and is hopefully successful) then you gotta go buy another new one to replace it (or at least replace that plate).  If you have a vest that can take multiple hits and keep working then you have some potential savings right there - no replacement costs.  Here's a quote from the dragon skin guy...

    LT. COL. ROGER CHARLES (Ret.): This will not only will take that hit but will take multiple hits and the ceramic plate used in interceptor, one of the complaints from the troops in the field was that too often after one round impact, then you had a bunch of gravel basically inside the pouch.

    Here's a quote from the dude wearing the Interceptor...

    LT. COL. ROBERT MAGINNIS (Ret.):
    And, you know, the contracting people as well as the Army scientists say, look, be careful with dragon skin because it's good for a knife fight but we don't want to take it to Iraq because of the ballistic issues. And they're not comfortable with it yet, but perhaps in the future.

    Perhaps in the future??? Well how long does it take to friggin' test this?  I would imagine you set up parallel tests and fire bullets or blow stuff up from various distances at dummies wearing dragon skin vs. dummies wearing the current armor and compare what the impacts are to various spots on the torso.  How hard can it be?  IMO, seems like it could pretty well be decided in weeks, not months, and not the years which they have apparently been stalling thus far.  

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