Enhanced Combat Body Armor (ECBA)

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The US Army is shipping 430,000 nape pads to augment the protection of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Attached to the helmet’s harness, by ‘hook-and-loop’ fasteners, the pads’ soft armor adds to the protection of the vulnerable upper neck while adding only 2.9-ounces in weight. Under a parallel program, the Marines are planning to procure additional 75,000 sets. The pads are closing the gap between the collar of the body armor vest and the rim of the soldier’s Kevlar Advanced Combat Helmet. The pads are produced by Crye Precision LLC.

The new nape pads are expected to further reduce the occurrence and severity of spinal injuries among combat troops. Other improvements to the Army’s personal soldier protection in the recent past have included an advanced combat helmet with an improved harness to hold it on the head; better ballistic eyewear; improved ceramic small arms protection inserts, or SAPI, plates, for the body armor vests; and side arm, or deltoid protectors that snap onto the vests.

In this series Defense Update covers the following topics: