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Where there is no clear ‘front line’ or ‘friendly area’, danger may be lurking everywhere and the enemy can strike anytime. Snipers, shooting from elevated levels, illusive Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) spraying deadly fragments over a large area, hit-and-run strafing from a passing vehicle or mortar attack from a distance are widely used by insurgents fighting asymmetric warfare. IEDs proved to be effective even when striking armored vehicles, let alone the less protected ‘foot patrols’. The myriad of threats requires a holistic approach to personal protection featured in this issue.
Personal protective measures are incorporated into body armor suites, helmets and protective eyewear to eliminate much of the risk of high-velocity fragments and projectiles, such as shrapnel and firearms, making previously fatal chest wounds survivable. Eye protection provided by transparent shields made of polycarbonate is also used in tactical goggles and protective eyewear which, when used properly, can prevent most common eye injuries associated with blast and fragments.
Yet, the use of body armor under extreme environmental conditions is physiologically exhaustive, requiring the addition of additional cooling systems to dissipate excessive heat.
In this series Defense Update covers the following topics:
- Body Armor Suites
- Ergonomic Body Armor Designs
- Ballistic Helmets
- Physiological and Physical Challenge of Body Armor
- Eyewear Protection for the Warfighter
- Tactical Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK / PRK)
- Cooling with Phase Change Materials (PCM)
- Improving the Combat Survival Rate Among the Wounded
- Load Carrying Systems for the Infantry