The U.S. Army began fielding the new second generation Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), with first kits delivered to soldiers scheduled to deploy to the Afghan theater. Shipments will soon follow to units already in theater. “The latest design Gen-II IOTV vest includes 17 improvements over the Gen-I vest. The new IOTV is designed with more versatile, modular approach, allowing units to configure their gear to better confront multiple threat levels in their unique environment” said Major Craig Fournier from PEO Soldier.
Improvements include a totally redesigned and removable yoke and collar, reversible and detachable side carriers and universal side pouch, and equipment anchor points on the front and rear which interface with items such as hydration systems and the Tactical Assault Panel or (TAP). In addition, the new design has better adjustability in the shoulders and hips, to better fit all sizes. The newly designed location for the side-plate is also adjustable to the wearer. Given the enhanced flexibility and modularity of the new kit, soldiers will be able to wear a more comfortable vest, and carry just the equipment they need for a mission. When required or possible, they could strip the IOTV down to its basic function, becoming a light weight load carrying vest, retaining effective protection, maneuverability and flexibility.
“A mounted soldier manning an MRAP turret has the option to utilize all accessories such as deltoid, front, and back protectors for maximum protection, while a dismounted soldier in the mountains can strip the IOTV down to the base vest, removing the side pouch, side plates, and accessory pieces, slimming the IOTV down to a trim 9.86 pounds, minus the plates” Maj. Fournier added, “this configuration gives the commander the flexibility to reduce the combat load while still maintaining increased fragmentation and 9mm protection.” Kits are currently produced in Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (Multicam) and the Universal Camo Pattern (UCP).