[ismember]The Virtus soldier system comprises a new body armor assembly integrating ceramic protection inserts on the load-carrying vest, thus eliminating the need for a separate body armor vest, increasing the soldier’s agility and making it easier to carry a heavy kit. The level of protection employed can be scaled up or down to match the type of threat by adding or removing soft armor pads and hard (ceramic or composite) ballistic inserts. Using state-of-the-art lightweight ceramic plates for protection, the fully armored Virtus offers the same level of protection, but is almost five kilograms lighter, than the bulkier, Osprey system the British troops are currently using.
The new system also has a quick-release mechanism – a pin positioned on the chest that, when pulled, releases the entire body kit – to facilitate safe extraction from hazardous situations such as burning vehicles or water. This replaces the Velcro straps that soldiers currently have to rip open to release their body armor.[/ismember]
The kit’s head subsystems elements provided by Canadian-based Revision Military include custom-designed head protection solution, known as the Batlskin Cobra Plus. This ultra-lightweight helmet exceeds the UK’s stringent ballistic and impact requirements and can be coupled with the patented Modular Protective Attachment System (MPAS) for full face protection. In addition, the Revision Sawfly Spectacle and WolfSpider Goggle Systems will be provided for use when full-face coverage is not required.
[ismember]One of the most radical innovations in the new system is the DWD, acting as an external spine for the load carriage. The device links the load carried on the back to the user’s waist belt, adjusting the distribution of the weight to match the user’s comfort and level of fatigue. This spine helps spread the load of the body armor and a Bergen (backpack) or daysack (light backpack) across the back, shoulders and hips.The load distribution system is transferable from the Bergen, daysack and vest and it becomes a personal fit. Once issued, each soldier is able to adjust the weight bias to his or her preference with one hand, using a small mechanical controller knob. So, on long marches, for example, troops can opt for the most efficient set-up, where most of the burden is towards the hips and away from the shoulders, increasing comfort and stamina.[/ismember]
“In challenging troop trials we found it performed exceptionally well and was a steep improvement on the in-service equipment,” said Major General Paul Jacques, Director of Land Equipment at MOD Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). “The key is the integrated nature of the system, that enables the soldier to operate far more effectively,” he added.
[ismember]The Cobra Plus helmet, fitted with the Modular Suspension System – a fully adjustable liner and retention system designed to maximize comfort and stability during long periods of wear – also carries an integrated front mount and mini rail system to attach NVG’s and accessories such as flashlights or cameras.
The MPAS consists of a ballistic Mandible Guard for lower face and jaw protection as well as an optically correct Visor that can be completely closed and sealed for full protection, vented for additional airflow, or put into an upright locked position when not required. This flexible facial protection solution is equally suitable in riot control scenarios as it is fulfilling different mission requirements on the battlefield.[/ismember]
[nonmember]The new Cobra Plus lightweight helmet from Revision Military is also included in the kit, to provide increased blunt-impact protection. Face and mandible guards can be added for certain roles. The helmet’s shape is designed to integrate with the armor and daysack so that weapons can be used comfortably even in prone positions.
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