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Jonah's Run Baptist Church

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Military Armor

The Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System (IBA) is a bullet-resistant body armor system that was used by the United States Armed Forces during the 2000s, with some limited usage into the mid-2010s. IBA and its design replaced the older standardized fragmentation protective Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) body armor system that was designed in the late 1970s and introduced in the early 1980s.

Military Armor

IBA was designed in the late 1990s as a replacement for the PASGT vest and the essentially-improvised ISAPO supplemental armor plate carrier, a combination widely criticized by US troops for its immense weight. It comes in a variety of color schemes and camouflage patterns depending on who the vest was produced for. It was used by most of the U.S. military's branches during much of the 2000s, and was even seeing limited use as late as 2015 among some National Guard units.

Beginning in 2007 the Improved Outer Tactical Vest began to replace the OTVs in the United States Army's service and since then it has been mostly replaced in its inventory, with the exception of a few OTVs still in service with the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve; however, both the OTV and the newer IOTV are being replaced by the Modular Scalable Vest.[3] The U.S. Marine Corps has replaced the OTV with the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV) and Scalable Plate Carrier (SPC), although IBA is still used by the U.S. Navy for sailors aboard its warships as of 2017 and by the U.S. Army Reserve as of 2018. Though IBA has been mostly replaced in U.S. military service, it is still used by the militaries of some other countries that have diplomatic relations with the U.S., such as Ukraine, Iraq, and Moldova. As such, the OTV, which has been in production since the late 1990s, is scheduled to be produced by the U.S. until 2020, for sale to foreign customers.

The Interceptor armor also has a PALS webbing grid on the front of the vest which accommodate the same type of pockets used in the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) backpack/carry vest system. This allows a soldier to tailor-fit his MOLLE and body armor system. While not specifically designed for it, the loops can also easily attach All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE)-based equipment, as well as many pieces of civilian-made tactical gear, and also features a large handle on the back just below the collar which can be used to drag a wounded person to safety in an emergency.

Due to the increased dangers of improvised explosive devices, newer versions of the vital plates and components have been developed. The Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPIs) and Enhanced Side Ballistic Inserts (ESBIs) have become available, along with the Deltoid and Axillary Protector System (DAPS). These new systems are becoming the standard for forward deployed troops. The E-SAPI plates offer increased protection from 7.62mm armor-piercing ammunition. The ESBIs is an attachable MOLLE ballistic panel with a pouch for a 8x6 side-SAPI, for protection of the side of the torso/under the arm. DAPS consists of two ambidextrous modular components, the Deltoid (upper arm) Protector and the Axillary (underarm) Protector, and provides additional protection from fragmentary and projectiles to the upper arm and underarm areas. With the OTV, E-SAPI plates (10.9 pounds), ESBIs (7.75 pounds), DAPS (5.03 pounds) and with the neck, throat and groin protectors installed the armor is significantly heavier at 33.1 pounds (15.0 kg).

The Interceptor vest was tested to stop a 919mm 124-grain FMJ bullet at 1,400 ft/s with minimal backface deformation, and it has a V-50 of roughly 1,525 ft/s. This means that the bullet in question must travel faster than 1,525 ft/s for it to have more than a 50% chance of penetration. (An unlikely prospect, given the muzzle velocity of a typical 9mm handgun or submachine gun). The Interceptor cannot, however, be called a Level III-A vest, since military standards do not require protection against heavy .44 Magnum ammunition. The vest will stop lower velocity fragments and has removable neck, throat, shoulder, extended back and groin protection.

Additionally, two ceramic plates may be added to the front and back of the vest, with each capable of stopping up to three hits from the round marked on the plate. For SAPI, this is a caliber of up to 7.6251mm M80 FMJ. For ESAPI, this is a caliber of up to 30-06 M2 AP.[9] This performance is only guaranteed when backed by the Interceptor vest, or any other soft armor which meets military requirements for protection. SAPI and ESAPI are the most technically advanced body armor fielded by the U.S. military, and are constructed of boron carbide ceramic with a Spectra shield backing that breaks down projectiles and halts their momentum.

Materials for the Interceptor vest were developed by DARPA in the 1990s, and a contract for production was awarded to DHB Industries' Point Blank Body Armor, Inc., by the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center. IBA was announced on April 13, 1998,[10] and the contract to manufacture IBA was awarded to an Oakland Park, Florida-based company under a five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract in late July 1998,[11][12] and the body armor went into full production later that year.[13]

In 2007, news reports were being issued on the lack of protection from hard and soft plated body armor from lethal rounds. Due to the coverage of these reports, comparative studies were done on the effectiveness of U.S. Military body armor, included IBA. IBA's performance was deemed inferior compared to other body armor designs and published on the news. The large coverage from this report led to Dean G. Popps, the Acting United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, to direct all first article testing (FAT) of IBA to the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC). The command headquarters are located at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) as a part of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL).[14]

As part of U.S. President George W. Bush's $87 billion package for ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, $300 million was earmarked for body armor. A complete Interceptor system costs $1,585.[17] The Interceptor system's component ceramic plates currently cost about $500 each.

On May 10, 2006, the U.S. Army announced it was holding an open competition for companies to design an entirely new generation of body armor "to improve on and replace" the Interceptor Body Armor's vest component. The Army said it wanted ideas from companies by May 31. Congressional investigators reportedly reviewed the Pentagon's entire body armor program, including the OTV. Investigators expressed concern that the vests might not be adequate to protect troops.[25]

Aside from replacing the SAPI vital plates with the improved E-SAPI plates, the body armor vests have also been redesigned, improved and enhanced with the introduction of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, or "IOTV" (which began to be issued to ground combat units from mid-to-late 2007), in the U.S. Army.

After initially using IBA as their main body armor system, the U.S. Marine Corps developed a completely new armor system, the Modular Tactical Vest, which was their primary body armor system in Iraq. On September 25, 2006, the Marine Corps announced that Protective Products International won a contract for 60,000 new Modular Tactical Vests (MTV) to replace the Interceptor OTV vests.[26] The MTV provides greater coverage, superior weight distribution, and additional features including as a quick-release system. Some U.S. Navy ground force personnel (such as seabees and hospital corpsmen) use the Modular Tactical Vest. Other Navy personnel on Individual Augmentee assignments use the Army's body armor systems.

Not adapted for the mountainous environment of Afghanistan, the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV) was replaced by the Scalable Plate Carrier (SPC), a lighter alternative, which is their primary body armor system for Afghanistan.

Since January 2009, the U.S. Marine Corps is seeking for replacements for both MTV and SPC that are commonly issued. The MTV has received top ratings by many U.S. Marines; although a few Marines have complained about minor elements of it and an updated version will soon be released which deals with these elements.[27] The Improved Modular Tactical Vest (IMTV) and Improved Scalable Plate Carrier (ISPC) are the new models. "The IMTV will be the main body armor system for Marines, the Corps plans to order about 70,000 of the improved plate carriers, far more than the estimated 10,000 to 14,000 plate carriers in use today".[28]

Body armor is always a compromise: mobility and comfort (and with it speed and stamina) are inevitably sacrificed to some degree when greater protection is achieved. This is a point of contention in the U.S. armed forces, with some favoring less armor in order to maintain mobility and others wanting as much protection as is practical. Troops who primarily ride in vehicles generally want the highest practical level of protection from IEDs and ambushes, while dismounted infantry often make the case that impaired mobility can prove just as fatal as inadequate armor.

A U.S. Marine Corps forensic study obtained by DefenseWatch criticizes the Interceptor OTV body armor system. The report says: "As many as 42% of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso injuries could have been prevented with improved protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of the vest. Nearly 23% might have benefited from protection along the mid-axillary line of the lateral chest. Another 15% died from impacts through the unprotected shoulder and upper arm."[29]

Private purchase of commercial body armor for combat use by soldiers is not authorized by the U.S. Army. A spokesman voiced concerns in 2004 about armor that had not been "tested, certified or approved" by the Army.[17] In 2005, the DoD, under severe pressure from Congress after the recalls, authorized a one-time $1,000 reimbursement to soldiers who had purchased civilian body armor and other gear.[30] In 2006 they gave orders not to wear anything but military issued body armor because of fears that inadequate armor could be purchased, mainly body armor that had inadequate blunt force trauma protection.[31] 041b061a72


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