April 5, 2007:
The U.S. Army is introducing new
body army, the Modular Tactical Vests (MTV), this year. This will replace the
1990s era Interceptor body armor. The MTV, true to its name, provides many
protection options. If troops only want the same level of protection the
Interceptor vests provides, the MTV is about three pounds lighter. But if the
side armor, and several other additions, are included, MTV weighs about a pound
more (18 pounds) than Interceptor. The MTV adds more protection to the sides,
back and throat. Troops wearing MTV are expected to suffer 5-10 percent fewer
casualties. A precise figure will be available after users experience several
thousand combat hours with the new armor.
MTV is much more user friendly. It has a
quick-release system that enables troops to drop the vest in seconds in
emergencies. The vest includes channels for radio and computer wires. There's a
rifle bolster, making it easier to handle a rifle while wearing the vest. The
improved closure system makes it easier to put the MTV on, even after using the
quick release. The U.S. Marine Corps is about six months ahead of the army in
adopting the MTV, and spearheaded the new acceptance of the new armor.
Both army and marines are developing an MTV
replacement, that will incorporate lighter, curved, ballistic plates, that will
cover more of the torso. These next generation vests aren't expected to enter
service for another three or five years.