British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to get new hi-tech body armour

November 3rd, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 3 (ANI): British troops serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be provided with a new hi-tech combat outfit and hundreds of better-armoured vehicles by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), UK.

According to a report in the Times, a total redesign of military fatigues will give soldiers a head-to-toe integrated uniform, with all parts of the body being given new or additional protection against threats from high-velocity bullets and blast noise to mosquitoes.

Development work on the new battle uniform has been carried out amid growing criticism of the MoD over the protection given to troops.

Coroners have highlighted the continuing use of Snatch Land Rovers, many of which have been blown up by roadside bombs and mines, with dozens of casualties.

As part of the new integrated uniform programme, called Project Pecoc (personal equipment common operational clothing), the current ear plugs and large ear defenders, which soldiers often refuse to wear in battle because they block out the sound of the human voice, will be replaced by a high-tech gadget.

The plan is to buy a digital hearing device that will fit into both ears and will be capable of reducing the impact of the loudest battlefield noises, such as explosions and heavy machinegun fire, but still allow the soldier to hear spoken commands.

The multimillion-pound Project Pecoc, which started in 2004, will include a new helmet and fragmentation jacket and better eye protection.

It is expected to be available for training purposes in 2010 and ready for operations in early 2011.

The new look will not turn every soldier into a version of Darth Vader, Major Richard Coomber, in charge of the special project, told The Times. The main objective was to give maximum protection while reducing the overall weight that individuals had to carry, he added.

Traditionally we have introduced new items when they have been needed, such as better boots, but the aim of this project is to develop everything in one integrated programme, Coomber explained.

The new helmet, made of composite materials, is being styled on the American model, with a flatter top and better all-round visibility. It will also have a fragmentation flap at the back to protect the neck.

The Project Pecoc armour will have all-round protection.

The ceramic plates, capable of stopping a high-velocity round, will be thinner than before but the weight will remain the same. (ANI)

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