Snipers and Body Armor

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 10 months ago

In “Old and New Body Armor for Marines,” I discussed the existing Interceptor body armor system and its replacement, the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV) by Protective Products International.  Stars and Stripes has given us a glimpse of the MTV.

MTV Back View, Courtesy of Stars and Stripes

MTV Side View, Courtesy of Stars and Stripes

In addition to more efficient weight distribution, the MTV claims better protection to the lateral torso, with less exposed area on the side and under the arms.  This is an example of the United States Marine Corps being just about as far ahead of the curve as is possible.  The Army is lagging behind, and for the Marines, the MTV is scheduled to go into service early 2007.

The MTV could not be issued soon enough.  The New York Times had an article on November 3, 2006, entitled “Sniper Attacks Adding to Peril of U.S. Troops,” in which the following nugget of gold may be found: “Most of the time, the marines said, the snipers aim for their heads, necks and armpits, displaying knowledge of gaps in their protective gear.”  The Interceptor has gaps on the side torso that the MTV promises to remedy.

I will be publishing a commentary soon on enemy sniper activity in Iraq (including recommendations on responsive tactics by the U.S.), which in my estimation will constitute the most significant threat of mortality for U.S. troops throughout the balance of deployment in Iraq.  Until then, it should be noted that the sooner the MTV can make its way into the field, the better.


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This article is filed under the category(s) Technology,Weapons and Tactics and was published November 7th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

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