Author Topic: (US) Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits  (Read 33557 times)

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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Army Tests Pinnacle Armor "Dragon Skin" Vests
Army News Service | May 19, 2006
The Army announced that PEO Soldier has contracted with Pinnacle Armor to purchase 30 of its latest body armor vests, known as “Dragon Skin,” for delivery no later than May 17.

The 30 production-representative vests will be delivered to H.P. White in Street, Md., for ballistic testing. HP White is the only National Institute of Justice-certified, independent, ballistic-testing laboratory in the United States capable of conducting the complete First Article Test. This is the same facility and ballistic testing standards used on the body armor currently fielded to Soldiers. Upon completion of the First Article Test -- which is a three-day test -- the Army will issue a press release stating the results.

All suppliers of Army body armor are required to pass the First Article Test. This is the same standard test conducted on the currently fielded body armor. Standard testing consists of a variety of ammunition and weapons fired on various size vests, under a range of conditions that replicate combat environments.



If “Dragon Skin” successfully completes First Article testing, it will advance to the second phase of testing. The Second Phase testing is conducted at Fort Benning, Ga., and consists of form, fit, function and operational suitability to meet Soldiers’ needs across a wide variety of combat tasks.
Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion.


Copyright 2006 Army News Service. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Military.com.
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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/19/AR2006051901606.html

Potential Advance in Body Armor Fails Tests

By Lolita C. Baldor
Associated Press
Saturday, May 20, 2006; Page A13

The Army's struggle to find a new, more flexible body armor was dealt a setback yesterday when a California company's high-tech Dragon Skin vests failed to pass military testing, a senior Defense Department official said.

After three days of testing this week, the Army determined that the body armor does not meet military specifications, said the official, who declined to specify which tests the armor failed. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the results have not been released.

The Army paid about $170,000 to buy 30 sets of the armor for the testing.

Generally, during testing, various types of ammunition are fired at the vests, and the armor may also be subjected to extreme temperatures or environmental conditions. The tests were done by H.P. White, an independent ballistic testing lab in Street, Md.

The Army has expressed great interest in getting more flexible body armor. One of the key complaints about the armor used by troops on the battlefield is that it is too heavy and inflexible and may lessen a soldier's speed and agility. The current armor includes heavy ceramic plates in the front, in back and on the sides.

The Dragon Skin testing was initially delayed because of a dispute over testing conditions between the Army and Pinnacle Armor of Fresno, Calif., which makes the product.

Earlier this week, the Army announced it would conduct three days of testing, signaling the dispute's resolution.

A request for comment from Murray Neal, Pinnacle Armor's chief executive, was not immediately returned.

Neal, however, has previously contended that his armor is of high quality and its "capabilities have been proven to be significant improvements over the current Army issue."

He said he has nine years of ballistic data, both classified and unclassified, that show the armor taking over 40 rounds of ammunition from an AK-47, then another 150 rounds from a submachine gun, all at close range without any failure.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2006, 22:46:43 by Quagmire »
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Offline Kalatzi

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Here's an interesting article - Apparently GW's Secret Service detail wears dragon skin ...
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/2/7/114814/3131
Best Wishes to Francois Hollande, France’s president nicknamed “Meccano-builder” for his ability to bridge the endless personal and ideological disputes, a process he once likened to

Offline riggermade

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I saw dragon skin on Discovery channel and it looked like an amazing piece of kit...but then we have to take things with a grain of salt
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Offline muskrat89

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A couple of comments - first, I doubt that the Secret Service changes their equipment, based on who is the President. Seems they always gotta sneak in some Dubya bashing.

Second, I would imagine that military requirements differ significantly from Secret Service requirements.

Other than that, I don't have a "side" in this quarrel
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Offline Colin P

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Huh?

Soooo... they charge a dead man ???

Yea I was about to post the same comment, I can see an escort of 6 men quick marching a coffin onto the carpet.  :o

Offline WarmAndVertical

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"For you younguns a history lesson.
back in the 80's a similar set of circumstances occurred. The culprit Brit camo pattern and US issue jungle boots. Both items were highly sought after items that were not issued through formal channels. British units in Canada rotating back to the United Kingdom were to destroy cbt uniforms used in Canada. In both Wainwright and Sufflied a highly organized unoffical NATO QM system developed. Magic Pantry IRP's in sufficient quantity would get you a set of slightly used Brit camos. After the Bn CO and RSM were seen trooping the line in their 'gifts', imitation became the sincerest form of flattery. No orders were passed but it was understood by one and all that the unofficial uniform was for field use only. The only caveat in this was the bright forward thinking Recce plt CO who managed to successfully argue the lack of suitable equipment for his plt and they became standard issue to that platoon."

And don't forget US Rain jackets and Ranger blankets and Danners.   Ah yes, when bivie bags were something in the pages of US Cavalry...
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Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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There was a special on Dragon Skin on Weapons Races or something like that.

The host who is ex-special forces put more than 100 rounds into vest of 9mm (MP5), 5.56mm (M-16) and 7.62mm (AK-47) and didn't get one penetration.

The final test was they put a dummy with a vest on, on top of a grenade (this part was being monitored by a guy from one of the local bomb squads because he was looking at adding to his guy kit).  Again, no penetration at all.

I'm by no means an expert, but the host is, and his eyebrows were definitely raised....


Matthew.   :salute:
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Offline Kilo_302

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yeah i saw the same bit. I am also not an expert, and even if the host isnt either, the EOD guy they had sure was. A soldier taking a grenade like would probably still have died due to concussion, but he wouldnt have died from shrapnel to the chest thats for sure. Impressive, but I think the jury is still out.

Offline KevinB

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I have a set of Dragon Skin.
- It is heavier than conventional plate -- but it is much more flexible.

   The issue of future weapons was not very well done.
The M855 5.56mm round is the greatest penetrator of the M43 7.62x39 or the M882 9mm Ball
  Yet the host made it seem the 9mm then the 7.62mm where more powerful


FWIW a set of Dragon Skin for the SPEARS/BALCS systems (Paraclete RAV, Eagle CIRAS etc) is $5750 USD...
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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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you weren't detered by the negative press in Lightfighter (granted I haven't been there in a while).
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Offline KevinB

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It's got positive and negative points

  I know a member on the testing board - who pointed out the US mil failed it due to the increase in weight over the IBA -- neglecting the point - it offers a 34% increase in coverage, for a 22% increase in weight --- and more importantly one can move in it --

When you look a US mil troop with IBA - side plates - bicep armor - and neck and groin protector -- the guy is not going anywhere.
   Ali baba -- knows this and takes advantage of the lack of dismounted manuverability.


It don't think DS is the full meal deal --- but some some uses it does the trick
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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Just saw the Future Weapons ep.
Kev you still using this?  Anything further to add?
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Offline KevinB

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Yeah --

There is a lot of info and accusations on the Lightfighter thread.

  Rumour has Nattick (US Soldier System development) has their own version soon to come out...
My guess is a lot of rumour and innuendo is being thrown both ways.
   1) If Pinnacle can get DOD to buy -- its the golden egg
   2) If Natick can get theirs in -- its in house baby - flashy PER's for everyone.  (and millions saved)
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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Any trickle down to say...Us?
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Offline TheHead

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Another case of old Dinosaur officers/RSMs throwing common sense out the window.     I'd still say screw it and wear my own.     
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Well there is a CF cell at PEO/Natick

Of course these are the same people who are in league with CTS and "the TacVest is ergonomically correct - and the troops dont need that much ammo) -- so basically I would suggest not holding ones breath
  Until all the young captains who have been in Afghan - are angry young majors and push some of the out of touch staff people off a cliff.

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Offline TheHead

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Well there is a CF cell at PEO/Natick

Of course these are the same people who are in league with CTS and "the TacVest is ergonomically correct - and the troops dont need that much ammo) -- so basically I would suggest not holding ones breath
  Until all the young captains who have been in Afghan - are angry young majors and push some of the out of touch staff people off a cliff.



That's the thing though when do we step back and say "Sir you're a ******* idiot and are going to get troops killed." We don't haha.  I remember that RCR RSM/CO ( Correct me if I'm wrong) who said they don't need more than 5 mags.   I remember the guys who came into relieve us in Spin Boldack who were terrified by the stories we told them of the old Tac Vest and were honestly scared for their lives of running out of ammo.   They were told by their Chain of Command they MUST wear it.   The sad thing was Gen Hiller the man himself said you can wear whatever the frig you want at a "Troops Hour" they had.     The CO/RSM didn't give a crap.      I took this issue so personally when I had a meeting with Mr Laurie Hawn a MP of Downtown Edmonton on Remembrance day that's the first issue I brought up, it made him and I both sick. How "Uniformity and Dress" are taking a priority over troops lives.

You're totally right infidel bang on.  We need these dinosaurs out.  My platoon commander he was young and stupid though not old and decrepit. It only took a good sized fire fight and a few of his own soldiers almost dying (Literally the young man almost died) from heat exhaustion and dehydration , to realize you don't march your troops into the ground in 60 degree weather with little to no water.  After his first firefight his "perception" changed, a little.

We do need those young Capts , Mcpls and Sergeants who have seen combat to become the new RSMs and COs.  I agree completely.  The sad thing is, the way the attrition rate was in 1PPCLI a lot of those combat vets are gone, it's not like they listened to us anyways :P   

I apologize for the rant, I'm not even in the Military anymore. This stuff though just burns away at me.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 15:32:07 by TheHead »
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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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NBC is doing a segment on this right now. More to follow.
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Offline tomahawk6

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One major problem that is a deal breaker for the Army is the glue that holds the scales in place. The glue seems to breakdown under heat which can be fatal.

Offline Sheep Dog AT

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So the program ended.  Your right the adhesive did come up however the top dog for US armor said that Dragon Skin also had a tough time defending at room temp.  The tests were limited and done by a independent source and Dragon Skin beat out the Interceptor armor in all tests.  There were no tests done in Afghan/Iraq weather conditions (heat) and I showed add that the Interceptor armor did well.  The maker of Interceptor armor (who has no financial gain) says that DS is the next gen (ie better).  The US military also banned DS prior to doing any tests on it.  The person that oversaw the tests to ban DS has since gone on to work for the competition.  Democrats are now calling for full tests.  The head armor guy has stated they don't do side by side comparisons but will the equipment meet or exceed a set standard.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 19:35:58 by Lone Wolf Quagmire »
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Offline tomahawk6

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I like the concept of DS maybe they can work out the issues. Meanwhile I have been looking at the possibilities of nano armor.

http://www.memagazine.org/contents/current/features/narmour/narmor.html

And this:
http://www.isracast.com/Articles/Article.aspx?ID=28

Offline Breacher41

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anyone need a pushing hand to encourage such falls off the cliff?  ;D
هناك [هس تو] كنت يستعصي طريق

Offline KevinB

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I spoke to one of the testors in the US Mil -- he fully beleives that the armor is GTG.

  As well I beleive (and from feel of my vest I think it is true) that recent vests also have the disks wired together like old fashion scale mail.

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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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It wouldn't surprise me if the makers of DS were looking at or inventing a better "glue" if it meant getting the DoD contract.
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