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US Army Developing Armor Tailored For Females 310

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the still-waiting-for-armored-skants dept.
cylonlover writes, quoting Gizmag: "Body armor is a blessing and a curse for soldiers. Modern tactical armor has saved thousands of lives from bullets and bombs, but it can also be a major problem if it doesn't fit properly. That's what the women who make up 14 percent of the U.S. Army face on a regular basis. Now, according to the Army News Service, the Army is preparing to test a new armor that is tailored to the female form to replace the standard men's armor that the women now use. Working on data collected in studies overseas and at stateside army bases, the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier has identified several problem areas and has developed a new armor that will be tested in 2013."
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US Army Developing Armor Tailored For Females

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @10:56AM (#40764293)

    Who ever considered breasts a problem area? Seriously...

    edit: captcha spelled "maternal". Hah.

    • by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:01AM (#40764375)

      It's not a chainmail bikini and hence the armor rating is really shitty when worn by females.

    • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:12AM (#40764483)
      As an example, my wife has two scars between her breasts from burning hot shells from a 50 cal machine gun while she was in Iraq. Because she's a D-cup the body armor she was wouldn't fit tight against the neck area like it does on a man.. she describes it as nearly impossible to reach down and grab the shell, sometimes there wasn't time to do anything about it.
      • by crakbone (860662) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:31AM (#40764751)
        The amount of awesome in your post is amazing for slash dot. 1) wife 2) d-cup 3) using a 50. cal 4) body armor. 5) reaching between You have reached a Nirvana few slashdotters will ever attain. ps Tell her "thank you for all shes done for the country."
      • As an example, my wife has two scars between her breasts from burning hot shells from a 50 cal machine gun while she was in Iraq. Because she's a D-cup the body armor she was wouldn't fit tight against the neck area like it does on a man.. she describes it as nearly impossible to reach down and grab the shell, sometimes there wasn't time to do anything about it.

        A 50-cal machine gun? Good lord.. what was she shooting?

        • by a whoabot (706122)

          An M2 [wikipedia.org], probably.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        As an example, my wife has two scars between her breasts from burning hot shells from a 50 cal machine gun while she was in Iraq. Because she's a D-cup the body armor she was wouldn't fit tight against the neck area like it does on a man.. she describes it as nearly impossible to reach down and grab the shell, sometimes there wasn't time to do anything about it.

        Body armor was not designed to protect against ejected shells.

        A simple Army issued tee shirt would have done that.

        • No, big caliber shells can get extremely hot (to the point of glowing at night). A simple T-shirt won't help much if it gets stuck on you.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Who ever considered breasts a problem area? Seriously...

      edit: captcha spelled "maternal". Hah.

      I think they're referring to the maternity wear. Men's tac vests are too loose around the waste on hourglass non-prego women and too tight on the preggos.

  • My novel idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @10:56AM (#40764301) Journal

    My novel idea is reducing injuries and fatalities through getting involved in fewer conflicts. It is a radical idea, but it just might work.

    • Re:My novel idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @10:58AM (#40764333)

      How will that make defense contractors rich?

      • richER

        They are already the 1%ers and getting hefty tax brakes while the rest of us foot the bill for their wars and infrastructure

      • Re:My novel idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:47AM (#40765031)

        How will that make defense contractors rich?

        See "cold war" and "MAD" on wikipedia.

        Not too many 9 MT h-bombs have been detonated in anger, but a hell of a lot of money got made off them.

        Also see american chemical weapons, american bio weapons, etc. I love those things... so awful they never got used.

      • Instead of making tanks, I guess they could make bridges, new Fiber Optic deployments to rural areas, schools, etc

    • Re:My novel idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:01AM (#40764373)

      While I agree in principle, that doesn't remove the need for this kind of advancement. Regardless of how peaceful and friendly you are, there's always a chance of someone, somewhere attacking you, at which point you probably want to have decent gear for your armed forces.

      • Re:My novel idea (Score:5, Insightful)

        by N0Man74 (1620447) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:28AM (#40764695)

        Sure, but can we compare and contrast these two things?

        1) Having a reasonable standing army, in case it is needed.

        2) Making military spending to be one of the biggest priorities of the country, showering military contractors with money in the hopes of being the most powerful military in the world, and allowing rich and powerful men who profit from war have too much influence on whether we enter conflicts.

      • Re:My novel idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:32AM (#40764761) Homepage Journal

        While I agree in principle, that doesn't remove the need for this kind of advancement. Regardless of how peaceful and friendly you are, there's always a chance of someone, somewhere attacking you, at which point you probably want to have decent gear for your armed forces.

        Given how friendly fire, negligent discharge, fragging and collateral damage appears to be such huge risks, I think they should look at redesigning the back first, not the front...

        • by vlm (69642)

          Given how friendly fire, ...appears to be such huge risks

          "Targets in sight. Size 6 soldiers, activity low crawling toward our fighting position, can't ID uniform, in no mans zone, can't ID unit, time is now, looks like standard infantry equipment. Log it for intel. Assumed enemy combatants."

          "Logged. Targets acquired. Requesting permission to fire mortars under ROE?"

          "Deny Deny Deny their 60 gunner just stood up and she's wearing a chainmail bikini"

          Don't laugh it could happen

    • Re:My novel idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:13AM (#40764497)

      My novel idea is reducing injuries and fatalities through getting involved in fewer conflicts. It is a radical idea, but it just might work.

      That's not something the Army has authority to do, though. Talk to the politicians if you want our military commitments to change.

    • by ethanms (319039)

      Since there will be conflicts (or at least preparation and equipping for them) the problem still remains even if we follow your suggestion.

      Complete world peace with no armed conflicts is simply not going to happen as long as their is competition for resource and space.

      So let's focus on the actual problem of properly protecting and equipping our female soldiers.

      • by ethanms (319039)

        their = there ... damn brain.

      • Re:My novel idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:45AM (#40765001) Homepage Journal

        I largely agree with you, but I don't really believe that competition for resource and space is the cause of most armed conflicts today. Instead I believe over-sized egos and over-hyped nationalism exaggerate the perception of competition for resource and space. War is usually good for the leaders, no matter how much they may say (and perhaps truly feel) they hate it.

    • Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:42AM (#40764929)

      We'll just disband the military entirely and stop all research. After all, if we don't want to get in to a conflict, it'll never happen right? No nation has EVER been attacked or invaded without starting shit.

      Oh please. While I agree that the US need to stop trying to play world police and getting involved in shit all over, that doesn't mean that a military still isn't going to be needed. Not many countries can get away with having no military and the ones that can it is only because another nation or nations protects them.

      This is quite a sensible thing for the military to spend money on. Some women wish to serve as soldiers, they should have body armour that works for them.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      Yea, it's working so well for the thousands of people being killed in Syria.
  • Hit it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @10:57AM (#40764309) Journal

    Sweet! Booty armor!

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @10:59AM (#40764337) Journal

    If recent threads on slashdot about anything involving women are anything to go by, this will degenerate into a flame war between mysoginists and normal people.

    After all, if women aren't up to the job of wearing body armour, they shouldn't join the army. So what if it puts them off. Should we concentrating on getting more women to become barbage(wo)men?

    For the impaired: that is sarcasm.

    • Oblig WW2 reference (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:21AM (#40764617)
      One of the things that is supposed to have demoralised numbers of German soldiers later in WW2 is that so many of the Russian tank crews were women. But why should that be surprising? In the Napoleonic wars and after, the powder room on many British warships (where they kept the explosives, not the toilet) would have been operated by women who, according to the official lists, didn't even exist. It seems amazing that so many of them managed to live on cramped warships in addition to the official crew establishment, but memos from Nelson to John Jervis make it clear that this was a case where sensible officers turned a blind eye.
    • by ethanms (319039)

      After all, if women aren't up to the job of wearing body armour, they shouldn't join the army.

      The counter of course is that it's not they aren't up to it, it's that their form (vs the male form) allows for gaps which can lead them to be exposed to dangers.

      As another ./er noted--his wife had gaps at the top of her body armor allowing spent shells to fall between her armor and skin, this lead to physical scars and as someone who has had a shell land in his shirt I can say firsthand that it can affect your aim

  • by Uthic (931553) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @10:59AM (#40764339)
    All my gaming experience has taught me that it should be skin-tight and leaves arms, legs and midriff bare.
    • by dpilot (134227)

      From STNG it always struck me as funny that the Klingon women wore body armor, but in the name of "Roddenberry Costume Design" that armor always showed cleavage. Great! Put body (bawdy?) armor on the women of a race that's really into personal combat, then leave a gap in that armor right over the heart!

      • by arth1 (260657)

        From STNG it always struck me as funny that the Klingon women wore body armor, but in the name of "Roddenberry Costume Design" that armor always showed cleavage. Great! Put body (bawdy?) armor on the women of a race that's really into personal combat, then leave a gap in that armor right over the heart!

        The Klingon eight-chambered heart is further down, beneath their three lungs.

  • by TheSpoom (715771)

    I should be surprised that this hasn't already been done, but given that it's the US military, I'm not surprised at all.

    • Technically Woman are not allowed to be on Front Line Infantry, but they can be pilots, drivers, and many "non-combative rolls" However... Modern Warfare, blurs the line, you may be the truck driver, but if you get under attack, she will pick up a gun and fight with the rest of the men. That and when you join the military you are not expecting you job to be comfortable. So a woman in wearing slightly uncomfortable body armor, isn't going to complain much about it. She may do some minor alterations herself

  • They finally saw the women are a little bit different from men.
    Next step?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SJHillman (1966756)

      Body armor designed specifically for gay soldiers.

      • Re:That's good news! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:59AM (#40765201)

        Body armor designed specifically for gay soldiers.

        Extensive historical research (no, I'm not kidding) points out that the army with the most stylish and fashionable uniform almost always loses the war. Just saying. Probably don't want to go there.

        • by Krishnoid (984597) *

          the army with the most stylish and fashionable uniform

          Forget the Microsoft reality show [slashdot.org]. I want to see "Project Runway: Afghanistan", with a list of functional requirements and 24 hours to retool the uniform/body armor to get as close to them as possible.

        • by compro01 (777531)

          As usual.

          No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.
          No inspection-ready unit has ever passed combat.

  • Consumer (Score:4, Funny)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:18AM (#40764549)

    They're also releasing a consumer line of female body armor, available in 28 different colors and patterns including taupe, seafoam green, mauve, purple camo, plaid and hot pink polka dots.

  • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:36AM (#40764823)
    The overlapping plates in Dragon Skin already largely solve this problem by forming to the wearer. The fact that it's better armor than Kevlar + trauma plates is a nice bonus =)
  • by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @11:53AM (#40765119) Homepage

    identified several problem areas

    Have someone from the army contact me.
    For $2.55 million, plus cost overruns, I can identify two problem areas.

    -

  • Sad that it took the Army higher ups this long to realize women are shaped differently to men. Bullet-proof vests for women have been available to US law enforcement for many years. My wife has one. Can be an issue though with the curves around the breasts deflecting the bullets in a dangerous direction.

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