Some of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. in 2018 prompted widespread national horror. There was also a number of incidents where spouses or former spouses killed their partners (and sometimes their children) in Texas, Delaware, Tennessee, Maryland and California.

There are hundreds of other deadly shootings that took place across the U.S. this year that don’t fit these conditions, including some that received national attention, like the shooting at a Maryland Rite Aid, or the shooting at a Chicago hospital. In both of those incidents, three victims were killed and the respective suspects also killed themselves.

The economic, politic and social scenery of towns in America these days is rapidly changing. This requires law enforcement agents to exhibit a constant state of preparedness for the worst. Departments across the country are updating the standard issued armor police officers are given. New level IIIa vests are lightweight enough to allow you to move quickly, but cover a variety of weapons. In addition, they can be fitted with ceramic or metal plates to increase the level of protection if things get particularly bad.

As the number of violent incidents in the US rapidly grows – wearing body armor is becoming a necessity. And this applies not only for police officers, security guards and military operatives, but for civilians as well.

To date, body armor provides increasingly advanced protection, but at a cost in performance and efforts are underway to improve situational awareness and shooting response times. Modifying the level of protection as needed, based on the specific threat and mission is currently a priority of manufacturing and research efforts.

Wearing heavy body armor is not operationally practical on a long-range multi-day patrol in an urban setting. Body armor is essentially parasitic weight; it contributes nothing to the wearer’s operational effectiveness until the moment it is required to resist a potentially lethal threat.

However, body armor is effective and saves lives. Assessment of the feasibility of tailored body armor and potential advantages in reduced weight, increased area coverage, and improved mobility can improve its wearability significantly.

Development of new systems that are modular, scalable, and tailorable will defeat current threat levels while also reducing weight. Novel gel materials are being developed that weigh less and protect the wearer at the same time.

Shock-absorbing gel materials work by locking the impacting bullets by forming a solid material around it. Thus the gel prevents the bullet from penetrating further and cause more harm.

Novel gel materials can be used into the inside of a helmet and make it bullet-proof. As soon as the bullet hits the helmet with the gel material, the gel slows down the kinetic energy (speed) of the bullet or shrapnel and makes them impenetrable.

The new gel is already available in the consumer market in sporting goods and used in ski gloves, shin guards and horse-riding equipment. They work under the same principle, they are flexible at first, but as soon they get hit, the gel material absorbs the energy of the impact and becomes solid. Once relieved, it goes back to a flexible state again.

This can greatly enhance the development of covert armor that is nimble, covert and flexible.


*Article courtesy of Safeguard Armour