Saturday, 13 October 2007


Suter is the name of a system that is able to infiltrate enemy radar systems and take control. This is another way to effect the suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) as compared to firing anti-radar missiles, jamming radars, or flying stealth aircraft...some related links below

Black Surprises
Lebanon Fighting Produced Info War Coup
Technology Will Be Key to Iraq Buildup

SAF to issue body armour for training

Good news on the home front. opswarfare previously wrote about issuing body armour for troops on training, and this has come true...

The Request for Information (RFI) has been issued. Among the requirements mentioned in the RFI, the Integrated Body Armour Vest (IBAV) shall
  • be dual function, as a Load Bearing Vest or a Body Armour Vest
  • be designed to spread its weight over the waist and front instead of relying only on the shoulder
  • have a quick release mechanism
  • include a detachable hydration bladder pouch, and a velcro strap at the front of the IBAV to hold and secure the drinking tube
  • have a groin pouch built into the front of the IBAV for the storage of the detachable groin panel
  • have 4 D-rings for attaching bulky items
  • have grommets to provide rapid drainage of trapped fluids
  • defeat a NATO 9mm round fired from a sub-machine gun for the soft armour
  • defeat a NATO 7.62mm round for the hard armour inserts
The few points above presents us with some questions.
  • will the current Load Bearing Vest (which is just being newly issued) be out of commission once the body armour is issued?
  • some of the requirements are very specific, this may exclude some manufacturers who may not find it profitable to modify their existing off the shelf products to comply. Would this reduce the competition?
Last but not least, the RFI includes a modified test requirement as compared to the specified National Institute of Justice (NIJ) document.

The original paragraph
"Mark the front armor panel, plate, or insert for six impacts, evenly spaced on the panel according to the spacing criteria of a minimum of 76 mm (3.0 in) from any edge to center and 51 mm (2.0 in) from any previous impact (center to center). Wet condition the armor panel, plate, or insert per the requirements of section 5.9.3."

The modified paragraph
"Mark the front armour panel, plate, or insert for six impacts, RANDOMLY spaced on the panel WITH ONLY A minimum of 26mm (1.0inch) from any edge to centre and WITH ONE OF THE SIX IMPACTS AT 51mm (2.0 inch) from any previous impact (centre to centre)..."

opswarfare is still researching on what this change will do to the protection levels as compared to the NIJ standard.

To see who could be the conten
ders, let's take a look at the body armour used by various armed forces.
USMC - Modular Tactical Vest
US Army - Improved Outer Tactical Vest


Oct 9, 2007
Life-saving body armour for all army units
It will be used not only during operations but also when soldiers train
By David Boey

LOCAL troops will be better protected against bullets and shell fragments, with the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) planning to introduce body armour to all units.

Mindef has asked defence companies for information on the armour, worn as vests to protect the body from the neck down to the waist and groin area.

The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) - the national authority that buys weapons and equipment for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) - will assess what is available in the market, after which Mindef will progressively equip all army units with body armour.

Colonel Darius Lim, Mindef's director of public affairs, explained that the body armour will be used not only during operations, but also for training purposes such as during route marches, live-firing and urban warfare exercises.

Body armour is not new to the SAF, but it has been issued mainly to crack units, such as the Commando Special Operations Force, or SAF units involved in hazardous operations such as peace-keeping duties with the United Nations.

Armies worldwide have found that body armour and better military medical care save lives. Statistics kept by United States medical units indicate that some 30 per cent of all injured American troops died during World War II.

Better medical care saw that figure drop to 24 per cent in Vietnam but in Iraq, just 9 per cent of the injured lose their lives.

Body armour is usually made of soft bullet-resistant fabrics, or hard plates made of ceramics or resins. Such armour is numbered with Roman numerals from I to IV according to the protection they offer. Smaller numbers indicate lighter protection.

For the SAF troops, DSTA said the body armour should comprise:

# The basic vest - built of tough and lightweight fabrics like nylon, the vest is designed to hold armour panels. DSTA said it should be 'inert to saltwater and mud' and 'printable with camouflage patterns'.

# Removable soft ballistic armour panels - lightweight and water-repellent, the panels should repel 9mm rounds fired from submachine guns like the MP5.

# Removable hard ballistic armour plates - these should resist 7.62mm bullets fired by general purpose machine guns.

# Detachable soft protection pads for the neck and shoulder, and the groin - made of the same material as soft armour, the pads should be fitted when needed.

To ensure the vests work fine in Singapore's environment, DSTA said the vests should be able to withstand 98 per cent humidity and tolerate 'heavy rain conditions'.

Military equipment suppliers told The Straits Times they are steeling themselves for fierce competition when DSTA issues the body armour tender.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

MoD kept failure of best tank quiet - Telegraph

MoD kept failure of best tank quiet - Telegraph

Sobering news that a RPG29 managed to penetrate the frontal armour of a Challenger 2 tank.
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:37pm BST 12/05/2007

One of the British Army's Challenger 2 tanks was pierced by an Iraqi insurgent missile more than eight months earlier than the Government has previously admitted.

The Ministry of Defence had claimed that an attack last month that breached a tank's armour was the first of its kind in four years of war in Iraq. But another Challenger 2 was pierced by a powerful rocket-propelled grenade in August last year during an attack that blew off part of a soldier's foot and injured several others.

The injured soldier's family has accused the Government of a cover-up and demanded to know why soldiers manning Challenger 2 tanks had not been warned of the failings with the tank's armour.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said he would challenge the government on why the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had apparently misled the public over the timing of the first incident in which the hugely robust defences of the Challenger had been breached.

He said: "Obviously, no armour is indestructible and there is no doubt that the insurgents have increasingly sophisticated technology but it is important in maintaining public confidence that the MoD and the Government tell the truth to the British public."

The Challenger 2 is reputed to be one of the most sophisticated tanks in the world and those used in Iraq by the British Army are built with Dorchester armour, the composition of which is top secret. The tank is also fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA) at its front that should deflect any weapon fired at its hull.

The MoD has finally confirmed that the tank's armour was breached last August and has said that an investigation was conducted to discover why the ERA appears to have failed. However, the department refused to comment on its findings, citing security reasons.

In the August attack, which occurred during an operation to arrest a leading insurgent in the town of al-Amarah, in southern Iraq, the Challenger was damaged when a Russian-made rocket-propelled grenade, known as an RPG-29, defeated the ERA and penetrated the driver's cabin.

The RPG-29 is a much more powerful weapon than the common type regularly used by insurgents to attack British troops. It is specifically designed to penetrate tank armour, although this is the first occasion on which it has managed to damage a Challenger.

During the attack Trooper Sean Chance, a 20-year-old serving with the Queen's Royal Hussars, lost half of his left foot; two other crew members were injured.

The unit's commander described the moment the tank was hit by the missile in a letter he wrote to the wounded soldier in March. The officer wrote: "I recall seeing it [the RPG-29 being fired] and thinking, 'Oh Christ, that's bad.'

"As it slammed into the hull, I was picked up by the shock wave of the blast and thrown against the back wall of the turret. The explosion singed my eyebrows and burnt my face slightly. The tank was full of acrid smoke and fumes. I became aware of you screaming, 'I'm hit, I'm hit. My foot's off.'

"Daz [another crew member] and I looked at each other in slight disbelief - after all, what could possibly breach a CR2's [Challenger's] armour?"

Tpr Chance's mother Kay, 49, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, said her son had been told that the Challenger was the best in the world and essentially impenetrable to any weapons the insurgents possessed.

She said: "Sean often told me he felt totally safe because he was in the best tank in the world. But we now know that is not the case. The Government has covered it up.

"If I was the mother of the poor soldier who lost his legs last month I would be horrified to think that an earlier attack like this had happened before but none of the soldiers were told about it."

His brother Luke said that Tpr Chance had been "abandoned" by the Army following his injury. He said: "Sean has been forgotten about. He hasn't received his Iraq medal. He's been told he is going to be medically discharged because of his injury but no one has told him when and what sort of pension he might get. It's a disgrace."

A spokesman for the MoD said: "We have never claimed that the Challenger 2 is impenetrable. There is no question of a cover-up. Any suggestion that this was the first successful attack against a Challenger 2 tank was given in good faith based on the information available at the time.

"We would like to reassure the family that lessons were learnt from the incident last August and measures were taken to enhance the protection of our personnel."

On April 6, a Challenger was damaged by a roadside bomb in Basra. In that attack a soldier lost both his legs. Details of the incident were not made public until April 23, when

the MoD claimed: "This was the first successful attack on a Challenger 2. It's the first bomb to have damaged it."