Armored complex "Infantryman": a modular approach to individual protection
"Infantryman" in a complete set - a collar, shoulder pads and a pashnik are installed on the vest
Domestic industry has developed and produces a lot of different means of protection. One of the latest developments in this area is the so-called. armored complex "Infantryman". It includes a basic body armor and a set of interchangeable modules that allow you to change its configuration and obtain the required level of protection. The new product is already being produced in series and is even being tested in the area of the Special Operation.
At the exhibition and in the war zone
Not so long ago, a specialized exhibition "Equipment-2022" was held in Moscow. As part of this event, various Russian companies and organizations presented a wide range of products for various purposes, incl. intended for the army and law enforcement agencies. So, a prominent place at the exhibition was occupied by individual means of armor protection.
One of the most interesting exhibits of the exhibition was the Pekhotinets armored complex from the D.Skiff company (Rostov-on-Don), which has been dealing with the topic of protective equipment for a long time. She showed both the complex as a whole and its individual elements. In addition, the founder and head of the company, Dmitry Samoilov, revealed some interesting information about the complex.
It is reported that work on the "Infantryman" began at the end of last year, and already in March the first batch of body armor was made. Currently, the complex is undergoing the necessary certification; filed a patent. In addition, the production of products has been mastered, and the development company is ready to ship up to 2,5 thousand sets per month. At the same time, the production of a batch takes a minimum time. If there is demand, further growth in production is not ruled out.
According to D. Samoilov, armored complexes are being tested by practice in the zone of the Special Operation. About 1,5 thousand of these products ended up in various structures, from civilian organizations to army special forces. Users note the comfort of wearing and a good level of protection. They also talk about the advantages over the means of protection of other models.
When creating the Infantryman, several main tasks were solved. The main thing was the creation of a new body armor made of modern materials, capable of withstanding the main expected threats. In this regard, the project used already known solutions and some new ideas. In particular, it was decided to include a replaceable set of protective elements in the complex to obtain different levels of protection.
Also, when developing the Infantryman, the problem of maximizing the localization of production was solved. Allegedly, the complex and all its elements are made of only Russian-made materials. Fabrics and accessories, armor packages and plates come from Russian enterprises. This eliminates dependence on imports, and also speeds up the production process.
In different configurations
The armored complex "Pehotinets" is actually a bulletproof vest of a traditional design with a set of additional modules and replaceable protection elements. Modular architecture allows you to assemble body armor of different configurations with different levels of protection - depending on the needs of a particular fighter or unit. In the minimum lightweight configuration, the vest can withstand only light fragments, while the full set of elements corresponds to the protection class Br4 (5,45 mm bullets with a heat-strengthened steel core).
The main element of the complex is a fabric vest of a traditional style. It includes chest and back panels, shoulder straps with an emergency release mechanism, and side cummerbunds. There are pockets on the front, back and sides to accommodate various types of protection elements. Almost all surfaces of the vest are covered with MOLLE slings or Velcro tapes. A fire-resistant fabric is used that can withstand temperatures up to 1600°C.
From above, a collar module is fastened to the main cover, covering the neck from the side and back. From the bottom in front, a cap is attached, which increases the frontal projection of the vest as a whole. Removable shoulder pads are also designed.
The complex includes protective modules of several types with different characteristics. For protection against fragments, panels based on ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene or aramid fiber are used. The level of protection against Br3 (protection against automatic bullets of caliber 5,45 and 7,62 mm) and higher is achieved by UHMWPE panels, incl. with additional ceramic elements. Polyethylene armor is supplied by the Broneplast company.
The use of UHMWPE provides a number of important advantages. This material makes it possible to obtain the required level of protection without a significant increase in the thickness of the module. The barrier from it is not inclined to form a bulge on the back side and injure the user. In addition, the material is lighter and easier to machine than armor steel or ceramic. The developers of the Infantryman also mention another interesting advantage: the bullets literally get stuck in UHMWPE and actually reinforce it, slightly improving protection.
Padded shatterproof bag in side pocket
The chest and back pockets of the bulletproof vest are designed for any type of protection - UHMWPE, Kevlar or ceramics. The vest's cummerbunds, modular shoulder pads, collar and cap are equipped with only soft packs with a limited level of protection. Manufacturers note that the pockets of the vest are compatible with plates of someone else's production. For example, in a difficult environment, this will allow the use of trophy modules.
The development company offers several configurations of the armored complex with different levels of protection - for operations in different conditions and in the presence of different threats. So, the Gen.1 package includes a cover with a collar and a cap, but it provides for the installation of only anti-shatter packages. The Gen.2 variant also uses splinter protection, but withstands higher energy projectiles. In the Gen.4 version, the chest and back are protected by Br4 level, and other elements include enhanced anti-fragmentation protection.
The weight of the vest itself without modules does not exceed 2 kg. The simplest set weighs about 3 kg. Complete set with maximum protection – approx. 7,5 kg. It is alleged that due to the correctly calculated design of the vest, the load is evenly distributed over the user's body. From the point of view of wearing comfort, the infantryman body armor is compared with a heavy winter jacket.
Thus, a small domestic company was able to develop and bring to production a curious version of personal armor protection. The Pekhotinets complex is a modular system with the ability to change the level of protection and other characteristic features. Such a sample is interesting, at least at the concept level, and should have significant advantages over analogues.
Plate from UHMWPE class Br4
A modular approach to the assembly of the vest and protective elements allows for an increase in the unification of different products, optimizing production and improving the economic performance of the project. In addition, depending on the availability of modules, the user has a regular opportunity to select the level of protection that corresponds to a particular situation.
It is reported that the Pekhotinets armored complexes are already being delivered to various structures participating in the Special Operation to Protect Donbass. Products are tested in real combat conditions and in the rear, showing their features and strengths. Probably, according to the experience of real operation, the body armor or its individual elements will be finalized or new modules will be introduced.
Now the Pekhotinets complex is undergoing certification, which will allow it to reach the official level. What will happen next is not yet known. Perhaps, state or commercial structures that need modern and convenient protection will be interested in body armor. In the meantime, the new product shows that the Russian industry, including small enterprises, has the necessary competencies and is quite capable of creating modern means of protection.
- Ryabov Kirill
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