All of the IDF's combat soldiers will soon receive the lighter and more compact vests, increasing the soldiers' range of motion
Being a combat soldier is a heavy responsibility, but it will soon become a little lighter: Starting in 2013, all of the IDF's combat soldiers are to be equipped with the next generation of combat vests.
The new model of vest promises to assist the soldiers in routine and operational activity. It is lighter, shorter, and tighter, thus giving the soldiers a greater range of motion.
Thus far, soldiers have needed to wear two vests – one for protection and one to carry equipment. Wearing two vests has put more weight on the soldiers and limited their range of motion, thus posing a challenge in operational activity. The new vests, in contrast, will serve both to protect the soldiers and to carry their equipment.
"This is a significant improvement for the soldiers, who take a big weight off of themselves since they take off a layer," the commander of the Personal Equipment Section of the IDF's Logistical Equipment Department explained to the IDF Website.
In addition, the new vest is modular. Its structure allows for the addition of pouches for carrying ammunition magazines, grenades, or other necessary equipment – the locations of which can be changed according to each unit's particular needs and doctrine.
The new vest, which is expected to receive final approval in the coming weeks, was developed in the past two years by the IDF's Logistical Equipment Department. In the past year, 400 of the new vests have been tried out in select battalions of the Field Intelligence Corps, the commando units Sayeret Rimon and Sayeret Egoz, and special units including Duvdevan and Maglan.
"The response to the new vest in the field has been very positive, and we are currently waiting for the final approvals, after which it will be used across the board," explained the commander of the Personal Equipment Section of the Logistical Equipment Department.