Landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are killing and maiming soldiers in different parts of the world. Soldiers risk injury not only to their arms and feet, but also their private parts and their femoral arteries. Injury to these areas can be especially fatal.
Even if the soldier survives, he can be psychologically scarred for the rest of his life. Considering that many of the lads on the front are in the 19-24 year age group, they have their entire lives ahead of them, so anything that can be done to reduce risks to their well-being is welcome.
To protect their soldiers from such dangers, the British army adopted what they call the Pelvic Protection System about six months ago. This solution, made from knitted Kevlar, comprises two layers of protection: a protective outer garment (POG) and a protective under garment (PUG).
Both are worn like shorts, with the PUG actually worn in place of underwear. The POG is worn over the PUG.
The US too has now decided to equip their soldiers with the “Blast Boxers”, as they are called. These will be manufactured by BCB International. They are made of Aramid Kevlar fabric around the groin, while light, open structure mesh is used elsewhere to reduce weight and keep the wearer cool. The material is also fire retardant.
Considering that the soldiers wearing these garments may operate in high temperature regions of the world, the material is also designed to minimise perspiration and odour, and to dry rapidly.
These garments weigh a little less than 8 ounces and are expected to be priced at just under $100 (£67) and will be available in specialist retail outlets.