You all might remember we reported a new kind of flexible body armor being developed by pre-Dragon Skin designer Allan Bain back in October.
At the time, Bain had tested his armor against some pretty mean armor-piercing rounds (a Swiss-made armor piercing round that is more powerful than the one specified by the Army) shattering the tiles but slowing down the round enough to keep it from penetrating the Dyneema backing.
Bain told me the other day he had just subjected a redesigned version of the discs to shots from a "surrogate" M993 AP round with 160 grains each at 3,014 and 3,061 feet per second and the discs held up. That's about 20 percent more kinetic energy than the threat the Army is building the X-SAPI to defeat, Bain told me.
He's been invited to test the new "Skaalar Exoskin Gen 4+" at H.P. White labs by the Army's top body armor guru in July, in which "the Army will see the first flexible system that has no weight penalty as compared to the XSAPI plate that is in production now."
As you might remember, the Army has walked back its urgent request for for plates that are stronger than the current E-SAPI and has said it would stockpile a limited run of plates in Kuwait in case the more deadly threat emerges in greater numbers.
But clearly, if you've worn body armor at all, a flexible system is the way to go, and Army officials have admitted it to me on several occasions. It's just that weight and durability have been a constant problem.
We'll keep you updated on how the tests go, but DT wishes Bain luck on his upcoming tests.