The British military announced today it has begun fielding an updated version of its Mk7 helmet and Osprey body armor.
The new Osprey Assault Vest is supposed to have the same ballistic capabilities of the current Osprey but with less weight and better, closer fit. I have no first-hand insight into this armor, but from the pics that are drifting around the web on this, it doesn't look any more comfortable than the current Brit bullet busters.
The MOD did say the armor takes advantage of a new ballistic plate that is thinner and lighter than current ones -- clearly a system using more improved Dyneema or Spectra. Also the vest borrows from its Yank counterparts in adding MOLLE webbing to attach pouches and other gear directly to the vest. But just from the look of it, the vest doesn't look like much of an improvement in fit. Kinda like when the Corps fielded its "Modular Tactical Vest" that looked like a Rube Goldberg patchwork of bad ideas (and turned out to be widely unpopular).
On the other hand, the Brits look like they're finally taking a radical departure from their spaghetti bowl helmets and getting a little more 21st Century on their new Mk7. The new helmet features a better cut that allows for headphones, NVGs and keeps its coverage even in a prone aiming position. There's also an updated and more comfortable harness system to keep the lid on the noggin.
Again, haven't seen any of this first hand. But you know me and my obsession with armor developments, so I thought I'd bring it to your attention. If anyone has any insight into these systems, please comment here or send me an email.
The UK plans to field about 10,000 of the new ensembles.