A tipster sent us a link to a post on some new Chinese body armor and an intriguing digital camouflage pattern their troops are wearing.
We posted a story several months ago where some new digital patterns were spotted at a Chinese military parade -- even incorporating the patterns on vehicles. Kind of reminds one of Lt. Col. Tim O'Neil's experiments at West Point back in the day where he and his students painted roller-sized camo patterns on an old M113 armored transport.
Anyway, I can't tell which service of the PLA this soldier comes from, but the pattern sure looks like a desert/arid one. Though my critique is that it lacks a micro-pattern. All the data I've seen is that in order for fractal patterns to work best, they need to incorporate both a macro (large splotches) and micro (smaller splotches) pattern in order to trick the eye and blend better into backgrounds.
I'm no scientist, just an observer and a bit camo obsessed. But like most things coming out of Chinese industry, it seems a cheap imitation and lacks a sort of Western sophistication. But I'm willing to hear counter arguments on this.
Also, the post on Defence Talk mentions the new armor vest the soldier is wearing. Interesting on the face of it to see MOLLE webbing on there. Another good idea ripped off from the West. But if you read the text that accompanies the post, it mentions some interesting industrial data that hits at the core of body armor effectiveness (which includes the weight penalty).
A note on the Chinese hard plate, since they don't have access to the material to make boron carbide ceramic, their higher-end plates use aluminum oxide ceramic but because the Chinese military is typically cheap-stick, most of their hard plates use ballistic steel, which is up to 3 times heavier than the ceramic plates.This is very interesting. How could a society so tapped into the Western market not be able to obtain B2C? I can see the reason to go cheap with steel in such a large military. But still, they can't make Boron Carbide plates? Seems strange to me but a significant advantage for Western militaries.
ADMIN NOTE: I am on assignment in the Norfolk area through Wednesday and will post as I can. I've been given the opportunity to cover a unit based down here that few media have had access to. Be assured, the slight interruption in posting will be worth it to Kit Up! and Military.com readers.
(Thanks to the dirtdart for the tip)