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Marine Corps Wants New Armor for Vehicle Crewmen

The Marine Corps is in search of a new body armor setup for leathernecks driving in tanks, LAVs and Amtracs.

The vest, dubbed the Body Armor System, Combat Vehicle Crewman, is supposed to be made up of a soft armor vest with a detachable plate carrier and all the requisit protectors, including groin, throat, neck and lower back patches.

The BASC model mounted/dismounted system is a modular vest protecting the upper torso from multiple ballistic threats which is easily configured to defeat predicted mission threat at a minimum system weight. The BASC subsystem is expected to consist of the following: (1) one base vest assembly made up of an outer shell base vest carrier with a ballistic insert set made up of removable ballistic inserts; (2) one yoke and collar assembly with non-removable ballistic inserts; (3) one throat protector which attaches to the front base vest and collar with non-removable ballistic insert; (4) one groin protector assembly made up of a groin protector carrier with non-removable ballistic insert; (5) one lower back protector assembly made up of a lower pack protector carrier with non-removable ballistic insert; (6) one cummerbund assembly (if used); (7) ESAPI plate pockets (front, back, side). The BASC provides protection from conventional fragmenting munitions and multiple hits from 9mm sub-machine gun (SMG) rounds.
The Corps wants a MOLLE capability on these things too -- enough to carry 6 M16 mags, 2 M9 mags, a first aid kit and a hydration system. The Corps also wants it to be able to integrate with the USMC Chest Rig interface.I contacted Marine Corps Systems Command about the BASC last month and they declined to provide someone to talk with me about it. There's a ton of information on the program in the FBO solicitation, but SYSCOM did say they plan to purchase 11,750 of the vests. Another tidbit they sent along was that the BASC is a "non-developmental" item. In other words, real vests please, not prototypes.

This program sounds to me like it totally fits the bill for the modular scalable vest project the Army ran last summer. We profiled BAE Systems' Soldier Scalable Protection System and TYR Tactical's Modular Scalable Tailorable body armor last year. Could these guys finally have a customer?

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