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Pivoting Pack Frame for Armored Soldiers

PARIS -- Marom Dolphin Ltd.'s new Formission tactical pack frame features a flexible aluminum hinge that connects to the back of the kidney belt and the lower part of the frame. The design allows the frame to adjust to the movements of a soldier wearing a body armor vest.

I don't know if it's the future of humping heavy loads, but it looked like it has a lot of promise when I checked it out at Eurosatory 12. Jonathan Shriker, the frame's designer, said he set out to combine the load-carrying ability of an external frame with the flexibility of an internal frame.

"I wanted something simple because if it's not simple, the soldier won't like," he said. The Formission weighs about four pounds with shoulder straps, frame and kidney belt. It's design to support loads up to 200 pounds --  WTF??! -- and ride comfortably on a body-armored soldier.

This concept is obviously not for fast-moving urban combat, but it does seem like a good option for Recce troops on extended field missions. The frame's aluminum construction looks every bit as durable as the old ALICE frame, but it's taller to handle more modern expedition rucks.

The Formission is currently being tested in small numbers by military units in England, Ireland and the U.S., Shriker said. Marom Dolphin is based in Israel but hopes to start marketing to the U.S. soon, he said.

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