I Want My MTV – The US Marines’ New Body Armor
As the Marines themselves note, “body armor can be traced back to before the Roman Empire, when war was waged with sword and spear and the battlefield rang with the clash of steel on steel.” In time, its protection became so formidable that an armored, mounted warrior feared few enemies. A string of reverses from Crecy on into the age of gunpowder led to a growing offensive ascendancy, however, creating several centuries where warriors headed into battle without any armor at all.
That began to change in the late 20th century, and the pendulum is swinging back. The Interceptor Outer Tactical Vest became the US military’s standard equipment around the dawn of the 21st century. It’s credited with saving numerous lives, but the US Marines were less impressed. In the wake of negative After-Action Reviews, they turned to Protective Products International in Sunrise, FL to produce the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV) instead, designed by an ex-Marine.
In February 2008, the Marines put a hold on further MTV orders, following complaints from the field. That hold has been lifted with the awarding of 2 contracts worth up to $794.7 million for the Improved MTVs.
MTV: Contracts and Developments
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