Hct2ghlklb1

(includes Blue Secondary LED Helmet Light)

The Kit Contains:

Energizer® Hard Case® Tactical® 2AA Swivel Head Light

Energizer® Hard Case® Tactical® 1AA Helmet Light

Includes Mounts for the Ballistic Helmet, MOLLE / OTV, Field Cap and Picatinny Rail

Berry Compliant Multi-Purpose Pouch

6 Energizer® Ultimate Lithium AA batteries

For more information or to purchase, contact us at:

1-800-459-7622 HardCaseTactical.com [email protected]

© 2010 Energizer Energizer and other marks are trademarks of Energizer.

Energizer Hard Case Bravo

U.S. Army Pfc. Kenneth Closs, from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, United States Army Europe (USAREUR) walks on a dismount patrol near Forward Operating Base Lane, Zabul province, Afghanistan, Feb. 21, 2009. Point Blank is the largest manufacturer of individual body armor in the United States.

U.S. Army Pfc. Kenneth Closs, from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, United States Army Europe (USAREUR) walks on a dismount patrol near Forward Operating Base Lane, Zabul province, Afghanistan, Feb. 21, 2009. Point Blank is the largest manufacturer of individual body armor in the United States.

John D. Gresham: Can you talk a bit about the background to the

'I design of the Outer Tactical Vest (OTV) system first issued in the 1990s?

s Sam White: The OTV design involved a phenomenal amount of

-g work that was put into it, and as a result I saw a system that the sol-

^ diers actually appreciated. You would see as we would take that and

£ we would make some minor changes and improvements to it, when

« we sent it out for test and evaluation, a lot of times they would not o want to give it back! They would almost want to hide the prototype j| body armor designs so that they wouldn't have to give them back.

g- They liked it so much better than what they had had before. There was

« a tremendous amount of acceptance to those systems because of the work that was done up front: the technology, even of little things like the color, and ... [using] a softer fabric against the skin and a rougher, more durable material away from the skin [to protect against] any type of environmental damage that would occur from briars or other things rubbing against on the outside.

What sorts of things were the Army doing materials-wise, which were improvements over the Generation 1 and 2 vests of the 1980s and 1990s?

The Army focused on the "man print" of the human body, and how to design systems that could be worn by the soldier. What

Improved Outer Tactical Vests being constructed at Point Blank Solutions.

was different from a vest manufacturing point of view is that the requirements became performance requirements, not material requirements. So let me explain. Prior to the Interceptor-series vests, they would tell you how many layers of what material you had to use - even the ballistic materials. You used "X" number of layers, and this is how you laid it up, and this is how you would sew it. When they transitioned into the OTV design, they simply gave us performance specifications, saying "you have to stop these particular threats," and it was up to us to design how to stop those threats. As a result, it opened up a creativity within the market space to design better, lighter solutions, because that would be more valuable to the customer. We weren't told what ballistic yarn to use and what weave to use, etc. They simply said, "you have to meet these performance requirements," and then every system that you submitted had to pass first article testing - meaning that the first articles that you made had to pass a number of ballistic tests. In addition to that, from a quality point of view, every lot that you manufactured, they did test ... to reassure ... that that lot met those ballistic requirements.

We were just talking about your thoughts about the business you are in and the fact that this product that you make has evolved. It's now evolved again into something called the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) system. How does that system compare to the original OTV, and what are the major features that differentiate it from what you were making a decade ago?

The old system, the Outer Tactical Vest (OTV) introduced in the 1990s, was designed as a base vest, and then at the speed of the war, we started developing modular accessories such as side shoulder protection, side protection in the abdominal area, etc. Then there were some other improvements as well; there was a back extender that was added, as modular accessories to the original vest's groin protection. The front groin protection module was already there, but the back protector, along with the groin protector in the back, were all additive to the OTV system. So then, instead of adding things to a base vest, there were enough changes that it made sense to start all over ... and make sure that there weren't redundancies and overlaps, because if you took an existing system and had to modify it to improve it, there could be some areas of unnecessary redundancy. So we recognized that we could reduce weight by taking off some of those redundant areas of too much coverage, or that a snap or an extra strap had to be added because it wasn't there to begin with. Bottom line is there were enough modifications to the original vest that would have to be evaluated if we could, in essence, ... rethink the base OTV vest system. And to those additions, it allowed us to make some other changes that couldn't be done as a modular add-on, such as the combat "break away" capability, ... all included in the IOTV. So to improve our tactical vest was a way to literally wipe the chalkboard clean and start anew to take all of the ideas that had evolved in the OTV and integrate them as a pure system in the IOTV.

And this is the vest you are producing today.

That's correct.

We have seen an evolution where rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have become the primary wounding mechanisms of our enemies these days. How has that affected the design of the OTV as it evolved into the improved IOTV, and what things have been done with it since that time?

There are basically two types of threats that are still recognized today. One is a frag, which is a fragment, which comes from any type of IED explosions, and then the other one is the bullet protection as well. So you have to really protect against both of those. There's been a real change in there. There have been changes, though, with regard to the systems themselves. For instance, the "break-away" system. You can now access the body quicker for any medical applications if someone is hung up inside of a vehicle and they need to egress it in a fast rate: Medics and other personnel can literally pull a ripcord and the entire vest breaks away from the body of the wearer. And since the vest is being used as a load-bearing system as well, you can imagine the stuff that they pack on these vests, so that you are literally a walking tractor/trailer and [it's important] to be able to pull a ripcord to get all of that off of you in an emergency situation.

How many IOTVs are you making presently?

Obviously it depends on the contracts, but we right now have sustained, for some period of time, a production rate of 1,200 military vests a day. Obviously, our law enforcement products are on top of that number.

What does the market for body armor systems look like for you folks as we look out into the next few years, in terms of production? I mean, do you see yourselves producing at the same rate? Higher rates, lower rates, or dwindling rates?

I think it's going to stay similar to where we are now in terms of numbers, and it's the procurement cycle that dictates that. A lot of times, if a customer wants to make some minor changes to the body armor, it takes them a while to get all of the contracts all lined up. So they are regularly making minor changes to your body armor, so you have Revision A, Revision B, and Revision C. We are in Revision E on IOTV right now. So many times there is a transition from one revision to another. There is a small lapse of time when there is little or no new procurement, and then it spikes up again. So as a result, you get some level of cyclical procurement.

You probably also get some of that depending on funding; what time of the year it is and when they get their funding, so it's not this smooth level requirement that's out there. There are still month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter cycles in the procurement. But let's level all that out. Let's just talk about, let's say, year to year to year. I think that the "ramp up" on IOTV production is over, and the "ramp down" to the sustainable level of production that we are at today is probably over with. So you are now going to look at 2011, 2012, being similar to your 2010 procurement. The majority of the spike is now over with, and is behind us.

Which means obviously you are seeking business with foreign markets, given your continuing civilian applications for law enforcement and such?

Well, we have on the domestic side been very fortunate. We have had the opportunity of integrating some of the designs that we have invested in for the military to transition them into law enforcement models of our products. So, a lot of our tactical vests now incorporate some of the design features that we put into the military vests we make. For instance, if you are going to make a "break-away," vest, it's going to limit you on other things you can do to the vest, things that you may not be able to transfer for law enforcement. So there were some great ideas we had on the military vest that we weren't able to use, because of other [requirements from] the military. Some things just weren't compatible. So [in] some things ... the military has mission-specific requirements ... different than what law enforcement needs. Conversely, some of the great ideas we had for the military that simply weren't applicable became very applicable on the law enforcement side. And as a result, we were able to make some tremendous value-added improvements on the law enforcement side, and we are now reaping the benefit of that research. In fact, we are probably the fastest growing law enforcement body armor manufacturer in the U.S.

Do you ever get people like soldiers and Marines, customers, who have used the product out in the field, to come back to you and see your production people?

We have and do! In fact, a lot of times when the military personnel come back to visit, we prefer that they come back in uniform, because it's a phenomenal feeling for our workers. Just to work for us and to see a soldier coming walking through the building, looking at and taking a genuine interest in the work that is being done, the excitement of the employees is tremendous. You could be in this office and 200 feet away the wall would shake when the employees would start yelling out of excitement when they see a soldier walk through and thank them for saving their life. There was a phone call from a soldier in Iraq whose life had just been saved. He had the phone number on the back of his vest after being hit, and he used a satellite phone to call in to us. He said they were taking them away by ambulance, and he had called us to thank us for saving his life. He also asked, "Oh, by the way if I give you a phone number, would you call my Mom and Dad and let them know that I am OK?" That story tells it all, you know? If you ever wanted to feel good about yourself and about your country, the feelings we got calling his Mom and Dad and telling them that his life was just saved by our product was just a tremendous feeling.

As a researcher and engineer, what do you want Point Blank to make next?

You can't help but be driven to come out with the next "better mouse trap." I am excited about not just the future of soft armor ballistics, which is the part that [is our] core competency, but also the integration of that on some of the new hard armor systems. The military is going that direction, and that is that there will be plates that will be designed depending on where they are placed on the body to optimize not only ballistic tolerance and performance, but also the system's ability to work with the person in the vest. So there may be an area closer to the chest where there might be a larger plate, and then an extremity area that needs to have more flexibility, simply because of that area on the body that is going to need more dexterity than another area. And I'm going to be excited to see that next transition, because we will be making the platform that those systems are placed on, and I think that those combinations are going to provide both the SWAT officer and the soldier/Marine a better system. That is exciting to me.

I think we can reduce the weight in some cases by looking at the new-generation polymers coming to market right now. There are probably areas that we can then take those polymers or those yarns, and integrate them better into fabrics, in materials, and then taking those materials and integrating them into hard armor systems that all can be formulated and put into one system. I keep using the word "system"

Fischer UltiMate

Military Connectors Line

Secure Connections for UltiMate Protection

LandForce™ Series

Compact, Rugged, Lightweight

■ Excellent sealing IP68/69K even unmated

■ Rugged design for harsh environment

■ Extremely robust mechanical keying

■ Miniature and ultralight design

■ Push-pull locking or emergency release system

■ EMC 360° high performance shielding

■ High shock and vibration resistance

■ 10,000 mating cycles

■ Wide range of configurations

■ Easy Fischer cable assembly solutions

MIRAGECAiœiiê

BULLDOGEQUIPMENT.US [email protected] OFFICE: 954.581.5510

We, at Bulldog Tactical Equipment, are here to provide custom solutions for the needs of your soldiers. In past years, we have created solutions for a wide variety of weapon systems. These solutions have filled voids within the US Military's individual equipment needs. We are diligently working on the development of new and innovative equipment. This allows us to remain on the cutting edge within the world of tactical gear, design and development.

Made in Ifta US A

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment